At the risk of sounding like a wimpy coach I am going to go the sport of Professional Basketball as a metaphor. Think that is a bad thought? Well not less than I didn’t recommend Soccer…
Professional Basketball coaches have a defined strategy for substitution patterns. I am pretty sure I said strategy not seat of the pants execution. So, what is your strategy?
There are two types of choice that fall under this category. First, there are those decisions that is likely to be determined before the actual game, and secondly those that come up in the course of the course of a game.
Before the game the Coach needs to decide the parameters of the substitution strategies. Questions that the Head Coach and all the Assistants Coaches need to determine might be a little more complex than you might initially expect. The Game is going to be hectic sufficient without compounding the confusion with disagreements or variations of opinion while the game is going on. These can only deteriorate the player’s trust in the Coaching Staff.
1. Which Coach or Coaches on the bench will make substitutions?
a. Most HS Groups do not have a unique coach for the box like many school programs have. Figuring out who will send in the lines as well as unique position players is key to your bench group, substituting on “the fly” is settle forable, while coaching “on the fly is not.”
2. Are we going to substitute as units or lines or as individual players?
a. This is just not as simple as you might expect. Many Coaches have moved away from rigid substitutions of middie lines with the advent of LSM players as well as defensive midfielders. Perhaps you’re a high school program that does not have a pure three-man defensive midfield, but probably you might need a robust athlete, not great with the stick who may possibly be an efficient rider or defensive midfielder when mixed with a LSM and the best midfielder on a line. Or possibly while you substitute your fifth Attack player or fifth defender you need to have them play with two of the starters.
3. What’s your priority for lots of players enjoying within the game?
a. It has always been my strategy to play all or as many players as attainable in every game. But the strategy may surprise you. I like to substitute many of the Bench in the first quarter, and predominantly within the first half. I discovered this lesson by watching the kid’s body language on the bench as an observer fairly than as a coach. Really, one 12 months I had to play many freshmen and sophomores and once we get over the initial “Deer in the Headlights” section it might be OK.
b. Players that count on to have an excellent chance of enjoying in the game follow significantly harder and are much better at paying shut consideration in practice. To not point out they are going to be significantly more prepared (since a lot of it is mental anyway) should you need them as a result of injury issues.
c. Players that have performed even 30 seconds to a minute or in the first half are aggressive, engaged vocal supporters for the remainder of the game.
d. Once the starters realize this shift in your tradition as well as realize they’re going back within the game in a second or two, they too turn into engaged with the youthful or less skilled players.
e. It positive modifications the burden of the terms “Team” and “we”.
Finally, because the Head Coach I would strongly counsel that both you as well because the Assistants are CLEARLY on the same page. The day earlier than the game take a few moments to debate as a coaching unit who could be incomes a little more playing time and have a definitive strategy for making that happen.
So often Coaches get to the tip of the game and did not have an opportunity to provide players the time they had anticipated to give. And then more typically than not tend to get defensive in regards to the decisions or lack of substitutions. Has this occurred to you?
The game is far too hectic, make a plan, and then make a plan to implement the plan. Or ask an Assistant to make positive to remind you within the first quarter of the plan. Getting these types of substitutions out of the way in the first half takes a lot of pressure off you as a Coach, and reduces the player’s anxieties about “Will I play?” off the table as well. After three or four games you might discover you had more ‘players’ than you expected.
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