Starting Positions II




Well here is what happened. The top player was put into a rotation just like everyone else. In this particular game the team they were playing was not very good. The score was going to be lopsided in his teams favor. You could see it from the start.




He came up to me before the game started and asked what I thought. I said why don’t you make two equal teams of five and just rotate them evenly through the game. Maybe by keeping your “team” into two equal teams it will keep the score closer. He seemed uncomfortable with that notion so I explained further.




If you have all your best players play together they will get a big lead most assuredly. They may even start to pick up some bad habits along the way. They might get selfish, hot dog, or worse try to pad their stats by shooting and driving to the basket with reckless abandon. All those things you will have to try and correct after they happen, when you could have prevented them from happening by implementing the F.S.T.M.




He agreed. I could not help notice the curious smirk on his face as he went back to the bench. During the game he rarely stood up in front of his kids




It has always bothered me when coaches walk up and down in front of their team all the while telling the kids on the bench to watch the game. How would the coach like it if he was trying to watch a game and someone kept walking in front of him all the while yelling out instructions to the team? He let them play.




And then it happened. The score started to get close. The coach got a little nervous and called a time out. He subbed in his best players so that the five kids he had on the floor were clearly better than the other teams five.




Now I want to say that before this substitution, the game was going along just fine. Sportsmanship, good defense, nice passes, and generally excellent teamwork were on display. But after the substitution, and the score started to get lopsided all the things I warned him about started to happen/ Fouls became harsher, words were exchanged between the players on the floor and the yelling form coaches and parents picked up. To say that it was awful would be an understatement. Nobody was having FUN; nobody was learning and what had been a competitive fun game turned into a blowout.




I felt terrible, and disappointed.




After the game was finished, I left. I had failed to convince the coach to stay the course regardless of the score. I had not explained clearly enough to him to have registered internally that this course of action that I had laid out was in his and his teams’ long term best interest.




But the next day something happened. NEXT WEEK!



You can follow VJ on twitter @VJJStanley, go to his website to read other blogs and see video interviews of Doctors, Athletes, coaches, and more. You can follow him on face book, or contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. His book: Stop the Tsunami in Youth Sports I available in E reader and paperback through his website