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PostPosted: 09 Mar 2010, 13:57 

Posts: 21
I have a question regarding what is typical for middle school coaching approaches.

My daughter recently made her middle school bball team. Tryouts were very competitive, and she made the 7th grade team as a 6th grader. She has a year of rec ball experience, but that's it. She is a natural ball handler and naturally athletic.

The coach is new this year and has never coached girls. He just got done coaching the boys' team to a division championship. I've heard from other parents that his policy is to only play his starters, even when there is a lopsided lead.

My daughter started the first two games, played poorly the first Q of the second game (3 turnovers), and got benched. The coach told her he was saving her for the next game, which is going to be against a tougher team. However, at the last practice he announced the starting line up for this next game, and she's not in it.

So I have a feeling that b/c of this poor quarter that she played, she's now benched. And from what I've heard about this coach, the benching may be for the rest of the season. If this will be the case as we go forward, I think it's a little extreme for playing one bad quarter.

My husband, who has a lot of team sports experience, says this sort of approach is not unreasonable. I'd like to get thoughts from members on this forum. Thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: 09 Mar 2010, 14:59 

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Location: Kentucky
I think you are right to be concerned about your daughter in any situation but also in basketball. However I would be careful listening to other parents about coaches. You may only be getting one side of the story.
I would honestly wait and see what happens. Encourage your daughter to stay positive and continuing working in practice. Have your daughter even put in extra time with her coach and see what she can work on.
However I have heard of coaches using this type of practice. I don't necessarily agree with it but it does occasionally happen.

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PostPosted: 09 Mar 2010, 15:45 
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I agree with Coach Hayden - give the coach a chance and see how this plays out. You (and the coaches here) need to find out a little more about what's going on. It could be THIS coaches personal philosophy about who and how many players he will utilize in games. AND whatever you do, don't listen to other parents, judge this situation for yourself. (misery loves company - they might be unhappy for whatever reason, don't let them taint your judgement.)
How deep does he go into his bench? Are there other 6th graders getting playing time? You should feel proud that you daughter as a sixth grader made the 7th grade team.
As a Varsity coach I can tell you that Seniors got priority over underclassmen UNLESS they were head and shoulders better... it goes with the territory and to me is the fair way of dealing with things.
He sees your daughter all week long in practices and he has a pretty good handle as to what she can or can not do. So he is probably making those decisions on what he sees all week. Encourage your daughter to keep working hard, maybe even ask the coach what she needs to work on. Tell her to be the BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER on the floor.... handle the ball well and let the shots come to her.
He might have a quick hook but I cant judge him since I cant see how he coaches.... he must know the game since he won a Division Championship... as long as he isn't being verbally abusive to the girls, then I suggest that you watch the games and cheer on the team. I DO understand as a parent that you want the best for your daughter so I wish you and your daughter well.... enjoy the season and hopefully things will work out.


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PostPosted: 09 Mar 2010, 16:05 

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Thank you very much for the feedback. We will definately wait and see how this plays out---my husband did have a talk with her last night about talking to Coach and asking what she can improve upon, and about really hustling during practice.

I agree about not going by the hearsay of the other parents--my only concern is that the boys' team parents got so frustrated about lack of playing time during the season that they banded together and went to the superintendent of the school district to voice their concerns about the coaching. When I'd heard that, I thought their reaction was excessive, but now I feel like I'm getting a bit of a glimmer of what they were getting at.

The first two games (where she started), the entire bench did play. However, the coach has flat out told the team that the bench will not play this next game at all. Since she was essentially told she'd be starting the game, then found out otherwise, she's understandably disappointed. I can't argue with the fact that she didn't perform as well as the other girls last game, but I'm just afraid it's going to translate into absolutely no playing time the rest of the season.

Honestly, I didn't expect her to play much as a 6th grader to begin with, and was actually surprised she was a starter in the first two games. There are a lot of good players on the team. I know she's going to learn a lot from the whole experience, and I'm trying to keep it in perspective. I really appreciate the feedback from both of you, b/c I didn't play team sports as a kid, and really have no idea what a typical middle school team experience is.


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PostPosted: 09 Mar 2010, 16:27 
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I agree about not going by the hearsay of the other parents--my only concern is that the boys' team parents got so frustrated about lack of playing time during the season that they banded together and went to the superintendent of the school district to voice their concerns about the coaching. When I'd heard that, I thought their reaction was excessive, but now I feel like I'm getting a bit of a glimmer of what they were getting at.

I guess the next question I would ask is - " what is the goal of their basketball program and specifically the 7th grade team since that feeds the 8th. " At this level it is a little more about winning but the primary goal should be to get them ready to play high school ball... both boys and girls programs.

What defense are the girls playing and what defense did the boys play?


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PostPosted: 09 Mar 2010, 16:31 
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I agree with everything Coach Sars & Coach Hayden said.

However, if the coach tells the bench players that they are not going to play, I think that is ridiculous. This isn't the NBA Finals. This is middle school sports. Everybody should get FAIRLY equal playing time. Exceptions being tardiness, unexcused absences, goofing off all of the time, lack of hustle, and any other action that is detrimental to the team.

I believe that under the varsity level (JV and below), coaches should coach to develop players and players play to win the game.

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PostPosted: 09 Mar 2010, 16:32 
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This article explains my viewpoint in a little more detail: http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/coaching/developmental-league.html

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PostPosted: 09 Mar 2010, 16:41 

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Coach Sar wrote:
What defense are the girls playing and what defense did the boys play?


My daughter says they play 2-3 zone defense, which is what the boys played.

JoeHaefner wrote:
However, if the coach tells the bench players that they are not going to play, I think that is ridiculous. This isn't the NBA Finals.
[/quote]

That was kind of my feeling on things.

We're actually going to be going off to the game here in a bit--I will report in on what actually transpires.


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PostPosted: 09 Mar 2010, 17:40 
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My suggestion would be to make the best of this season that you possibly can. Keep a positive attitude and give everyone the benefit of doubt at this point. Then after the season you can evaluate things and decide if you want your child playing for this coach or team.

The cool thing about this, regardless of the coach, is the life lessons that will be learned from this. When confronted with situations like this, kids have the opportunity to learn what it takes to be successful in life.

One way or another, you would hope your daughter learns the importance of staying positive, working hard, being a good teammate, being proactive, talking to the coach, and so on.

Here's a good article for players (and one of the most important things in the article says to take control of the situation by talking with the coach and asking how you can help the team):
http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/players/10-basketball-tips-playing-time.html

At this age level, I don't agree with coaches that use zone, presses, lots of set plays, don't give mostly equal playing time, and don't spend 90% of their time working on fundamentals. But growing up I never had a good coach until high school. They did nothing with fundamentals, played 5 players with pretty much no subs, and really did nothing for my development. But I learned from all the experiences and still love the game of basketball. So it wasn't all bad.

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PostPosted: 09 Mar 2010, 18:14 
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Nash68 and Fellow Colleagues I'm afraid i must agree with Joe, a coach announcing to his kids, and they are kids, that they will NOT play the next game is preposterous. what incentive is this for those who will not play. Why should they give it their all if a week in advance they are informed they will not play. What this guy is doing is sending the wrong message, winning is not everything, its the only thing. And this philosophy is quite obvious noticing that it was mentioned he plays 2-3 zone. My philosophy has always been, if a kid makes a mistake on the floor, leave them in don't pull them immediately it could destroy their confidence. I would rather let the player work through the mistakes thus gaining my confidence in them. Unfortunately, Nash, these type of coaches are plentiful but will rarely make it to the next level. As Coach Sars says, you need to be proud of your daughter for almost starting on a team one year ahead of her age group. If she loves the game she will continue to work and force this coach to play her through her hard work and effort not through constant complaining of other parents and going en mass to the superintendent is a little extreme especially for this level. Coach mac


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