‘Reserve’ is one of the most underrated positions in basketball. It is one that requires patience, character and discipline more than the starting assignment, which anyone can handle. This is the player who in some cases may not have had the chance to run a play during training yet expected to be perfect in the game; the player who little focus is shown because the starters put on a series of marvelous performances and are therefore of more potential. Best case scenario, reserves get branded the ‘role’ player. Sadly, part of being a role player mostly involves not playing at all. Being in a competitive team the issue of playing time is inevitable.
It takes mental toughness to be out almost all game every game. You inevitably get the feeling of being an afterthought and how you deal with that depicts your true character. How you manage good times does not entirely show what you are really made of. This aside, given a chance to play, you cannot afford to think like a loser. It is the time to set emotions aside and focus on your game. It is fine to be unhappy but how you deal with it is what matters. Listen more, work harder and smarter, be more supportive to fellow team mates and watch what comes with that. Lazy chaps never achieved much in life.
So what are your options? Most common action by players is moving to a new team, hoping for higher chances in the starting lineup (Especially because you cannot go from grace to grass-lower division. Heck, the hood you come from knows you are the best player in your team and the premier league perhaps). This might be good for you depending on the circumstances, yet the problem is not entirely solved. A much better option would be the lower division. This will give you an opportunity to reevaluate yourself as a player, work on your growth (before joining the big boys once again) considering the reduced pressure. Last option, stay and grind. The true test of how good you are comes when things don’t really go your way.
The writer is a player in the Kenya Basketball Premier League. If you want to blog for us send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org