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Youth sports - question for parents and coaches

Old 05-26-2018, 09:59 PM
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Default Youth sports - question for parents and coaches

I’ve been volunteering to coach kids for years. Oldest is now 12. As they get older, here is the struggle:

11-12 year olds. Rivalry games. Does everyone get equal playing time or do you play the lineup that gives the team the best chance to win? What, collectively, gives the team the best experience?

As a parent of a weaker/younger kid, would you rather see your kid play equal rotation and the team lose, or see your kid play sparingly and bring home a league championship trophy?
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Old 05-26-2018, 11:11 PM
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Present the best team you can.
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Old 05-26-2018, 11:30 PM
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What sport? Different leagues, different rules,
YMCA everyone plays equally
regular league play the best line up when needed and everyone plays some of the game
competitive league, best line up,
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Old 05-27-2018, 04:38 AM
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By the time they are that age its not equal play time. Everyone still gets some time on the field, but ability and / or attitude factors into play time. The W is important, but not everything. This is for regular season games .All stars and playoffs we went for the win and tried to get everyone play time
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Old 05-27-2018, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Graddy-fied View Post
I’ve been volunteering to coach kids for years. Oldest is now 12. As they get older, here is the struggle:

11-12 year olds. Rivalry games. Does everyone get equal playing time or do you play the lineup that gives the team the best chance to win? What, collectively, gives the team the best experience?

As a parent of a weaker/younger kid, would you rather see your kid play equal rotation and the team lose, or see your kid play sparingly and bring home a league championship trophy?

I believe in playing the absolute best kids possible. At 11-12 you are no longer out there for a “participation trophy” and it’s no longer “everybody wins”. Kids now a days are starting to get recruited at 11-12 years old and games are very competitive. For instance my son is 8 and we play football year round here in south Florida. It is extremely competitve, we have 25 kids on our roster we do have a league rule that says each kid must be on the field for at least 4 plays. Other than that the best 11 kids are playing the entire game. If you want to play you have to earn it each and every day at practice. We do not cater to the parents complaining that there kid is not playing. Does your child enjoy playing or are they out there because you want them to be?
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Old 05-27-2018, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by PP1 View Post
By the time they are that age its not equal play time. Everyone still gets some time on the field, but ability and / or attitude factors into play time. The W is important, but not everything. This is for regular season games .All stars and playoffs we went for the win and tried to get everyone play time
This.

For my little league rec league regular season, we rotate positions. As we enter tournament, rotating stops and we play best players with a few rotations (right/left field).

For summer all star tournament team, we play best player in best position to give the team a win. Very minimal rotations. However, this is invitation only team so most players are good.
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Old 05-27-2018, 05:20 AM
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Depends. I grew up playing in what could be considered the highest skill youth lacrosse league in the country. Coaches were former All Americans and many players were future All Americans. The divisions were broken down by age and skill tier. 11-12 had C, B, A, AA. A and AA were the best players were on the field unless they needed a breather. B and C were more about equal playing time.

My advice would be get everyone on the field, but allocate playing time in total according to skill. Prepare to have pissed off parents, but that will happen nomatter what you do.
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Old 05-27-2018, 05:24 AM
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I would think that when the parents sign their kids up there are league or team rules for play time included for them to see. I would doubt that at this age anyone expects equal playing time.
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Old 05-27-2018, 05:49 AM
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Totally depends on the league. There are developmental leagues and competitive leagues. Which is this? My son up until this year has played in rec league lax, equal playing time. Now that he is in HS, he is on Varsity Lax, but has only seen about 4 minutes of playing time all season. In hockey, he plays in a rec league late summer before HS hockey starts, equal time. Once the HS team starts, it's all about the top performers. What expectation was set by the league at the beginning of the season? You don't wan't to be the ass who is fielding just the top players against a team who is trying to get equal playing time nor do you want to get beat up as little johnny is getting run over by top kids.
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Old 05-27-2018, 06:00 AM
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Youth sports....one year my son’s ice hockey team got off to a bad start, so the parents held a meeting to vote to fire the coach. Really? The next year we switched to motocross. In motocross you get assigned to a class based on previous racing experience and bike size. Everyone in the class gets the same practice time, and everyone gets the same opportunity to race. The first person to finish wins. The 12th person to cross the finish line comes in 12th place. No BS with the parents. Between practice runs or motos, my son was working on his bike learning mechanical skills.
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Old 05-27-2018, 06:32 AM
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Up until high school level...

But for little league and babe Ruth..


As a parent it would depend on how bad my kid was...most kids that are very bad at a sport don’t want to be embarrassed at that level and are happy with the minimal requirements of playing time..

like one at bat and 3 outs on defense or what the league requires

otherwise you may have one or two exceptional athletes, the rest most likely are pretty close in skills and should share time as equal as possible...

that in theory should include all stars and travel ball..another words if they are good enough for all stars they should get pretty even playing time..or not be chosen for that team...
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Old 05-27-2018, 06:39 AM
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It 100% depends on the league. My son is now 18 and off to college. I coached him since he was 5 from soccer, baseball, football and basketball. The kid has been a gifted athlete since the start. In the town and rec leagues I was always very careful of giving all the kids “fair” play time. In baseball that meant everyone played at least 4 innings and got at least 2 at bats. In football there was a minimum play chart. Everyone got at least 12-15 plays. Basketball went by quarters. Everyone played at least 2 quarters......all the leagues we we in like this set the rules. I always went above nd beyond their minimums.

now none of this was “equal” play time just “fair” play time.

Then there were were the travel, showcase, or all star teams. I treated these very differently. I put the best players on the field, court for the majority of the time whenever possible. Parents and kids new this going in. I would have a parent meeting right at tryouts to get it all on the table. I still made sure everyone got into each game but’s the seconds were just that seconds. They played when the starters needed a break. In some cases roles switches as seasons and years went on. Some kids moved off of my teams and we always had new ones wanting to join.

not every athlete is a star or starter and they need to know that. We had no parcipitation trophies in my travel leagues. The world needs seconds too ya know!

as I write this I am still sad knowing that coaching my son and simply watching my boy play and grow is all but over. He chose a pretty good D1 school that he knows going in he will no longer be “that” guy on the field / court. He already plans on doing intramurals. I’m going to try like hell to get there and watch some.
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Old 05-27-2018, 06:39 AM
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At 11 and 12 I would think kids need to learn to compete and earn their start and learn how to win. It important life skill in my opinion. Kids need to learn how to win and lose.
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Old 05-27-2018, 07:39 AM
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Rivalry games? If these are travel, all star or showcase then the best players get the playing time.

If these are youth community sports ports then it should be equal playing time. (Unless the hardcore coaches are living vicariously through their children.....). I’ve coached both my sons through youth sports....we won the “championship” a few times & the kids could’ve cared less....the parents & hardcore coaches on the other hand.....
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Old 05-27-2018, 07:45 AM
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We always had different leagues with different levels of competition. Individual trophies are billshit for youth team sports. Its for parent's egos. The best times I ever had were bball and hockey pickup games with no adult supervision. Adults are what's bad about youth sports.
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Old 05-27-2018, 08:57 AM
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Depends on the league and level of competition. Are we talking elite travel teams or recreational instructional/development leagues?

Also at age 11 and 12 have the kids really been playing long enough to have “rivalries”, or are the so called “rivalry” games more about the parents?
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Old 05-27-2018, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Jersus View Post
Depends on the league and level of competition. Are we talking elite travel teams or recreational instructional/development leagues?

Also at age 11 and 12 have the kids really been playing long enough to have “rivalries”, or are the so called “rivalry” games more about the parents?
Eh, one and the same. We had our rivals at 11 and 12. I can still name the 2 teams. 2 of 3 or 4 of us would be in the championship every year. They were rivals. The 15 or so other teams were a different matter.
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Old 05-27-2018, 09:31 AM
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My son is an OK player, and was one of the ones that was not always on the field.
I think what irked him the most, and myself, were the kids that weren’t that good but because they were the coaches kids or friends, or parents were more involved than I could be, got preferential treatment and playing time.
I think this turned my son off from team sports more than anything. He has pretty much phased out of them at 14 and just fishes in his spare time and plays pick up B-ball at the park.
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Old 05-27-2018, 09:59 AM
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Baseball is the worst coaches kids always almost always pitch, always play infield and always make all stars. Other kids get playtime and positions depending upon if their moms are friends with coaches wife, after that best kids pick up other positions and and play time. Baseball is by far the greatest victim of Dad Ball. Soccer, basketball almost as bad, football is a little less, although coaches kid is typically always the qb.

Reality occurs when kids get to high school and the days of Dad Ball end. It’s too bad for the kid but it’s almost funny when a Dad Ball Star gets cut or doesn’t play once Dad is no longer the coach......
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Old 05-27-2018, 11:32 AM
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Coached my sons baseball team for 14 years, from T ball to American Legion. When they are younger and in any Rec league you play everyone three innings and two at bats. Once they are in travel teams you play your best 9 players. Parents are the worst, the kids get it. It is hard as a coach when you have a kid that wants to play but is just not good enough, wanting to be good is not enough. If they stick with it and really try to be better than things can change. Like any team there are going to be injuries and vacations...... Then that player will be given a shot when a spot opens up, if he does a good enough job he keeps his spot. This is the way it is supposed to happen, and still does but it takes work on the players part, not a bitching parent crying for more playing time because they paid $250 for there kid to play.
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