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Understanding The Reasoning Behind Player Cuts As A Parent

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This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

"As a parent I am dev-astated that they would cut 3 kids. 3 kids is not an unmanageable addition of players in my eyes. I have never coached so maybe I am clueless. These coaches announced last year that there may be cuts this year. I really feel it was an awful and cruel decision to let only 3 kids go. What are your thoughts?"

PCA Response by David Jacobson, PCA Trainer & Senior Marketing Communications and Content Manager

As a basketball coach having led teams from third grade through 10th grade, I can tell you that it is common practice to keep a high school basketball team to 12-15 players. I have seen coaches strictly adhere to that, and I have seen coaches carry up to 20 players. That decision depends on the values of the coach, athletic director and community at large in terms of what they hope to provide youth in the community through the basketball experience.

For example, if there is high value on engaging as many youth as possible, giving them an outlet for exercise, camaraderie, a sense of team, of purpose and “keeping them off the streets” then the coach would carry more players. If there is a high value on winning games and/or paying closer attention to each player to improve performance and pursue college scholarships, then the coach may need to carry fewer players.

All of this is meant to provide perspective, not necessarily an answer as to whether it was “right” or “wrong” for those players to be cut.

To see the full response, download a printable version of this resource, including any additional commentary from PCA, by clicking the PDF below. To read more questions and answers like this, or to submit your own question to the Ask PCA blog, click here.

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