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For Your Team, Not Your Teammates

by Ryan Morgan

Sub-calling, especially for one who one who plays at the same time, is one of the most difficult things to do. Personally, I hate doing it because I feel like it distracts me from my ability to remain focused while playing. But like everyone, I always have my own feelings about who should be playing at a particular time. Fortunately, as captain of my team, my opinion about who plays carries a bit of weight with the sub-caller. What I've learned is that the ideal sub-callers understand that they have a duty to the team rather than to their teammates, demonstrate objectivity and detachedness in performing that duty, and have an ability to quickly evaluate changing conditions. 

Of course when playing time is not distributed equally, there will always be someone who is disappointed with the sub-caller's decisions. Dealing with these types of complaints can be uncomfortable because they require explaining to a friend why you chose to play someone else instead of him or her. I think there are four things that the sub-caller has to do in these situations: 

1. Delay the discussion until after the game. Because of everything that a sub-caller needs to concentrate on during the game, complaints simply cannot be dealt with until after the game because dealing with complaints would disrupt effective sub calling. 

2. Listen to the player. Understand exactly what the complaint is. (Does he believe he is not playing enough? Believe certain types of players are not playing enough? Believe he is not playing enough at certain times (ie: zone)). Listening is extremely important because you can tailor you answer to his concerns. Also, sometimes part of the solution is for the player to know his concerns have been taken seriously. 

3. Honestly explain the decision to keep that player off the field (you haven't mastered this offense/defense in practice, you are not in condition, you were limping that last point and wanted to give you some time to recover, you displayed a string of bad decisions, the guy who played instead of you was on fire/had a great match up). 

4. Identify what that player can work on to fix it. This communication is very important because it gives the player a clear idea of what he has to focus on to get better. When he gets better the team gets better. 

huddle Issue 9 Sub-Calling

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

A Basic Checklist
by Gwen Ambler

Be Careful What You Wish For
by Tully Beatty

The Best Sub-Caller Is...
by Lou Burruss

by Matt Dufort

Practical Considerations
by Adam Goff

Empowering The Team With Self Subbing
by Greg Husak

Elocution & Enunciation
by Andy Lovseth

For Your Team, Not Your Teammates
by Ryan Morgan

Prepare Your Team For The Hard Decisions
by Mike Mullen

My Sub-Calling Philosophies
by Miranda Roth

The Pod System
by Mike Whitaker




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