“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
– Abraham Lincoln
Many high school teams are beginning to play their game schedules now. There are only so many minutes worth of playing time to be handed out during each game. As coaches manage and divvy up playing time, inevitably there will be players who feel they are getting cheated out of minutes they deserve! It’s easy to blame the coach and say things like, “he plays favorites” or “he doesn’t like me” or “he never gave me a chance.” In reality, coaches are going to play the players that give the team the best chance to win. This is the time when everyone needs to be honest with and accountable to themselves!
If you feel you should be playing more, ask yourself these questions:
- How much time do you spend on the wall each week?
- Were you out working on individual lacrosse drills to get better in September, October and November?
- Did you truly put in the effort needed in order to make yourself so valuable that your coach has no choice but to play you?
Remember, playing in a few tournaments and leagues over the summer is just that – playing. (See previous post: Playing vs. Working). In order to truly improve, a player must dedicate time to “work” and focus on specific individual skills such as shooting, dodging or footwork, etc., outside of a team setting.
Players who are accountable to themselves will recognize that playing time is actually earned during the off season when the hard work and personal training/practice takes place. During the off season is when the most gains and improvements are made! Most of the time, the players who find themselves at the end of the bench are usually there for a number of good reasons, and it should be of no surprise to them when their number is not called more often during games. Don’t be the player who complains about playing time but didn’t put in the requisite work in the off season to earn it!
Note: being accountable also applies to showing up to the season in shape! Give our previous blog post, “Play Yourself Into Shape?” a quick read.