Week 1 in the books: Darn, how do I get more playing time...

By toughie
Dec. 13, 2016

The St. Francis Indian School junior varsity team just prior to tipping off their season Friday against Kyle.

Well, well, well, welcome back South Dakota high-school basketball. What a week and can ya just feel the pulse thumping as Lakota Nation gets ready to take center stage?

Saw a few long faces this week and had a few discussions about playing time of this one or that one....It happens, it comes up...How do I get more playing time?

Talk to the coach - Well, best thing ya could do is go talk to your coach respectfully! Take him/her aside or ask if you can talk alone and then genuinely say something like..."Hey coach, I was wondering about the game the other day...I didn't get to play very much and I'm wondering what I need to do to get more minutes." Doesn't have to be a big scary thing, just ask and Listen.

Show up to school and practice: Ya might think old coach won't notice a few tardies here and there or didn't come to school till noon kinda stuff, but, they know. School is the No. 1 priority and showing up to school, doing your work, trying in the classroom is something that your coach will notice and something that will translate to basketball. You show up to school, on time, and excel in the classroom and your coach will notice. We have some long Christmas Breaks coming up and it's going to be hard to get folks to practice. Find a way to get to practice and if ya can't make it give your coach a text or a call. Just letting him/her know that you couldn't make it but you're thinking about it tells him or her that you care about basketball.

Work hard in practice: We hear this one all the time as coaches encourage kids to work hard in practice because that's the proving grounds. You wanna play in the game, start showing up in practice and giving 100 percent. D somebody up, get after your wind sprints, pat a teammate on the back, encourage others, stay active and involved. If you missed four straight free throws and go to the free-throw line and work on your charity tosses before and after practice. Work on adding a move to your arsenal...Low post additions, cross-over dribble, bounce passes....Add something to your arsenal by working on it during practice. Take all that dipsy-doo practice crap out of your practice habits and work on stuff that translates to games. 

Be engaged during games: Nothing is worse for a coach than putting a player in and then seeing him/her not know what kind of defense the team is playing or who he/she is supposed to guard. If you're not playing, pay attention. In fact, sit right there by the coach and let him know you're active and engaged in the game. Encourage your teammates from the bench, look for things that the other team is doing and think how you could stop what they're doing. And, when you get your chance be ready. Go out there and play defense, talk...BALLBALLBALLBALLBALL...Get in there and get after it...Your coach will notice!

Just some random thoughts on a Tuesday morning...Can just feel the crescendo that is LNI just breathing down our necks...Wheeeeooowoow!