In his book, Game Strategy and Tactics for Basketball: Preparing to Win the Sideline Battle, coach Kevin Sivils discusses how to plan strategy and tactics for basketball for an entire season or an individual game. Coaches often focus on X’s and O’s and overlook how and when a particular offense or defense should be applied and used during a game. Sometimes, though, getting a win comes down to making the right calls when substituting your basketball team’s reserves.

Here’s a look at two rules of substituting to win your basketball games!

Substituting to Win in Basketball

The first rule of substituting in basketball to win is that you as the coach must know your team inside and out. You must know each player’s strengths and weaknesses and how each of their skill sets mesh with those of their teammates. Without this thorough understanding, effective substituting is a crap shoot at best!

The second rule of substituting to win is easier to understand, yet for many, much harder to put into practice. That rule simply says that any and all substitutions must only be made to improve a team’s chances to win the game. In other words, until the game is decided beyond a shadow of a doubt, you shouldn’t play someone (anyone) just to play him! Stay out of the grey area!

It shouldn’t matter how much you like him or that he hasn’t played very much the last couple games. Also, it shouldn’t matter that his mom is the president of your booster club. It shouldn’t even matter how hard he has worked in practice lately. The only thing that should matter is if he can help your team win!

Related: A Half Court Offense Drill To Emphasize Defense


Coach Unplugged Podcast:

Ep 1577 Subbing and Game of Runs

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