Avoiding the Cuts

By November 7, 2014 No Comments

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Making cuts is the worst part of athletics. No coach looks forward to this, and for players this is a day that brings much anxiety. Many times it is a necessary evil, but what if we could limit the amount of cuts that were needed? This week we’ll discuss suggestions on how coaches and players can avoid making cuts.

Most often a basketball team will have 10-12 roster spots available. There is no way to avoid making cuts if there are more kids than that who end up trying out. However, as coaches we can limit having to make cuts if we follow these three methods.

  1. Be honest. While this seems rather simple and self-explanatory, it’s not always easy to be 100% honest with kids. Why? Because it’s easier to avoid awkward or difficult situations. But if we’re up front and honest all year round with each player they will understand how they fit into the big picture. When discussing the make-up of the team with the group as a whole, or with individuals be clear on specific roles. In my younger years I was not clear enough. I would give the player suggestions and tell them what their role could be, but I was never direct enough. Now, I am much more clear and direct with each player and what their role will be on the team.
  2. Continually give feedback. There should be no gray area. Each player should know what they do well and what they need to work on. This should always be ongoing, and should begin when the previous season ends. At the end of the season, coaches should meet with players and discuss what the player needs to work on, as well as their anticipated role for the next season. This feedback must continue throughout the summer and preseason workouts.
  3. Share the vision. The importance of this can’t be stated enough. The coach must have a clear vision for the entire program. This vision must first be shared with assistant coaches and then players. By sharing the vision, everyone involved in the program will know the direction it’s headed in. A clear vision makes it easier to understand the numbers each team will have, if players are shared between levels, the anticipated player roles, and the roster decisions that occur.

As I stated earlier, it’s nearly impossible to eliminate the necessity of making cuts. However, if coaches follow these guidelines making cuts may not have to happen. Why? Because the players will figure things out for themselves and many times will make the decision for the coach.

As for the players, here are three ways to help avoiding the cuts.

  1. Positive attitude. Always demonstrate a positive attitude and a strong work ethic. Show up to every open gym, training, session, and practice with energy and enthusiasm. Encourage your teammates and be the hardest working player in each drill.
  2. Team first. It’s imperative that you have a team first mindset. If you genuinely demonstrate you are all about the team, your chances of making the team go through the roof. This means you’re not concerned with individual statistics or playing the most minutes. It means you will do everything in your power to support your teammates and the general welfare of the team.
  3. Ask questions. You should continually ask you coach what you can do to get better. Ask your coach what your anticipated role is on the team. Then ask what you can do to excel in that role and move up to a bigger role. Always remember that not everyone can have the star role on the team, but every player can be a star in their role!

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If you’re able to do these three things as a player your coach will want you on the team. Championship teams can never have enough good people on them. By doing these three things you are demonstrating that you are a great teammate with championship characteristics.

Here is a blog I wrote last year on how to handle cuts when making them are a necessity. Please check it out here.

As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!