I have been receiving a ton feedback about how many plays in a game is fair vs starters or Coach’s children playing most of the game. Here is my take on what’s fair from my viewpoint. First let me say, life is inherently unfair so our starting point is already unfair. Plus nothing in life is free, one must work for what they want.
Perfect practice play equals game play is what a good / fair coach is looking for in a player. If you desire your child to be on a team with a fair and knowledgeable coach then you must prepare to find this coach prior to the football season. Ask around and find two or three coaches that are recommended. Call them and speak with them in detail about your needs and desires. You should also go watch their games and practices. They may invite your child to a practice and give you feedback about where they see your son on the their team. You may not like the answers from a few or all of the coaches but at least you know what is going on and have some control over the situation. By doing your homework prior to the season, you will give your child a head start on the team. If you are in a league that just places your child on a team, check out the league and make sure a majority of parents are happy. I would also make sure the league has a 8 to 20 minimum play rule per game otherwise your child may sit on the bench if they are not a starter.
Now that your child is on a team. The most important time on a team is practice not the games. Practice time is more important than game time. Players learn the sport and how to play the game during PRACTICE. If you are late or missing practices, do not expect your child to play in the games beyond the minimum amount. Also, usually there is 4 to 6 hours of practice a week and only about an hour long game. So there is more time to learn the game during practice than during the game. Yes, we all want our children to play during the games, but if they are not, make sure they are getting reps in practice and understanding the concepts. I know many parents are upset because they have very athletic kids but they are not playing a lot. Then there is another group of parents that their children are not that athletic but have smart kids. To play football you must be both, smart and physical, not one. These attributes will come out at practice and determine who plays in the game.
Most coaches want to win and will play the best players to win. Sometimes, a coach’s son may get to play QB or MLB but if you child is good enough to help the team win, your child will play a majority of the game. Yes, your child should get at least 8 to 15 plays a game but make sure they are doing well at practice. Make sure your child understands the concepts presented at practice and are performing the drills properly. Coaches find starters during practice. We also find starters during the game. So when your child goes into the game for their 8 plays tell them to make the most of it. Shine. If they are not shining during the game then they will probably never be a starter.
Game time is like a report card from practice. If your grades in practice are B+ and above you will probably be a starter or game time player. If you are below a B+ player then you will be second or third string. Parents you must remember your registration fee did not guarantee you child a starting position on the team. Your fee pays for them to learn the game and have fun and your child can do this in practice too not just the game.
If you and your child are not having fun on a team, You can always quit. You can quit during the season or after its over. There is nothing wrong with getting out of a bad situation. I started coaching t-ball because of a bad situation with my oldest son’s coach. I am not a big baseball fan but I decided enough was enough. So if you feel the same way about this season, then get involved and pay the price to make the system work, because nothing is Free.
One last thing, I know there are bad coaches out there that play only their children, favorites and never anyone else. Hopefully these coaches are in the minority. I advocate that coaches should not coach their own children. I actually have more fun coaching when my son’s do not play on my teams. The stress of not trying to play favorites and dealing with parents is mush easier when your child is not involved.
Perfect practice equals a perfect game which almost always leads to a Win. Everything starts at practice not in the game.
Play for Fun and Winning is Funner.
Fort Worth, Texas / Keller