Friday, October 21, 2011
Here's the situation:
I am the assistant coach for my daughter's 5th grade basketball parochial school team.
The head coach is out of town and we have a big tournament game tomorrow.
We have 10 players on the team.
During the regular season, the parish mandated that all players 5th grade and under must play 2 quarters. That certainly makes any playing time decisions easy.
In tournaments, however, each player must play 1 quarter.
The team is made up of a mix of experienced and inexperienced players. The 3 most experienced players working together can control and win most games. Due to the parish playing time mandate during the regular season, we rarely had all 3 experienced players on the court at the same time and we ended up a .500 team.
SO MY QUESTION TO YOU
If we play all of our girls equal playing time we will likely not advance far in the tournaments (1 to 2 games max).
If we play our 3 most experienced players a disproportionate amount of time, we have a chance to advance far in the tournaments (3 to 5 games).
So equal time for 1 or 2 games or reduced playing time per game for 3 to 5 games.
What would you do?
The Main Point
Player / person development is our main goal. Winning is our second goal. (Positive Coaching Alliance - Double Goal Coaching)
I truly believe that the inexperienced girls will actually get more playing minutes in the tournament if we play the experienced girls more. More playing time is better for player development.
The inexperienced players will also get a better chance to touch the ball in meaningful situations if the experienced girls are on the court breaking presses, drawing defenders and making smart passes. Again, this leads to a better player development situation.
The head coach has played the experienced girls more so far in the tournament and the team has advanced to the semi-finals. If we win tomorrow, all of the girls will win trophies and feel like they were a part of something special.
So I think you know how I am going to coach this tomorrow.
Full discloser - my daughter is one of the 3 experienced players and probably the leading scorer on the team.
What would you do?