Being fair.

There invariably comes a time each season when a player will have a conflict with the soccer schedule and some other aspect of his life. This is true in both club and high school soccer.  As a young soccer coach, having a player miss practice time or a match to attend some other activity was very frustrating for me. Not only that, when such an incident would happen it created some very difficult situations to deal with. I have very specific rules for what is to be considered an excused or unexcused absence.  In either case, the athlete risks losing his starting or rotational position.

I freely acknowledge that parents loath this stance I take in regards to absences. Each year I seem to have a discussion with parents of a player who will miss practice and or games about losing their place in the lineup or rotation. The parents invariably feel I am punishing the player for attending the non-soccer activity.  A few years ago a parent went so far as to suggest I was being vindictive for the player being disloyal to the soccer team. This is absolutely untrue!  Unfortunately the emotional level was heated and the parent did not want to listen to the rest of the story.  It wasn't for almost two weeks later until I had the opportunity to fully explain the TEAM perspective of the players absence.

Yes, players do lose their starting spots and or rotational position when they choose another activity over soccer. However, this is not a punishment levied against them for having done so. Absolutely not!  Someone has to move into the starting lineup or rotational position in the absence of the player.  In fact, if a non-starter rotational player becomes the starter, this then creates an opening for a new player to enter the playing rotation, does it not?  Someone(s) is going to take the minutes of the missing player.

I consider the new starter to be receiving a reward for being present. I consider the new player entering the rotation to being rewarded with an opportunity to make his mark.

The player who chose to miss time with the soccer team should hold no expectation whatsoever that his place will be held for him. If the replacement player performs well, he will continue to enjoy the rewards of both his effort and loyalty to the team.  The player who missed time will be provided every opportunity to regain a starting position or a position in the rotation, but he will not be given anything including the spot in the lineup or rotation he voluntarily relinquished.

When a player and or parent complain it's not fair for the player to lose his spot for missing soccer activities, I ask if it is fair for the player who assumed the missing players role to lose his new spot in light of his being present to seize the opportunity?

It is all about being fair.

Only too often fairness is only considered from one side while other perspectives are not considered or are ignored.

No comments:

Post a Comment