The most common problem faced by youth basketball coaches is on deciding how they can distribute the playing time among the players. In a basketball game, whether it is youth, professional, college or high school level, winning is everything. So managing the players that can give the highest probability to win is crucial.
If you look at a high school basketball game, you would see that some specific players get the bulk of playing the time while others would just be heating the bench. In an entire season, a high school player with low skill would barely play for few minutes throughout. If the team is dominating with a 30 point lead, the players with the best skill will be given rest while the bench warmers would be given an opportunity to play. This will not make all the players happy but they can either stay and cope up with it or quit the team.
But the same principle can’t be applied to youth sports because parents want their kids to be part of the game as the can teach team spirit, how to connect with others, get some exercise and most importantly, how to handle winning as losing. These are some of the most valuable lessons of life. As a coach, you can also state that you are making a point that life is not fair.
Although most parents, players and coaches would want to win games, the people that don’t get to play will eventually lose interest and stop participating. Some parents would also spend money to get their kid to participate in leagues, buying the required equipment’s and uniforms. But most adults would feel that winning isn't everything and they would prefer their kid to learn the lessons of life. So, as a coach, it’s your responsibility to find a balance and ensuring that all players get a chance to participate.
In many youth basketball games, coaches are motivated to distribute the play time evenly among players and some organizations make it compulsory to divide time evenly among the players. So, when you are forced to distribute even time among players, it all comes down to simple organization and efficient time management skills. Deciding how you distribute the game time among players is entirely up to you but one large factor is the age of the kids you are coaching as different children’s of different age groups need to learn different things.