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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2019, 09:21 

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So the coach that did 5th/6th grade last year took over the 7/8th team this year. They had 11 or 12 last year and so scheduled only 8 players be available for each game.

This year he wants to do the same thing since he says it worked so well last year. He had a fake "vote" where he stopped it without all of the parents voting once he received the majority.

I told him that you need all bodies you can get for 8th grade because it is different than 6th grade basketball since they could press the whole game and players are more physical.

When we had 10 on the 5/6th team that I coached (his son was in 5th), we lost players to the flu and a foot injury so we were forced to play with less than full strength most games and even had to play 4 vs 5 some games when players were injured during the game.

Then we were able to all of our players back, we magically started winning games and were competing well. We even led the best team in the league (mostly club players) in the last game of the season and they put in their club players at the end in order to beat us.

He says he wants to give more playing time per game for each player, but if you're missing players, doesn't that affect your offense/defense and teamwork since possibly major parts could be missing for each game? And what motivation does a kid have during practice if they're missing the game on the weekend??

Thanks !


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2019, 10:13 
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It all depends on the goals of the program and other details. Is the primary goal to win? To develop players? Both? To get feed into the high school program and develop the high school program?

Depends on the primary goal.... each might call for a different approach.

If the primary goal to win... how many kids you play completely depends on the talent you have. I would want 10 players available.... but if I'm just trying to win... I might play 5 players 90% of the time and only sub 2 players. The other 3 would not play. If all 10 players are equal talent, they probably all play quite a bit. Other factors are rebounding, defense, size, match ups, the offense you run, etc. There are numerous variable to consider when it comes to strategy and tactics.

If my primary goal is to develop the players for the future and then my secondary goal is to win, then I would make sure all 11 players got sufficient playing time, meaningful minutes, and opportunities.

Maybe that means we only take 8 players to games and play them evenly. And rotate 3 players that are out so everyone plays somewhat equal. That is especially appealing when you travel. I love 8 player rotations. I'm not a big fan of 10-11 player rotations. It is very hard to get everyone a lot of playing time, develop a rhythm, and provide meaningful minutes.

Some coaches will play their primary 7 and then put the bottom 4 in for 1-4 minutes a game and act like that's helping the bottom 4. That is a waste and not doing much for those bottom 4... that's not what I'd consider meaningful minutes

If you play 5 games in one day, then having 9-11 players could be nice.

How often do the kids play? How many games each weekend? Do they always have 8 players rosters and have players fill in when kids get sick? Do they travel to tournaments?

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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2019, 10:37 

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We practice 2x a week for 1.5 hours and can have 2-3 games a week. We have 9 games left in the season. The goal for my team is development and learning how to play basketball.

I am not sure what the goal is for his team since they seem to be mostly doing drills without actually applying them during practice except for the last 30 minutes or so where they scrimmage each other.

There are a few players that are obviously better than the rest, but other than that, the rest are about the same level. His main thing is that it is easier for him to know where his players are going on offense/defense since they don't play the same spot on the floor at both ends of the court.


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2019, 14:54 

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It sounds like you're saying he has more than eight players on the team, but only the same eight players get "scheduled" to play in games. Am I reading that correctly? If that's the case, then you are correct, it would be challenging to keep the other 2-3 players motivated during the season and probably isn't the best way to handle that. I'd be more inclined to determine my max # of players, have tryouts, and leave it there.

Running with eight players is the perfect number at that age group for subbing and getting into a flow as a team. Like Jeff, I prefer that if the environment is more competitive and less developmental (i.e., more tournaments, AAU teams). You don't have to worry about equal play time as much and can practice on specific nuances. The obvious drawback, as you pointed out, is when kids get injured, get sick, or into foul trouble. All of which happen.

The big downside, which you also pointed out, is if the program is more of a developmental program. Are we talking about a middle school program or is this through a league of some sort?

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