The coaching staff at Mo’ Motion is instructed to handle playing time issues with these facts and observations in mind:
– attendance & positive behavior at practices and games (dating back to November-December start time through every weekend – injuries are exceptions, but we even push to have injured players attend practice just to get credit for attending).
– effort at practices and games (including all sprints, push-ups, etc.) – NOTE: Just because your child shows up for practice, does not mean it’s enough to warrant playing time. Practice are closed – so you may not see the effort level your child is putting forth during practice hours and low effort (walking, not finishing strong, being lazy or negative) is not acceptable in our program.
– body language in practice and games on the floor and in the huddle
– containing your player on the floor (defensively)
– taking care of the basketball (offensively)
– sprinting the floor on break and in and out of huddles (effort, effort, effort)
– responsible, unselfish and respectful behavior on the floor – no technical fouls, no hurting anyone else and no being a ball hog and disregarding Mo’ Motion’s rules on teamwork.
COACHES are not to make any promises about playing time. They are told to tell parents who comment on other players, “We are not allowed to talk to other parents about other children.”
PARENTS are expected to parent and support, not coach or call into the office if their child was slighted a few minutes in a game. Parents are not allowed to make the statement about coaches, “having favorites” or “not liking my kid.” (This is absurd.) Have your child review these points or ask the coach what he or she needs to do to improve playing time. Let your child figure it out. All research shows that when you as parents let this happen, your child figures life out, feels more in control and builds confidence.
REMINDER #1: Mo’ Motion’s slogan is EARN IT (for good reason).
REMINDER #2: For those counting seconds and minutes and want the world to be fair every game, every weekend: Playing time cannot be given out equally (impossible) and life is unfair (and in many cases grossly unfair with serious consequences).
If a player doesn’t get as much playing time in one game, but shows all positives in the areas outlined above, his or her minutes will be adjusted in the next few games.
What about my kids’ confidence? You can review what he or she may be doing wrong or right by using this as a guide AND our coaches do their part by giving short lists of reasonable tasks that will build your child’s confidence. For example, “Don’t let your player get by,” or “Take care of the ball by making good passes” or “get 3 rebounds” or “get your hand on the ball defensively 3-5 times this game without losing position with your feet.” If your child needs specific tasks, ask your child to go to the coach for specifics.
On a final note to all parents: Please do not form the damaging habit of trying to fix things for your child. Your child grows when he or she is made to struggle, work hard and do what is asked in a culture that has fair and consistent rules (and even in cultures that are in fact unfair). Outline the above to your child, put it in his or her hands and watch your child develop and grow.
The earlier you let them struggle and figure things out, the more likely they are to be independent and successful in the short and long term.