Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Parting Ways: When its time to dismiss a player

   There comes a time, sadly, in most programs where a Coach has to remove a player. I didn't use the phrase "forced to" because I believe it is a choice. The player made a choice to behave in a manner that cause their removal & the Coach chose to uphold the standards of the program and remove them. It really isn't that hard of a decision when you look at it from that standpoint. I have been involved in this situation before & when you remove your feelings it is a clear cut decision that the player made, not you. Some will say you quit on that particular player. They're right. You quit enabling that behavior. Everyone deserves a second chance BUT not for the same behavior. Basketball is a team game. What about the 14 other guys doing it right everyday? Have we gotten so caught up in negativity that we ignore positive behavior & reward negative with second & third chances? Here are the 3 times you should remove a player. 

1. When you no longer have influence 
When your words & actions have no effect on the player it's time to say goodbye. Our job as a coach is to teach through basketball how to be a productive citizen. When you stop listening to authority, you are choosing to take risks that can remove you from your job & ultimately from society. 

2. When it reflects negative on your program
When a player's off the court lifestyle brings attention to the player it also brings attention to you as the coach. Kids are kids but allowing behavior that is detrimental to them & to your program is a costly mistake. 

3. When the only reason you keep them is to win
If the only reason you are keeping a player is the W column you have failed that player, the rest of the team, yourself & the entire profession of coaching. You're not helping the player by keeping them involved, you're sending the message that behavior is excusable as long as talent is there. You risk losing the respect of other coaches, faculty & community support. 

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