How to Ask About Playing Time

Playing time is a common decision factor for a lot of players, coaches are well aware most players want to come into the program with a starting job or play consistent minutes right away.

A better question to ask is, “How many players, at my position, in my signing class, do you plan to sign?”

For starters, no matter what a coach tells you during the recruiting process, there is no such thing as a guaranteed starting job. Never make a decision solely based on this factor because coaches have been known to stretch the truth about playing time. You are usually getting the sugar-coated answer to this question until you sign that NLI (National Letter of Intent) and enroll in school. And honestly, they won’t entirely be sure until they’ve had you go through pre-season workouts and see how you are adjusting being away from home.

Coaches love competitors so they know that MOST of their signees are going to be thinking they are deserving of significant and early playing time. But, coaches also get funny if a player comes off as selfish—which is how some coaches may read that question.

Better ways to address the playing time topic:
– “How many players, at my position, in my signing class, do you plan to sign?”
– “What role do you see me playing next year?”
– “What is the plan for my development from HS to freshman year? Freshman year to sophomore year? Upperclassmen years?”
– What does the depth chart look like for my freshman season?

With coaches, you need to take the approach that you are willing to put in the work and do anything to help the TEAM win, not necessarily focus on your minutes or stats.

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