Five Steps To Properly Ask For More Playing Time
There is a right and a wrong way to ask for playing time. Timing, tone and overall preparation for the meeting are all major factors to having a successful meeting with your coach. Before you schedule a meeting with your coach you must complete the following steps:
Step 1- Collecting Your Stats:
All teams should be using Game Changer or some type of system to chart your stats. There are three things to look at, hitting, fielding and if you are a pitcher, pitching stats. Rule Number One, the easiest way to get into the line up or to show you are worthy of more time is hitting the ball consistently. If you are hitting, you are playing. The second thing to look at is how do you compare to the person playing your position in front of you? Are you as fast enough to play the position you are requesting more time for? Have you received time there and have you performed well enough to be able to ask for more time?
Step 2- Make A Plan
After looking at your stats, you now know where to start to make your plan. These stats will show you were you need to focus your extra time on. Plan a schedule and make sure you make the necessary adjustments to your game to earn your playing time.
Step 3- Meet With The Coach
Your next step is to meet with your coach. This meeting needs to be done in person. This can be scheduled before or after a practice. I suggest after practice so there are no interruptions and no time constraints. The lines of communication between you and your coach is vital to a healthy relationship and keeping your expectations on the same page. I encourage the player to lead the meeting. This shows the coach this is exactly what she wants and not being pushed on her by her parents. The parent’s role should be there for support and to be the third party. If the coach doesn’t coach alone and there is a staff, I suggest you invite both coaches so nothing is lost in translation later on down the road.
Once the meeting starts, keep your tone positive and upbeat. You and your daughter are not there to tell the coach how to do his or her job but to enlighten them on your plan and what you are wanting out of being on his or her team.
Start the meeting out with thanking the coaching staff for meeting with you and your daughter. Continue with why you called this meeting.
“ Thank you for meeting with us. We are loving being on this team and just wanted to touch base with you on what we are wanting for (your daughter’s name) as a player on your team. (Your daughter’s name) is wanting to ask you something.”- Parent of daughter.
“Coach (your coach’s name) I am wanting to get some feedback from you. Right now I am your (# from stats) batter and your (# string) (position). I am working right now on my hitting, fielding or pitching in my spare time. [ This is where you tell your coach the plan you and your daughter came up with before meeting with the coach] I know I have some work to do in both aspects of my game and I am determined to make the necessary changes needed to earn more playing time. I wanted to get some feedback from you to see what you think I can work on.
Hopefully at this point your coach can tell you some things to work on and to add to your plan.
Step 4- Thank The Coach
After your coach gives you the feedback, thank him or her for their feedback and make sure you only hear what he or she is saying and now how he or she saying it. We need to take emotion out of this and stick to the facts. This is not personal, this is supposed to help you become a better player. Before the meeting is over, you need to give your coach a time frame. You do not want to leave this meeting open ended.
“Great, thanks for your feedback. I would like to meet again after 6 weeks or less to see if you are seeing the necessary changes I need to make to earn more playing time. I am going to be working hard at practice and during my off time. I would love to work extra at my position if you have time before or after practice.
Step 5- Get Clarity, Work Hard And Earn It!
Now that your coach is aware of what you are wanting as a player and you have a game plan, ITS TIME TO PUT THE WORK IN!
This is the best way to request more playing time. You are not demanding time but wanting to earn it. Playing time isn’t a right but should be earned and the best 9 should play every game. So instead of throwing out excuses and self doubt, get clarity, work hard and earn it!
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