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Basketball Practice Tips: Get More Time!

NBA All-Time Minutes Per Game Leaders
You have to be on the court to succeed!

1. Wilt Chamberlain 45.8
2. Bill Russell 42.3
3. Oscar Robertson 42.2
4. Elvin Hayes 38.4
5. Michael Jordan 38.3
6. Walt Bellamy 37.3
7. Karl Malone 37.2
8(t). Jason Kidd 37.1
8(t). Kevin Garnett 37.1
10. Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar
36.8
11. Charles Barkley 36.7
12. John Havlicek 36.6
13. Hakeem Olojuwon 35.7
14. Hal Greer 35.5
15. Dominique Wilkins 35.5

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So you've already made the team, but now you want to get more playing time in basketball? These basketball practice tips can help you get noticed by the coaches and get more playing time. And yes, they look a lot like the basketball tryout tips page.

Here's a quick overview:

  • Players Coaches Love to Give Time
  • Play with Confidence (but not cocky)
  • Communicate
  • Listen
  • Hustle
  • Be Aggressive

Players Coaches Love to Play

First off, if your trying to get more playing time in basketball, you should know what players coaches like to give playing time to.

  1. The best shooter
  2. The best passer
  3. The best ball handler
  4. The best defender
  5. The best rebounder

The Best Shooter
If you can stretch the defense out, then you're more likely to get some more playing time in basketball. You have to score to win games, and if you're a good shooter, you have a better chance of scoring (especially when you're a good free-throw shooter). Of course, being a smart shooter is important, to. You have to take the shots when they're there, but also be willing to pass the ball when you're not open as well (see the next section).

Check out the Basketball Shooting Tips and Basketball Shooting Drills sections. Though they're something you can work on by yourself, they can still be considered basketball practice tips since they can help you get your coach's attention.

The Best Passer
Coaches are looking for players that can help their team win. Good passers are integral in this, because they make players around them better. Good passers make good strong passes that lead their teammate and help don't make them have to perform any extra movements to get into their shot or go up in the lane.

So the best passer is going to get some playing time, but so are those that are willing and able to make the necessary passes. You don't have to be Jason Kidd or Steve Nash, but be able to hit your open teammates when you're double teamed or if they make a cut to the basket. Although scoring is important, if you're forcing up bad shots (even if they do occasionally go in), the coaches aren't going to like it if you miss a teammate that can have a better chance to score.

Check out the Basketball Passing Tips to become a better passer and play more minutes in the basketball game.

The Best Ball Handler
Someone's got to be able to handle the ball for the team, so being a good ball handler is also something that can help you get more playing time in basketball. Often times the best ball handler and the best passer are related, because good ball handlers can draw defenders toward them and dish to the open teammate. But, being able to dribble means you can handle pressure from presses and drive and create for yourself or youir teammates.

No matter what position you play, you should be able to handle the ball and make a drive toward the basket. Explore the Basketball Dribbling Tips and Basketball Dribbling Drills sections to improve your handles.

The Best Defender
Scoring isn't the only thing your team needs to do to win a game, you also have to keep the other team from scoring. It doesn't matter how many points you put up if you give up just as many. Defensive specialists often get a ton of playing time, especially when the other team has a stud scorer like Kobe Bryant. The best defender is going to get playing time, but perhaps more importantly poor defenders are going to get less playing time unless they're the best at something else. Make sure to explore the Basketball Defense and Speed and Agility sections to improve your defense.

The Best Rebounder
Here's probably the most important of the basketball practice tips: do not give up too many rebounds! Think of Dennis Rodman back in the day, he didn't score a lot of points, but he played defense and got a ton of rebounds. That's why he got a lot of playing time. Rebounding is the only thing you do on both ends of the court. It helps your team score and helps keep the other team from scoring (by not giving them more chances). Now when I say the best rebounder, yes, the more rebounds you get the better, but the best rebounder is one that doesn't let the other team get the rebound. Make sure you block out on every shot. If you don't, your coaches will notice and will be more likely to sit you on the bench.

See the Basketball Rebounding Tips and Basketball Rebounding Drills pages for more.

Play with Confidence

Playing with confidence is related to all other basketball practice tips. Don't be cocky, but be confident in your abilities. If you show hesitatoin, your coaches will notice and be worried about you not taking an open shot or being afraid to drive. On top of that, if you're confident in yourself, then you're more likely to be succesful and make that open shot or critical pass in the game. Of course, the best way to become more confident is to practice and know you've made that shot or pass before.

Communicate and Listen

These two basketball practice tips are similar to be included in the same section. Communicating involves talking and listening to your teammates and your coaches. One of the things that coaches look for in players is how "coachable" they are. In other words, are you going to listen to their advice? When your coach is talking in practice, make sure you're paying attention! Also, if you're not happy with your playing time, then ask your coach (calmly) what you can do or work on to get more time. It shows them you're willing to work and help your team win games.

You also have to listen to your teammates. I watched a movie where the coach actually turned off the lights and made the team talk to each other to get through a scrimmage. Especially on defense, you have to talk and listen to your teammates. Call out when a teammate is about to be screened, or if you're playing a zone tell your teammates where an oppenent is cutting. Also call out if you get a piece of a shot or when the shot goes up (and listen to your teammates when they do the same).

Hustle

Pracitce isn't the time to slack off. Hustle the whole time, don't just jog. If you do it in practice, why would the coaches think you wouldn't in an actual game? On top of that, going full speed and hustling during practice only helps to build up your endurance, especially if your coaches are pushing your team in practice. Sprint back on defense every time, run with your teammates on fast breaks, and dive after loose balls. Your coaches will notice this and likely give you more time because of it.

Be Aggressive

The last of the basketball practice tips is to be aggressive. I'm not talking about getting violent or anything like that, but on defense don't be afraid to step in front of a cutting player (you have the same right to that spot on the floor), go for a blocked shot, and make the offensive player go where you want them to go instead of reacting to what they want to do. You have to do all of this without getting into foul trouble, though.

On offense, being aggressive means driving to the basket and not settling for jump shots all of the time. Of course, being aggressive also means not passing up those open jumpers when you're capable of making them. Going after offensive rebounds is also something you should be doing. Rebounding may be the most important aspect of a team's game. Usually the team that has more rebounds wins the game.

Finally, like described above, being aggressive is also about hustling. Dive after those lose balls and again, go after those offensive rebounds. The only exception is if your coach tells you that you're the designated player to get back on defense (back to one of the first basketball pracitce tips, listening).


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(Details Here)

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