Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Is a "hunch" really just a "hunch"

People sometimes ask why you made a certain game-time choice or decision.  Admit it.  Sometimes you don't have a quantitative, concrete reason.

Last night our college team lost our season opener 2-1 to Mohawk College.  The time came to test our guys in true competition and we saw what we saw.

Leading up to that game we saw a total of 63 players for tryouts.   We slowly whittled that down and came up with 18 guys to dress for last night's match.

How did we come up with those 18?  We actually have 22-23 players who will form our roster throughout the season.  Getting down to that number was done through evaluating players based on technique, skills, decisions under pressure, etc.  I can defend the choices I made.

When it comes down to smaller decisions such as who will dress, who will start, which GK will play, those decisions come from what I see in the training sessions leading up to the game and sometimes a hunch or two.

If you lose, you are second guessed.  If you win, you credit the players.  One of the reason why you coach in a competitive environment is to live through the pressure of making those choices.

But the "hunch" that people talk about isn't a whim that you come up with sitting on a toilet or randomly roll dice.  The hunch is a little more informed and developed by spending time with your players at training and learning what makes them tick.  You start to pick up tendencies, address them and see what comes of your suggestions.  You get a feel for who fits into the puzzle best under certain situations.  With other coaches you get input and then you make the final decision ... and live with it.

Did I make the right decisions last night?  Will I make the right decisions before the weekend?

My main goal for a situation like this is that the players trust the decisions I make.  I have to keep working towards that, and will do so by being honest and available to answer their questions.

I can guarantee my players that whatever my decision, it wasn't taken lightly and arrived at with extensive consultation with people that I, and hopefully the players, trust.