Playing time, at younger ages where no scores or standings are kept.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by easoccer, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. easoccer

    easoccer Established Member

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    Regardless of level, House to Development, what is your stance on playing time?

    I remember when my son was 9, he was put on a silver team, and his coach said he would not get more than 10 minutes per game. Of course I pulled him, and then ended up coaching him myself, and now he's u16 div 2.

    But anyway, I see kids at u6-u12 even, sitting on the bench and cant help but feel this is a disservice to the kids and this is not to the spirit of the game.

    If records and standings are not kept, what does it matter? Is the standard not 50% of a game? Unless/commitment or behavioral issues?

    Kids do not develop at the same rate. All kids should get time.

    What do you think?
     
  2. SU Coach

    SU Coach Member

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    Definitely 50%, at all levels. I am a house coach, but I always try to balance playing time evenly and would do so even at higher levels. The ONLY possible exception to that from my perspective would be at HPL after U16 or so, but even then, no player should get less than 35% or so. I don't understand any other perspective, to be honest.
     
  3. easoccer

    easoccer Established Member

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    I have also met coaches, that regardless of skill, they give the kids equal time. And I was so grateful my kids were able to play for them.

    For some, winning is so important, that having fun, keeping the kids active, and actually developing the whole roster, is not of importance to them at all. The players are disposable to them.
     
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  4. SU Coach

    SU Coach Member

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    Winning is marginally important, but not critically so. It isn't what keeps kids playing, but it is, after all, the point of the game. But we focus on the process, not the result (if we do the right thing consistently, we will get the results we want). My goal every year is to make sure all of my players come back. I'd like to have one or two promoted, but mostly I want to make sure that they are still playing. They won't come back if they aren't having fun, and they won't have fun sitting on the bench.
     
  5. rich

    rich Active Member

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    U6-U10 - equal playing time, absolutely...even up to U11/12. There is no reason at those ages to keep a player on the bench.
    As the kids get older, other things creep in that may alter that - attendance at practice, parent requests, disciplinary reasons...
    Even at U16, all my players get minimum 50% of a game.
     
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  6. Admin

    Admin Administrator

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    Teachable moments at the lower ages too arise when the kids themselves become somewhat "competitive" and let out groans and shouts of "Not Johnny, he's terrible" ... self esteem issues can be compounded in these situations and in my mind, coaches and managers need to be aware of it and handle appropriately.

    Don't ask me how, I'm not a coach or manager, that's your job to discuss and figure out :)
     
  7. rich

    rich Active Member

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    Anyone on my team that moans like that gets paired in training with the player they are moaning about. Then they (usually) end up helping the kid. Usually after a little aside of "so, tell me how YOU turned out to be perfect....". :D

    We've started a "big buddy" program at our club. We get our U15 - 18 players working with our grassroots, U6-U10 teams, usually the same team on a weekly basis. It really changes their attitudes at training - it's like having a bunch of assistant coaches. I have a good chuckle hearing them say "turn your hips into that" or "play that on your back foot".

    And with the younger players - having the teens working with them is great, because the teens are way cooler than the old farts like me! :p
     
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  8. SU Coach

    SU Coach Member

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    I have always thought that sort of mentoring is very worthwhile. Great idea.
    And like you, I simply won't put up with a player complaining about a teammate in that way. I like your approach very much.
     
  9. mattieuk

    mattieuk Member

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    I think that most people here are in line with what I presume is a consistent policy for the community clubs in the Lower Mainland of equal playing time until divisional play begins and then a minimum of 50% of playing time for each player. Even at HPL I don't see much point in having huge disparities in playing time as we're still in the development stage rather than result orientated professional/semi-professional soccer.

    As I'm sure everyone has been involved in on here, we had a game recently where the opposition had likely been entered at a level too high for them and even instructing our better players to play possession gave them little challenge to develop. Do the coaches here apply that as 50% per game (if not specifically dictated by their club), or use it as a guideline for the long term (i.e. giving the best players lesser playing time against weaker opposition and vice versa) and try to pick the best situations for their individual players to develop, or just apply a 50% minimum every game regardless of the situation (while obviously not leaving a kid on the bench for 80-90% of the time and ensuring there is still engagement)?
     
  10. rich

    rich Active Member

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    Thanks. Refined after 20 years of coaching, many mistakes, and refereeing sibling battles between my sons :cool::D
     
  11. easoccer

    easoccer Established Member

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    I would suggest the game time should average out over a season. Games where you are outmatching an opponent is a good opportunity to get the weaker players in. If you are out matched, maybe a little less, but no one should be sitting for a half without playing.

    I remember my oldest was put on a u17 silver team after her team folded. We drove to west van, on her birthday, and she played 9 minutes all in the 2nd half.

    How can a coach do that to someone?

    Sometimes players will surprise you. I had a game where 3 of my starters were away. We had 12 players at the game. Kids who get less minutes, and in off positions, played almost the whole game. We beat the other team 1-0. A top team as well.

    Opened my eyes. The best get better. The weakest stay weak. Unless they get a chance to play. Let them play some meaningful minutes and be amazed.
     
  12. rich

    rich Active Member

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    I don't think playing time can be exactly equal every game. Circumstances don't allow for it (injuries, illness, fatigue). Outside of those factors, which are beyond a coach's control, sometimes a player is just not having a good game, or it's a very physical game, and the player is being beaten up in a bad match up. That playing time evens out over games.

    It's key that players having "one of those games" aren't just pulled off and left on the bench - they should be coached on what is happening, how things can improve..made to observe for a while..then thrown back in.

    Only time I've left a player with less than half a game is when they weren't at training for 2 straight weeks. Other sports, family issues, etc.
     
  13. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    My club says "30%" but I say "50%" for all players at all ages and levels, barring behavioral/attendance issues.

    The biggest issue I've seen with playing time is when individual teams sign too many players (something I have been guilty of). IE, a few teams in my club have 13 players on teams for 10-11 year olds. Too many. Better off with 10-11 (12 is the standard) then 13!
     
  14. easoccer

    easoccer Established Member

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    Bc Soccer LTPD for u6-12

    All players should play equal time and try all team positions, including goalkeeper, and equal time should be allotted to practices and games.(U9-12 2-3:1 ratio practice:games)

    There is an exception. If a player is playing up then its 30% of a game.
     

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