At the risk of sounding like a wimp coach, I’m going to use the sport of professional basketball as a metaphor. Do you think this is a bad idea? Well at least I didn’t suggest soccer …
Professional basketball coaches have a defined strategy for substitution patterns. I’m pretty sure I said strategy, no seat of running pants. So what is your strategy?
There are two types of decision that fall into this category. First, there are those decisions that can be made before the actual game, and second, those that arise during the course of a game.
Before the game, the Coach must decide the parameters of the substitution strategies. The questions that the Head Coach and all Assistant Coaches must determine may be a bit more complex than you might initially expect. The Game is going to be hectic enough without confusion being compounded by disagreements or differences of opinion as the game unfolds. These can only deteriorate the player’s confidence in the Coaching Staff.
1. Which Coach or Coaches on the bench will make substitutions?
in. Most HS teams do not have a single coach for the box like many college programs do. Identifying who will send to the lines, as well as players from unique positions, is key to organizing your bench, substituting “on the fly” is acceptable, while training “on the fly” is not.
2. Are we going to substitute as units or lines or as individual players?
in. This is not as simple as you might expect. Many coaches have moved away from rigid midfield substitutions with the arrival of LSM players, as well as defensive midfielders. Maybe you’re a high school program that doesn’t have a pure three-man defensive midfielder, but you possibly have a strong athlete, not very good at the stick who could possibly be an effective running back or defensive midfielder when paired with an LSM. and the best midfielder in a line. Or possibly, when you replace your fifth attacking player or your fifth defender, you want them to play two of the starters.
3. What is your priority for many players who play the game?
in. It has always been my strategy to play as many or as many players as possible in each game. But the strategy might surprise you. I like to replace most of the bench in the first quarter, and predominantly in the first half. I learned this lesson by observing the body language of the children on the bench as an observer rather than as a coach. Actually one year I had to play a lot of freshmen and sophomores and once we get through the initial phase of “Deer in the Headlights” everything will be fine.
B. Players who hope to have a good chance to play the game practice significantly more and are much better at paying close attention in practice. Not to mention, they’ll be significantly more prepared (as much of it is mental anyway) in case you need them due to injury issues.
Against Players who have played even 30 seconds to a minute or two in the first half are aggressive and committed vocal supporters for the remainder of the game.
D. Once beginners become aware of this change in their culture and realize that they will be back in the game in a moment or two, they also engage with younger or less experienced players.
me. It sure changes the weight of the terms “Team” and “we”.
Finally, as the Head Coach, I could strongly suggest that both you and the Assistants are CLEARLY on the same page. The day before the game, take a few moments to discuss as a coaching unit who might be buying a little more playing time and come up with a definitive strategy to make that happen.
Too often, coaches come to the end of the game and don’t get a chance to give the players the time they expected. And then most of the time, they tend to get defensive about decisions or lack of substitutions. Has this happened to you?
The game is 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. Eliminating these types of substitutions in the first half takes a lot of pressure off of you as a coach and reduces player anxiety about “Will I play?” off the table too. After three or four games, you may find that you have more “players” than you bargained for.