Minimum Play Players, Favoritism, & Parents

I planned to write about defense today, but I received an email last night which begs me to address minimum play players, favoritism and parents in today’s blog post.  My coaches and I rank our players each week and use these rankings to determine who will start and what positions they will play.  I develop a depth chart each week from these rankings.  I do not believe in favoritism.  Our players win a starting position based on intelligence, physical abilities, football skill and football knowledge.  Just because a player is a top starting player and plays a majority of downs, does not equate to favoritism, it equates to smart coaching.  Coaches should field their best talent.

In today’s youth sports, many coaches must weigh fielding the best talent and playing the minimum play players.  How do you weigh the needs of the team above the needs of one to three minimum play players (MPP) and their vocal parents?   This question frustrates me each week.  I want all my players playing every play of the game.  I want all players getting a good rest on the sidelines.  I want everyone to score a touch down.  But the reality is, this is not Drake and Josh afternoon TV.  Some players are not ready to play more than the mandatory minimum plays.  I want to win American Idol but I can’t hold a note.  Should the network force American Idol to allow me to sing at least once in front of National TV audience?  I doubt it.

But many MPP parent’s feel the coaches are playing favorites by not playing thier children more.  I am sure there maybe a minority of coaches playing favorites, but if your child can contribute to the team then your child will play more.  I’ll guarantee it.

One last point that I find surprising.  Why doesn’t anyone talk about the starter who must sit out while someone takes his place?  How do they feel?  Are they upset that we substituted a player in the game that does not do the work required to play the position?  Who is speaking up for the starting player and their feelings?

If I had one wish as a coach, I would wish that all the players on my team were starters.  Now that would solve my problem.  Although, I have 24 players on my team.  Hmmm, I needed to be more specific.  It’s always something!

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  1. My Grand Daughter plays for 8th grade volleyball team! her Coach told her I am only suppose to pick 10 but I kept 12! and she was one that she kept! The first game My Granddaughter asked her why didn’t I get to play? Her response to her was! There is no position for you! Ok her Mother just paid 50 Dollars for her shoes! and There is no position for her! I think that Coach is Wrong! she should have Cut her! The Coach calls her Mother and tells her she told her to prove herself at practice! But yet some of the girls didn’t even have to try for the team! You have Teachers Kids, Principals kids and teachers pets the constantly get to play! And that is what makes you Angry!!!!!

    1. I guess your grand daughter and her family should proud that the coach thought that much of her to place her on the team even though he had 12 spots. The coach probably wants her to get a ton of practice and be ready for next season. Your grand daughter is getting an opportunity that 13 and above are not getting and that is to train and be on the team. Ive added players to a team to let them get some training and learn how to become the player I want them to become. And many like you are upset that I wanted to spend my time working with their child even though they did not play in the game. Players become champions in practice not in the games. They learn how to play through drills and practice. Be happy and grateful that someone felt like your grand daughter has some talent and that the coach is willing to spend their valuable time with and train. Stop complaining. She needs to get her reps in practice and learn more about the game then prove herself and be ready for next season or she can play Xbox or look at Instagram all afternoon on the couch. I would prefer her to play at practice and get her reps working out and being healthy. Take her shoes back if baby does not like new shoes. Be grateful and not hateful.

  2. This isn’t always the case. We have 4 coaches on my son’s 5th grade football team. 3 of them have kids on the team who play every down and every minute of the game. My son, along with others, barely get playing time. 2 games in and my son has played 4 downs is all. Maybe a total of 2 minutes. That’s in 64 minutes of game time. My son is athletic and fast. He’s 75 pounds. I am so sick of the favoritism that goes on. Especially at this level. My son loves football, but is talking about quitting. He says that he doesn’t feel like he’s part of the team. This infuriates me that his love for the sport is being snuffed out by these coaches. Every kid should have plenty of playing time. I have coached wrestling for 20 years and never played that favorite card and never will. This level should be about developing every kid on this team. It is not about wins and losses at all. A good coach’s philosophy is to develop kids from the beginning of the season until the end, the best that they can. Period. Not playing kids because of favoritism absolutely goes against this. Also… I am now the jerk because I confronted the guy who oversees the youth football leagues. Im not sorry. That not developing youths. That demoralizing and just looks to them as though they are a detriment to the team.

    1. Look I understand your frustration, my youngest son on his first tackle team was a backup QB behind the HC son. He only went in the game for his minimum plays. It was upsetting. He did not play on that team again due to that issue. Some coaches will play players and others will not. Sometimes, You must find better coaching.

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