Favorite Players

If you’ve ever heard a coach (in any sport) tell you they don’t have favorite players, there’s a pretty good chance they’re lying to you. I believe every coach has favorite players. Why would a coach have a favorite player(s)?  The answer is easy really.  Coaches are human.  What coach wouldn’t prefer to work with players who:

1) Listen
2) Work Hard
3) Are Respectful
4) Are Well-Behaved
5) Have Good Attitudes

    Any coach would take players like these in a heart-beat. It’s not hard to see why players who don’t meet one or more of the above criteria may cause frustration for the coach.  Is it easier to be around and work with a player who gives 100% every shift, or one that goes out and skates half-speed and takes bad penalties?  Easy answer, right?

    Here is the key in dealing with your players.  All of them – favorite or not – need to be treated equally.  Rules need to be enforced the same amongst all the players from top to bottom.  This isn’t to say your approach with each player should be identical, but guidelines need to be set for behavior, and whether or not your favorite player or least favorite player violate a guideline, the punishment needs to be equal.  If the “punishment” for being late to a team function is to sit the first period of the next game, the rule needs to be enforced with each and every person.

    It’s OK to have favorites – just be aware of how you treat them, and be sure you’re holding them to the same standards you’re holding your “least favorite” player to.  If there is a big inconsistency, you’ve got a sure-fire formula for disaster within your own team.  Players will begin resenting each other, parents will turn on you, and you’ll have a lot less fun coaching.

    3 Replies to “Favorite Players”

    1. Nice blog Kevin, I would like to expand on the standard treatment comment. I for one have favorite players for all of the reasons listed in this blog, but I tend to find myself expecting more out of my favorites than the others. I really need to take a step back someday’s and evaluate how I treat all of my players. Quite often I tell myself that I cannot expect more from a favorite and really have to try to stay on that standard of expectations. I hope this makes sense to all that read this.

    2. My son plays for a collegiate league. The coach plays only two lines and leaves the other two sitting on the bench. This has caused problems within the parents and players. This coach plays these players to the point they are exhausted. My son was recruited but the coach had left and the asst coach moved up. When my son came to the team he had higher stats than any player. He played one game for two minutes and scored the winning goal to only be bench after that. This makes no sense which sends a bad message to the players who want to be part of a team not the team cheerleaders warming the bench. I am really disappointed how a coach could not allow players who have the skill to be a part of this team.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *