How To Go From Starter to Sixth Man?


Do you know there can only be five players on the court for one team? Sometimes you’ll come off the bench, other times you’ll be one of the five who start at tip-off. There are occasions when you have started all the games but find yourself starting to come off the bench. This post is for the player’s who find themselves feeling uncomfortable coming off the bench after starting for so long. Here are my tips to handle this situation like a true player!

Evaluate: Most likely, if you’re in a competitive league, there is a reason why you’re coming off the bench now. Don’t complain about it, reflect back on your past games and figure out why you’re not starting anymore. Maybe your not playing any D, or maybe you slack in practice, or maybe your not finding the open man…whatever it may be, try to correct it.

It doesn’t matter: Just like the old basketball cliche, “It doesn’t matter who starts, its who finishes.” This is very true, if you’re in the game in the 4th quarter when it’s a close game then you have nothing to worry about. The coach sees you as one of his or her go-to players. No one remembers who was on the court when the ball was thrown up during the opening tip-off. The onlookers remember the players who last end the game.

Use it as motivation: If you care so much about starting, then work harder than all the starters on your team. Don’t let coming off the bench keep you down. Stay after practise and take an extra 25 shots. You need to know that there is still time for you to show your coach that you should be a starter.

Think Positive: This is a biggie. Don’t let coming off the bench make you into a negative Nancy. Don’t let your body show others that you quit on them. By this I mean not having your head down and shoulders slouched, not hustling for loose balls, not acting as you care on the court. Show your coach, teammates, parents that you deserve the starting spot by doing everything and anything to help your team win.

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