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PostPosted: 13 Apr 2018, 13:39 

Posts: 214
Looking for advice/methods/theories on my player rotation for my aau team. (8th grade girls)

I have two players who are our top tier. Know the game, can score in a variety of ways, can handle the ball, handle pressure and understand defense.

The next 3-4 players are above average.3 are solid offensively and defensively. Can shoot well, drive a little and play solid defense. The 4th is more of a banger, defends, rebounds, scores inside and on putbacks.

The next 2-3 are about average. Ballhandling needs work, defense is decent. But they are tough and they compete.

Last player is a work in progress. Nice shooter but plays soft and needs to toughen up on D.

What are some common schools of thought on managing playing time for competitive teams? We try not to have players 1 and 2 off the court at the same time very often. You can notice the drop off. Each player is working hard and we put a huge focus on skill development, so I do believe eventually things won't be such a big issue, but for now we roll with what we have.

Does anybody have a common rotation pattern they stick with (game and foul situations not withstanding)?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: 14 Apr 2018, 05:55 
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I don't have a great answer for you. With my competitive middle school teams we usually do one of three things:

1) We play to win. Parents know this is a ahead of time that we're in a red tournament where playing time might be minimal for some.

2) Playing time is almost completely even. I have some teams where we have no weak links and everyone has earned opportunities. Or maybe it's white tournament that I dictate is a developmental tournament and playing time is mostly equal as long as kids play hard and deserve it based on theire effort. I have spreadsheet I can email you that shows how I come up with even rotations yet keep us competitive. Just let me know.

3) I sub by feel. I might have a top 3 that I want in the game as much as I can. 3 that are average. and 3 that are below average. I just go by feel. If it's a tough game, those top 3 might play more. I figure out combinations that work well together. I also keep in back of my mind I'm trying to develop these players. Sometimes we lose unpurpose to develop and teach lessons. Sometimes we try to win so we advance and everyone plays more. It's just a feel thing where you are weighing lots of factors in your head.

This is what I do most often. But I am prone to mistakes. Sometimes I send wrong messages to kids and take them out for no good reason. Sometimes I don't get kids enough playing time accidentally. So I have to be aware of and communicate with players to avoid frustrations. I also feel it would help tremendously if I had someone keeping track of playing time on sidelines. So I can check it and avoid accidentally gipping a playing out of time on the court.

I don't know if this is helpful or not. In 8th grade it's about development... sometimes that means you need to play to win. Other times you need to play more evenly. I think there is a balance and if you always play to win you are leaving out young kids that might develop some day. That is why we dictate certain tournaments are "developmental" (white) and other tournaments are "play to win" (red).

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Jeff Haefner
http://www.BreakthroughBasketball.com


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PostPosted: 17 Apr 2018, 10:24 

Posts: 214
Thanks. It's always nice to hear how others do things.

We play to win, but I try to do that through developing as many players as possible and making the team as deep as possible. Not there yet with a couple players.

I'd love to see that spreadsheet. I have one of my own, but I'm curious to see what others use.

You can send to mtomoletz@gmail.com


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PostPosted: 20 Apr 2018, 11:46 

Posts: 899
JeffHaefner wrote:
I don't have a great answer for you. With my competitive middle school teams we usually do one of three things:

1) We play to win. Parents know this is a ahead of time that we're in a red tournament where playing time might be minimal for some.

2) Playing time is almost completely even. I have some teams where we have no weak links and everyone has earned opportunities. Or maybe it's white tournament that I dictate is a developmental tournament and playing time is mostly equal as long as kids play hard and deserve it based on theire effort. I have spreadsheet I can email you that shows how I come up with even rotations yet keep us competitive. Just let me know.

3) I sub by feel. I might have a top 3 that I want in the game as much as I can. 3 that are average. and 3 that are below average. I just go by feel. If it's a tough game, those top 3 might play more. I figure out combinations that work well together. I also keep in back of my mind I'm trying to develop these players. Sometimes we lose unpurpose to develop and teach lessons. Sometimes we try to win so we advance and everyone plays more. It's just a feel thing where you are weighing lots of factors in your head.

This is what I do most often. But I am prone to mistakes. Sometimes I send wrong messages to kids and take them out for no good reason. Sometimes I don't get kids enough playing time accidentally. So I have to be aware of and communicate with players to avoid frustrations. I also feel it would help tremendously if I had someone keeping track of playing time on sidelines. So I can check it and avoid accidentally gipping a playing out of time on the court.

I don't know if this is helpful or not. In 8th grade it's about development... sometimes that means you need to play to win. Other times you need to play more evenly. I think there is a balance and if you always play to win you are leaving out young kids that might develop some day. That is why we dictate certain tournaments are "developmental" (white) and other tournaments are "play to win" (red).


^ Spot on and covers pretty much everything with clear communication being a key. This is the best and most challenging part of coaching in my opinion. Lots of moving parts in a game and when it all comes together (just like the 18th hole in golf), it keeps you coming back for more.

Love that, "sometimes we lose on purpose". Totally get that. I've left kids in games that were struggling with confidence just to help them power through.

Never a perfect art of finding the right combination on the floor and getting enough play-time for everyone. But? That's why we get the big bucks. :D

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