On 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 did not suggest Soccer…
Professional Basketball coaches have a defined strategy for substitution patterns. I am fairly positive I said strategy not seat of the pants execution. So, what’s your strategy?
There are types of decision that fall under this category. First, there are these selections that could be decided earlier than the actual game, and secondly those who arise throughout the course of a game.
Before the game the Coach must determine the parameters of the substitution strategies. Questions that the Head Coach and all the Assistants Coaches need to determine is perhaps a little more complex than you might initially expect. The Game goes to be hectic enough without compounding the confusion with disagreements or differences of opinion while the game goes on. These can only deteriorate the player’s trust within the Coaching Staff.
1. Which Coach or Coaches on the bench will make substitutions?
a. Most HS Teams should not have a novel coach for the box like many faculty programs have. Figuring out who will send within the lines as well as unique position players is key on your bench organization, 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 just isn’t 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. Maybe you are a high school program that does not have a pure three-man defensive midfield, but probably you may need a powerful athlete, not great with the stick who might presumably be an effective rider or defensive midfielder when combined with a LSM and the perfect midfielder on a line. Or presumably when you substitute your fifth Attack player or fifth defender you wish to have them play with of the starters.
3. What’s your priority for lots of players enjoying in the game?
a. It has always been my strategy to play all or as many players as doable in every game. However the strategy might surprise you. I like to substitute a lot of the Bench in the first quarter, and predominantly within the first half. I learned this lesson by watching the kid’s body language on the bench as an observer moderately than as a coach. Really, one year I had to play many freshmen and sophomores and as soon as we get over the initial “Deer within the Headlights” section it shall be OK.
b. Players that count on to have a great likelihood of playing within the game follow significantly harder and are far better at paying shut attention in practice. Not to point out they are going to be significantly more prepared (since lots of it is mental anyway) do you have to want them on account of injury issues.
c. Players which have played even 30 seconds to a minute or two 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 moment or , they too grow to be engaged with the youthful or less skilled players.
e. It certain adjustments the load of the terms “Team” and “we”.
Finally, as the Head Coach I would strongly recommend that both you as well as the Assistants are CLEARLY on the same page. The day before the game take a number of moments to debate as a coaching unit who is perhaps earning a little more playing time and have a definitive strategy for making that happen.
So typically Coaches get to the top 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 about the selections or lack of substitutions. Has this happened to you?
The game is much too hectic, make a plan, and then make a plan to implement the plan. Or ask an Assistant to make sure to remind you in the first quarter of the plan. Getting these types of substitutions out of the way within 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 find you had more ‘players’ than you expected.
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