From My View For Oct. 4
This is a touchy subject, but I would like to give my philosophy on the issue of benchwarmers.
When I was old enough to play ball, I noticed a lot of kids not getting playing time on the courts and on the fields. But as I got older – and hopefully wiser – I began to understand how some players don’t get the playing time during games.
I first thought that the athletes were not very good, so they sit at the games. I thought that these athletes only get to play when a team is winning by a lot, or losing by a large amount, before a coach would put someone in.
I thought it was degrading to put an athlete in late in the game just to get them in; why not put them in during the game? There are many answers to that question, but its really up to the coach.
Coaches have different feelings about bringing in athletes off the bench, and most of the time, they are right. They are the coach while the athlete is just that the athlete.
If the game or match is getting out of hand, when is it safe to put someone in that hasn’t had no warm-ups to be ready to go in? A lot of coaches use that philosophy – put the scrubs in at the end of the game, to please the player and their family. But how does the player feel? I can tell you that first hand, as a player, parent, coach and referee, as well as a commissioner of little league and Grasshopper basketball for over 16 years, being a booster officer, fan, and sports reporter.,,
I got them all covered. There is no right way, but it still irks someone when you see someone go in when the score is out of hand and the coach puts all five in at once that have never been in the game that night.
I don’t like that, but that’s part of the game. They are just kids learning the game, give them the opportunity to get in the game and play.
It’s my opinion – as a dad, booster official and a commissioner of young children – that in youth sports, all the kids play at least half the game, unless the athlete is hurt or sick, or because of disciplinary action, can’t get in.
However, once you get into middle school and high school, it’s a lot different. The coach is usually paid, but not very much. They must really love to coach, and the kids to do what they do, to get their athletes ready to play. Most of the time they work more hours and never see much of their family.
Of course, the coach must see what he/she has to work with during the season, and start putting a game-plan together. The coach will first see who can play the game the way the coach likes, first. Then, they look to see who can gel together to unite a team, and who can lift a team off the bench.
Who has game and who doesn’t plays a big role into who the coach will start, to come off the bench, and be a practice player to get the team together, all goes through the coach’s mind.
In high school, many coaches reward seniors who has stuck with the program, and play them a lot more than they have played in the past, but some coaches only reward the players that perform the best, and the others will need to pick up their game if they do.
But the one thing, that also gets to me, is when the coach plays someone that is not a team player and doesn’t follow the rules. Yet, the player still gets to play, just because they are better. Yet, it is the coach’s right to play who he or she thinks will help the team the most.
I might not like that, but that’s life. As a reporter, I want the best players on the field or court. As a dad, I want to see my boys play. As a coach, I want the best players, that understand the game the way I want them to play. As a booster, I want to see as many kids to play. But, as a player, I just want want the coach to be fair, and to give me a chance to play, and not reward players who miss practice, goof off, start fights, and are not good team players.
I believe if you work hard at practice and don’t cause problems internally, then you deserve a chance. However, don’t reward a player that does none of that, just because he or she is better.
That’s how I feel in all aspects of sports, in all my different categories – as a player, coach, fan, parent, referee, booster, reporter and youth commissioner.