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!