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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2016, 00:38 

Posts: 2
Hi, I have been coaching youth basket ball now for about 10 years, I often read this forum and have purchased most of the dvd's eBooks etc from Breakthrough Bb but the latest book I'm reading now just let the kids Play by Bob Bigelow really changed my thinking when it comes to players sitting on the bench verses game time. In the last few years numbers for youth basket ball in country area's are dwindling to the point where we may not have age groups for representative basketball. One of the major factors is at this level with the talent pool diminishing we may take 10 players away but there skills vary dramatically so as a coach we want to win so I play the strongest five with limited court time for the benched players, travelling away up to 10hrs you can imagine the parents and the kids which are getting limited game time. My kids no longer play and my goal for a while now has been to develop kids keeping as many as possible playing. So just after Christmas I implemented equal playing time within reason. I tell you I was not prepared for what followed the parents of the children that normally get most court time were upset and some of their kids were crying as well feeling they were cheated and this went on for the whole week I tried 5 on 5 off but that did not seem to flow , tried some other scenarios would appreciate any ideas to try going forward. Regards Tom.

PostPosted: 07 Feb 2016, 11:51 
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Depends on lots of factors... number of players, number of games played, age, past promises and expectations, etc, etc.

I think communication with parents and players ahead of time is important. For example, I send out this letter at beginning of year to avoid surprises or frustrations.

I believe good communication helps quite a bit. Changing how you do things mid-season will probably upset people... especially when it comes to playing time.

Personally I try to find equal opportunities for all my players so all have them have chances to develop. For example, our 5th girls team has 12 players. As you imagine, skill level and mentality varies. I mix up our rosters throughout the year and sub in a way to try and challenge every player... our most skilled and aggressive player need chances to play either against top 5th grade teams or play up against 6th graders. Our less skilled players need to play at more of a mid level and really aren't ready to play up against 6th graders.

By the end of the year, they all get pretty much equal playing time and opportunities. But certain games they get little playing time or don't play at all (I tell them ahead of time).

Next year might be completely different depending on how many players we have, commitment level, etc, etc. I just try to get them all opportunities to play, develop, and play against the right level of competition.

Jeff Haefner

PostPosted: 07 Feb 2016, 20:56 

Posts: 899
Jeff brings up a valid point with the communication up front which can reduce frustrations as the season goes along. If you've been subbing a certain way and then do a 180, that might get people a bit excited.

You posted in the 13 and up area, so I assume these kids are 7th/8th graders? A lot depends on your league set-up and the landscape of your basketball scene. I'm in a bigger city, so the choices at 7th/8th are abundant. There are several leagues with various levels, but it's crystal clear once you tryout out for a competitive team how playing time works.

If you're in a more competitive setting, I'm more in the camp of playing the kids who earned their playing time and going with the better players. However, like Jeff said, I'm always looking for ways to get the players who aren't as skilled playing time. That could be during blowouts or against teams that aren't as strong.


PostPosted: 08 Feb 2016, 05:25 

Posts: 2
Thanks for the info guys. I now have a way forward and you are both right about communicating up front something that I should have done. Our comp is the third highest youth level in the state so I agree with what coach Rob is saying about the players earning game time. Our domestic comp is where equal game time would be appropriate. Thanks for the link to the letter lots of great info and I feel more comfortable going forward understanding that the level of competition the girls are playing in is to develop players with possibly advancing to higher levers as they get older which is why I have put so much time into improving my knowledge to coach at this level and higher. Playing the less developed kids with blowout games or teams that aren't as Strong makes perfect sense. To be honest I had a good bunch of parents the last 2 years but the recent comp they invited a local team basically so they don't have a bye in that age group no one put there hand up to coach so I withdrew from coaching a state team and offered to coach the local team, the girls meet for the first time one week before the comp and had two training session before we played in what is meant to be the best youth teams in Aus, hence equal playing time for development our season doesn"t start till March but experiencing that week rattled my confidence lots of dominant parents with their own child's interest at heart certainly not the teams but your right I have to coach my game end of story.

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