Everyone on your team should want more playing time. There is nothing wrong with it. I want everyone on my team to want more playing time. No one should be satisfied with the minutes they are playing. I want guys who want to play all 40. If you don’t want to play more, you probably don’t love competition enough. I’m not sure a guy who is satisfied with how much he plays will continue to get better or help the team win.
The key to the whole thing with playing time is how you handle it. How you react to how much you play. It can manifest itself in so many different ways.
We can win with the guy who brings a chip on his shoulder to practice every day because he wants to play more.
We can’t win with the guy who doesn’t take practice very seriously as a way to mentally handle the fact that he isn’t playing enough.
We can win with the guy who comes in and asks me what he needs to do to play more, and then shows up every day in practice trying to do it.
We can’t win with the guy who sulks on the bench late in the first half because he hasn’t gotten into the game yet.
We can win with the guy who gets in early to get shots up with a manager or a coach each day before practice.
We can’t win with the guy who is the last person out of the training room right before practice starts because he’s not happy.
We can win with the guy who makes a mistake or two because he’s a little too hyped up when he gets into the game.
We can’t win with the guy who doesn’t want to go in late in the game because he’s unhappy he didn’t play earlier.
We can win with the guy who tries to win every drill each day with the blue team to prove me wrong.
We can’t win with the guy who doesn’t compete because he’s not on the white team.
We can win with the guy who lays everything he’s got on the line regardless of how he feels about his minutes.
We can’t win with the guy who’s afraid to compete because he’s concerned about what others might think about his minutes.
We can win with the guy who’s locked in on the scout team no matter how much he’s been playing.
We can’t win with the guy who’s disengaged during film and won’t look at the coach during the scout.
We can win with the guy who is loud in practice because he wants people to notice him more, to prove he should play.
We can’t win with the guy who shuts it down emotionally and goes through the motions because he doesn’t think his minutes will change.
We can win with the guy who stays connected to his teammates and tries to keep guys fighting no matter how much he’s playing.
We can’t win with the guy who gets cynical in the locker room and attracts others to join him on a negative path.
I want you to want to play more. I want everyone to want to play more. That’s what competing within a team is all about. But how you handle your minutes, and how you respond to the amount of time you get – that will tell me if we can win with you.