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We can't all be super-stars, or even starters. We don't all have great shooting skills or ball-handling skills. But we can still be important "spokes in the wheel". We can still be very important to the success of our team. We are important "role players".
Coaches love good role players, because they know better than anyone that there will be times in a game, or during the season, that they will have to get good play, some good minutes from their bench personnel. Usually, you cannot be a championship team with just five good players. You need important players who can come off the bench and play quality minutes.
What makes a great role player?
A role player could be a starter who has a special skill... such as being a great defensive player, or a great rebounder, or a point guard who can handle the ball and pass.
A role player is often the player who comes off the bench. He/she understands and accepts his/her role on the team. While on the bench, the good role player keeps his/her head in the game, and observes what's going on, where the weaknesses are in the defense, which opposing players are "killing us", what's happening on the boards, etc. He/she is "ready to go" when the coach calls.
A good role player will come off the bench and really hustle on defense, go for loose balls, get the important rebounds. The substitute player can be aggressive, since fouling out is less of a concern. The good role player will not hurt the team with turnovers, or weak defense. By doing these things, he/she will give the team a lift. Many times I have seen the momentum of a game change because of the renewed "spirit" and energy that a role player brings into the game.
He/she is able to play quality minutes when a starter needs a rest, or is in foul trouble.
My former coaching associate used to advise our bench players to "make a difference"... not just go into the game and run aimlessly up and down the floor, but play hard, hustle and "make a difference"... good advice.
The role player understands that "it's not who starts the game, but who can finish it!"
The role player hustles in practice and works hard, and is not a complainer (about playing time). Rather, he/she has a positive attitude, encourages teammates, and understands his/her importance to the team, and the importance of his/her contributions. The good role player realizes that his/her "time will come". This really takes a special person, because most of us want to be starters... it takes great maturity to be a good role player.
Here is a poem, a tribute to the "Role Player".
THE CHAMPION'S CHAMPION by Dr. Bill Welker
|"He's the one loved by his peers,
Though on the bench -- he always cheers,
He keeps the first man on his toes,
And never quits - why, no one knows."
"He puts the champion where he's at,
By making him work to earn his plaque,
His name's not found in big headlines,
But he's always there come practice time."
|"I often wonder -- were the champion second team,
Would he keep on trying or lose his gleam,
Would he give his all if there was no fame,
And not give up for the good of the game."
"There are no questions in this man's mind,
The Champion's Champion -- in life -- will do just fine."
Many more basketball DVDs at the Coach's Clipboard Basketball DVD Store!
This page lists and categorizes a number of DVDs focused on the mental aspect of sports in general and basketball. Included topics are confidence building, goal setting, sports psychology, motivation, mental training, stress control, and team building. For any athlete today, whether it is elite-level, professional, recreational, and even youth athletes, successful performances cannot simply be attributed to superior physical performance. Concepts such as mental imagery, goal setting, motivation training, team building, and relaxation are the basis for strong mental preparation whether it be for a team or an individual sport, for a coach or an athlete.
Becoming a Champion Basketball Player: Five-Star's Individual Improvement Program
with IMG Basketball Academy Program Coordinator, Mike Moreau.
This is the same Five-Star basketball skills program that has helped LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and over 300 other current NBA players make the most of their skills. This legendary program includes 25 drills and is broken down into six areas of development: Moves Around the Basket, Moves Off the Dribble, Moves Off the Catch, Defense Footwork, Shooting Footwork, and Game Conditioning. In each area, Coach Moreau shares the essential drills that will help improve your game during the off-season or pre-season... (more info)
Becoming a Champion Basketball Player: Five-Star's Training Program for Elite Athletes
with The Ultimate Training Performance Center (NY) Director, Pete McLean If you want to become a better basketball player, you need to train at an intense level --- if you are serious about your training there isn't a better program to use than this legendary Five-Star program used by Steve Francis, Stephon Marbury, and many other NBA Superstars on their way to becoming "Champions"! The training regimen featured in this DVD can be used by young athletes just starting out, or by the most proven athlete who is attempting to move up to the next level... (more info)
Becoming a Champion Basketball Player: The Perimeter Player
with Five-Star Basketball Coach/Instructor and Memphis Grizzlies NBA Scout, Scott Adubato
This excellent DVD, featuring instructional techniques and methodology employed at the legendary Five-Star camps, will show you what it takes to be a "Champion" perimeter player - emphasizing the ability to create and convert open shots, getting open on the wing, using screens, and catching and shooting in transition. Drill sets include the "triple threat" series for spot-shooting, transition shooting, catching and shooting on the move, creating space and shots, scoring moves and pull-ups, changing speed and direction, getting open on the wings with V-cuts, L-cuts, and circle cuts, using screens, and relocating. Through these excellent drill sets... (more info)
5-Star: Becoming a Champion Basketball Player: The Post Player
with Five-Star Basketball Coach/Instructor and L.A. Clippers NBA Scout, Evan Pickman. This excellent DVD, featuring instructional techniques and methodology employed at the legendary Five-Star camps, will show you what it takes to be a "Champion" Five-Star post player (Carmelo Anthony, Elton Brand, Brad Miller, and Rasheed Wallace are a few notable Five-Star post player alums)! How to move to get position, how to "play big", how to develop great footwork, how to dominate on the boards, and the keys to finishing strong are all covered... (more info)