Skip to Content

How to Become a Starter On Your Basketball Team

How to Become a Starter On Your Basketball Team

In a regulation game of basketball, a minimum of five players are needed to start the game. These five players, playing the point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center positions will start the beginning of the game and commence the tip-off.

However, with 48 minutes in a regulation NBA game, it is simply too difficult for any one player to play for the full duration of the game. Therefore, an additional seven players are needed to complete the full roster.

These seven additional players, seated on the bench at the start of the game, are known as bench players. And if you are currently one of these seven players who start the game from the bench, you may be wondering just how to become a starter on your basketball team.

Becoming a starting basketball player comes with added play time, responsibility, and stardom both on and off the court. However, becoming a starting player is not easy and takes time, commitment to the game, and a relentless pursuit of excellence.

However, if you are looking for some practical ways to become a starting player on your basketball team, then look no further. We’ll provide you with some practical tips and tricks to become a starter and help your team advance further through your respective league.

Who Is A Starting Player In Basketball?

As mentioned above, a regulation game of basketball cannot start or commence without five starting players on the court. Typically, these players play the point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center positions, with each individual player assuming their natural position and role.

On the contrary, a bench player in basketball is a basketball player that does not begin play at the start of the game. Rather, a bench player will be substituted into the game on an as needed basis. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or even for a specialized set of skills that may be needed at a particular moment.

And, in a game of basketball, the starting five players are known as “the starters”. This starting squad is typically made up of the best, most adept, and most efficient basketball players on the court. In addition, this starting five of players will play the majority of time on the court, with few breaks on the bench, during timeouts, and during the half-time to catch their breath.

What Differentiates Starters From Bench Players?

In a game of basketball, all individual players contribute to the overall success and performance of the team. However, certain players may simply be better basketball players then other players.

And, typically, the starting five players, that is the players who start the game and play the majority of the game, are usually more adept and proficient at the game then the players on the bench. However, that is not to say that the bench players are not good players.

On the contrary, being able to make the basketball team and to be able to provide the additional backup, resources, and basketball excellence that a team needs, still qualifies bench players as excellent basketball players.

However, what really differentiates a starting player from one on the bench is overall basketball efficiency. That is, the starting players understand and execute their roles and their positions above that of their peers and colleagues, specifically those on the bench.

The starting five players are typically extremely adept at playing their given position and are able to keep up with the pace of the game. In addition, many starting players are typically extremely proficient in one or more stat lines within the game.

That is, the starting point guard may be an excellent dribbler and passer and the starting power forward may be an extremely versatile rebounder and shooter from within the three-point arc. Whatever it may be, those starting five players have fully equipped themselves to be proficient at their given position on the court.

How to Become a Starting Player in Basketball

There are a plethora of reasons why someone would want to become a starting player versus one that comes off the bench. For starters, starting players typically garner the most minutes played during a game. In addition, starting players are typically the best players on the team and garner the most respect from other players on the court.

Similarly, for someone looking to advance their basketball career and make it to the NBA, being a starter in their high school or college basketball team will provide them with greater visibility and playing time. This visibility will be noticed by NBA scouts looking to future recruits and standout players.

However, if you are currently coming off the bench and would like some practical tips and tricks to become a starting player, below we’ve outlined a few ways to do so.

  • Come to practice early – a simple and easy way to show your dedication to the sport is to show up to basketball practice early. Coming 15 to 20 minutes early shows the head coach and the coaching staff your seriousness and dedication to the sport and the game. In addition, when you arrive early, be sure to help the staff get the practice facility ready and prepared. Once completed, begin your own personal practice routines and sessions to get warmed up before the rest of your team arrives.
  • Come to practice prepared – similarly, when you do get to practice, be prepared. Be sure to have drank copious amounts of hydrating liquids, including water and drinks with electrolytes. Be sure to be in uniform in time for practice and be sure to complete some practice warmups before the start of practice.
  • Brush Up On Your Basketball Fundamentals – one of the easiest ways to become a better basketball player is to brush up on your basketball fundamentals. From dribbling, to passing, to shooting, to rebounding, brushing up on those skills will make you a better player and a more likely starter.
  • Hustle During Practice – similarly, in order to become a starter on your team, you will need to prove your willingness to your basketball coach. A great way to do so is to hustle in every play during practice. From fighting for rebounds, to playing tough defense, to making the extra pass, these skills will showcase your basketball IQ and make you a more all-around player.
  • Identify Your Weaknesses – one of the best ways to become a better basketball player is to identify your weaknesses. By being honest with yourself on where you are lacking and can improve, you’ll be able to focus on those areas and become a better player.
  • Speak to your coaches – in addition to identifying your own weaknesses, speak to your coaches on what weaknesses they find in your game. Take detailed notes and look to improve upon those recommendations during your own time.
  • Find a basketball mentor – similarly, a basketball mentor can help you to better hone in on your basketball skillsets. Find a local basketball trainer or mentor or coach to guide you and help you to develop your skillsets.
  • Watch basketball film – lastly, peruse YouTube for basketball related skills videos. These videos will help you to better understand and master the basics and fundamentals of the game and will help you to improve your overall understanding of the position you play and the expertise which you should have.