I came across this blog post over on League Network about whether children should get equal playing time in youth sports. I agree with all 5 reasons Erik offers – and more. The Hustle & Attitude philosophy advocates for each child playing an equal amount and getting the opportunity to play multiple positions.
- As Erik suggests, equal playing time allows each child on the team to grow; the skilled and less skilled alike. It was always my plan to make sure that each player was better by the end of the season. This can only happen if the player gets a chance to improve, in practices and games.
- The point about the children recognizing preferential treatment is a good one. In addition to that position, it has been my experience that, particularly in recreational leagues, rather than resenting the lack of playing time for themselves, the really skilled players actually root for the less skilled players to do well when they get in the game. I’ll never forget the reaction on my team’s bench when one of our 9-year olds got his first hit in a baseball game…you’d have thought we just won the World Series!
- Along those lines, getting his chance to hit just like the rest of his teammates no doubt contributed to the confidence of the player in the example above.
- The issue of money is a fact. I have written before that one of the key distinctions between a recreational league and a travel / select league is that the parents that pay for their child to play expect that their child will play.
- I am happy to be associated with two leagues that include equal playing time rules: BCNaz Kidz Basketball and Flag Football Fanatics flag football. Where it isn’t in the league rules, Hustle & Attitude coaches make sure it happens anyway.
And for the plus 1…how about because it’s the right thing to do?!?! Erik doesn’t mention this, but I firmly believe that, for children in recreational sports, equal playing time should be the rule and not the exception for all the reasons he mentions in his post and because it’s simply what’s best for the young athletes.
Leave a comment or send me a note – I’d love to hear what you think.
One thought on “5 Reasons for Equal Playing Time (Plus 1!)”
I too agree with these statements, and add that it is imperative that the coach creates an environment where these five principles can thrive. Thus, the value of the Rec Leagues. It is always heartbreaking to see a Rec League coach who tries to apply competitive league mentality to his players.