What is acceptable behaviour on the bench or maybe the question should be what is NOT acceptable bench behaviour?
Over the years I have experienced some extremely poor behaviours on the bench but lately a few observations make bench life very interesting. So who do you think should reprimand players not involving themselves in the game? Who should be the person that keeps an eye on the bench. Who should make sure the bench follow team protocol?
Watching an elite basketball game recently I noticed the Manager on constant bench watch. Organising players to cheer and get involved. Telling players not to yell out and coach at players on the court. Assist in creating a positive bench whilst the coach was immersed in the on court activity.
I’ve always taken the view that the coach does and that’s only because I’m sitting there but what if I put to you that the Manager could do this job. Sometimes a poor attitude on the bench can distract a coach and players, also influencing decision making for court time. Some players can bully coaches into putting them on even if it may not be in the best interests of the team.
A good idea is to draft up a team document ‘BENCH PROTOCOL’ with your team. In a group session, together work out what is ok and what is not. Have everyone understand the rules that they themselves have drafted and make sure they all understand the consequences. A consequence is just a slight reminder of behaviour rules from the Manager.
So what is not acceptable:
- Standing up and away from the team
- Sitting by themselves or with friends and family
- Not cheering for your team and sulking
- Talking about other things not related to the game
- Coaching from the sideline
- Negative comments to the umpires
- Laying down (have seen this with some teams)
- Negative comments to team mates and officials
Maybe you have never experienced any of the above and maybe you have. This is just a suggestion to prevent unacceptable bench behaviour and make it part of your season preparation.