Face-to-Face: How should teams handle excess athletes?

Ella Cook

Face-to-Face is a feature that allows two members of the Redwood community to grill each other, argue, or simply converse about a relevant issue or event. We provide the topic, and they do the rest. This month’s participants are junior Kendra Loo and sophomore Bryte Darden, who are both lacrosse players. The two debate the circumstances in which players should be cut from school sports teams.

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Should all teams be required to fill their teams to maximum participation?

Kendra Loo:  I think if it allows the max amount of students to be able to play the sport, then they should all be allowed to play and fill the spots all the way to the top. If a kid wants to try a new sport, they shouldn’t be cut or shouldn’t have to not be able to play because teams don’t want to fill their teams to the max.

Bryte Darden: I think that teams should cut because first, like the swimming team, they don’t have enough pool space for everyone and not everyone is committed. The team should have players who really want to be there, not just to put it on their resume. They should be there because they want to be there. Teams should be 100 percent committed and want to be there, and cuts are the only way it can happen.

KL: So are you saying that people who aren’t 100 percent committed and driven to the sport shouldn’t be able to play?

BD: Well, they should be allowed to play, but those players who want to be athletic and want to be out on the field should be allowed to play. But there’s always been, on the teams that I’ve been on, those girls who are out there just to say they’re doing a sport.

How does filling teams affect the team dynamic?

KL: It offers more viewpoints and more perspectives and more opportunities to grow the program as a whole. I think one of the main points of playing high school sports is to teach people the sport and have them love it for the rest of their life. So by maxing out participation, you can expose the sport to the largest amount of people. You might get some players who are not necessarily as committed to the sport, but at the same time those players could be put on a lesser team like JV.

BD: If a team has the max number of people it’s going to be more chaotic and be harder to coach, and it’s hard to give one-on-one coaching. If you have more people, there is going to be a wide variety of attitudes and commitment levels, and it would be a lot harder to coach and control a team.

If teams do cut players, should players be cut based on talent or dedication?

KL: If players had to be cut, it should be based on dedication because players can come out and have never played before and are super dedicated and willing to learn. Just because they have never played before doesn’t mean they should be cut from the team. If there are players who aren’t dedicated, they are not useful to the team.

BD:  I just think if you are committed you deserve to be out there. If you really want to be there and you’re trying your hardest, that’s all you can do and that’s enough.

Do you think it’s better to be benched on varsity or play on JV?

KL: I think it depends on how okay you are with sitting the bench because you will play and learn on JV, but you also be able to play with better people on varsity, so there’s pluses and minuses to both. I also think it’s a personal preference thing. As an underclassman, I would totally be fine playing JV, but as an upperclassman, I would probably rather sit on the bench on varsity.

BD: By playing, you learn a lot, and if you just sit on the bench the entire year, you don’t learn as much. But if you are an upperclassman, it might be more beneficial to play on varsity or on an upper level.

How do you think coaches should evaluate participants during try outs?

KL: I definitely think on dedication and commitment and of course basic skill. They should also see how fast they learn, by giving [a player] a correction and seeing how fast they are able to do it.

BD: I think they should look at their basic skills and how fast they learn because if you have [a player] who has good skills and is fast but doesn’t know the game really well you can always just teach [the player].