I was looking through my web stats this morning and came across this search engine search phrase; Why bench your best player during a scrimmage? Nice, I have an idea for a blog post youth football article. I am sure this is from an upset parent of a stud youth football player that does not understand the concepts behind a scrimmage.
A scrimmage is a controlled practice in a game environment to evaluate every player in game situations against opposing players that are unknown to them and maybe more skilled than their teammates. Coaches scrimmage to test the limits of their player’s skills before the season starts and games count on your win loss record. Your team is only as good as your weakest player, so coaches use scrimmages to evaluate every player not just the best players. We also use scrimmages to give our weaker less experienced players much needed experience because the best players do not need to get beat up in a scrimmage once we know they are studs.
So just like in the NFL pre-season, we bench our super stars to give them rest, evaluate other players and give our less experienced players much needed game situation experience. Why waste a great opportunity to evaluate talent by just playing your best players, what does that tell me as a coach? I already knew they were studs, why not see if their back-up can play if the stud gets hurt in regular season. If I don’t find out during the scrimmage when do I find out?
I personally use scrimmages as practices and try to evaluate my least experienced players. I will usually play my starters 10 plays on offense and defense and then bench the starters for less experience players so I can evaluate my entire team.
I think many parents, including myself at times, need to realize that certain sports are team sports not individual sports.
Remember to play for fun and winning is funner,