High school basketball coaches should not discuss playing time with parents

Lack of playing time for their sons and daughters on athletic teams can cause some parents to become very upset.

They will then try to influence coaches to increase the playing time for their children.

Playing time complaints are one of the main reasons coaches are not rehired and is the one thing coaches should never have to discuss with parents.

The parents need to realize that the players are not asked to try out for teams, instead they volunteer to try out.

Coaches put themselves in a no-win situation if they talk to a parent about playing time. If the athlete plays more or less, it is because of the parental pressure or  the perception of complaining about playing time.

If players want to know why they are not playing more, they can ask their coach. However, it should not be done on a one-on-one basis. It should be asked in front of the entire team.

It also should be the player’s idea to ask, not the parents’ idea.

After answering, the coach should ask the other players if anyone else wants to ask about their playing time.

A high school basketball game has only 160 minutes of playing time (32 minutes for each of the five positions).

I would like to see the game time increased to four 10-minute quarters. This would encourage more playing time.

Many factors determine playing time, such as style of offensive play, pressing defenses, and how hard players work in practice.

Most coaches try to put the best defensive players on the court.

The most talented players are not necessarily the best basketball players. They may not be as coachable, or have as high a basketball IQ, which allows them to make the better basketball decisions.

Coachability is also a big factor in determining playing time. Some players understand and run the offenses and defenses better.

Some players also accept roles better while some are better team players and make their teammates better.

Coaches want to win so they are going to give time to players they believe will give them the best chance to win.

Parents also need to realize that high school basketball is not intramural basketball, where everyone needs to get to play an even amount of time.

Some coaches use only six or seven players and others may use up to nine or 10. Foul trouble, fatigue, injuries, illness, and poor decision making are factors in substitutions.

When coaches use a lot of players there is a tendency for players to take themselves to the game and force the action offensively and defensively instead of letting the game come to them because they know that they are not going to get as much playing time. This may result in poor decision making and turnovers or poor defense, which leads to excessive fouling.

The only people who are at practice on a daily basis are players and coaches. Players usually know which teammates should be getting the playing time.

One thing coaches should be fair about is to treat all players the same with team rules and policies. The last player on the bench and the star player should be treated the same.

The best advice I can give players who are not getting playing time is to work as hard as they can to improve their skills, especially if they are underclassmen so they will be ready for next season.