Fifteen Tips to Get the Most Out of your Bench Players

contributed by Kevin Reilly

  1. Establish roles for your players (i.e. defense, passing, three point shooting.)
  2. Try to get substitutes in end of first quarter and during second quarter
  3. Reward players for their efforts in practice with more playing time.
  4. Getting players in the game early gives them confidence if they are needed later.
  5. Getting players in early gives you one less thing to think about down the stretch of a close game.
  6. Matchup your substitutions with your opponent's substitutions.
  7. Establish positive relationships between first stringers and reserves.
  8. Work with second team in practice.
  9. Get kids ready to play.
  10. Use different combinations and different starting lineups.
  11. Take kids out of a game on a good note, if possible
  12. Don't yank kids out of a game after a bad pass, missed layup, etc., if possible.
  13. Make all kids feel involved in the game and practice.
  14. Give kids opportunities to see for themselves why they are not getting more time or playing with the first unit.
  15. Talk and explain substitution process when possible.