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An Approach to Cutting Players
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  Nickname: coach_Vic
Posts: 39
Member Since: 8/30/00

Posted: 2/1/2009 12:28pm
Views:   1860
Replies: 0
  An Approach to Cutting Players  

Each season begins with tryouts. Deciding who is to be on your team can be difficult. Informing those who will not be on the team can be even more difficult. Over the years, I have used several approaches to cutting players.

Like many coaches, I have posted a team list. Those not on the list had been cut. Invariably, a number of those players came to ask why I didn't pick them. Dutifully, I tried to provide reasons why.

Some years later, I stopped posting a list. During tryouts, I would speak directly to players, informing them that they would not be on the team. If anyone asked why, I would try to provide a suitable answer. All of the answers, in one way or another, tended to focus on a deficiency in some aspect of their play.

The reactions of those who asked "why" were mixed. Although all were disappointed, many handled their disappointment with a no-hard-feelings attitude, while others were bitter and angry. This latter situation was not a positive experience for me or them.

Players who are trying out want to know only whether or not they are on the team. Giving them reasons why you did not select them does not ease their disappointment and pain. Indeed, it is likely to make it worse. Also, what happens if one of your players, say a point guard, cannot continue to play? You then have to contact a player you just cut, having, for example, "explained" that he/she is too short, has a weak left hand, and has a poor perimeter shot. Think about it.

Now, at the beginning of tryouts, I explain the following: "My job is to select players. I will not select all of you. I'm sure that what you're most interested in knowing, as soon as possible, is whether or not you're on the team. Consequently, as soon as I decide, you'll be the first to know. I will explain neither why I picked you nor why I did not. However, if I do not pick you, I would be happy to meet with you later to answer any questions you may have about any aspect of your game. Play hard, play smart. Let's begin."

Submitted by: Vic Pruden

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