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Equal time vs best combinations for finals

Hi all, just checking what people's thoughts are on either playing the best combination or giving everyone equal time during a finals series. Throughout the season, everyone has been given a fairly equal run but I'm not sure what to do in the finals and would like to hear people's ideas. Thanks

Hi Lyn. Our club policy is that we should play the best team combinations for finals but try to give more court play in minor round to those players that may not be in the best fit for finals. I have usually followed this policy as far as possible and stuck to it if the game is close.  If there is a big margin by half time then that provides opportunity to bring on your less able players on for a run. It also depends on age/grade/social or competitve nature of the team.  High grade competitive teams expect their coach to play the best combination, low grade social may prefer everyone to have a run.  Parents will have their own views which they may vocalise during finals but you must do as you see appropriate for your whole team.  Giving a less able player court time to the detriment of the game may make them feel responsible for the outcome which is something to be avoided.  Good Luck!  

It can be tough especially if you are dealing with juniors. Many clubs will have a policy like Janet has mentioned, others prefer that each coach makes the decision.

What I do is speak to the players as a team before finals come up. Talk about what the team aims are (if playing in a serious comp then it should be obvious to them!) and whether they want to go out to win with the strongest team on or give everyone an even chance.

I always emphasis that sometimes it isn't the weakest player that is off - more it is often about combinations and what works best.  I do tell them they will all get some court time - whether that is a quarter or a full game really depends on the opposition, what is happening on the day and what parts of the team are working best etc. Discuss how every player has played a part in getting them to the finals and sometimes it just can't be even court time when it comes down to the last few games. Get the girls sitting off to be big supporters and cheer and encourage their teammates - they have an important role to play. Also get them to watch intently and realise they may have to come on at any time so they need to watch their potential opponent/s.

It is very tough - I'm having the talk about finals with my U17's tomorrow night!

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