How to Deal With the Politics of Semi Pro Football
Sometimes you can find yourself in a situation where you know your better than the guy starting over you but no matter what how hard you play you just can’t get the time on the field that you feel you deserve. You make it to every game and practice, and you pay your dues on time. You’re frustrated and it’s making the game you love to play not something you enjoy doing any more. It’s true, some players get special privileges that other players don’t, this happens on all levels of sports, from little league to high school to semi pro and so on. Some players do and some players don’t deserve these privileges and when this line gets blurred is where the problem arises and with the large age range of players this is even more so when it come to semi pro football. Lets take a look at some situations that can be frustrating and how to handle them.
Everyone knows that practice makes perfect and to be an effective player you have to get your reps in practice to be ready on game day. How reps are divided is largely up to the coaching staff and the factors that come into play may not be so obvious. Early in the year coaches are more inclined to give more of an equal amount of reps to all players at that position. As the coach begins to solidify the depth chart, more reps are given to the starters and less for each player behind him. This may leave players that are lower on the depth chart feeling as if they don’t have a fair shot to earn their time on the field, in rare cases this is true but for most players you only have one way to move up the depth chart without an injury occurring and that way is to make a play. How do you make a
play when you only get a quarter of the reps as the starter? Easy, you make a play during the 8 or 10 plays your on the field. Instead of pouting on the sidelines when your team goes live 11 on 11 at the end of practice, focus on what plays are being run and how you can make an impact when you get in, because more than likely the other side of the ball will be working on the same plays over and over and if you can know whats coming up than you can be one step closer to making that play that earns you enough trust and respect of your team that they will feel comfortable putting you on the field while the game is still close and not wait til it’s garbage time. Also 11 on 11 isn’t the only time you have to make a play, when your team is running one on one drills, find the guy ahead of you and make sure you line up against him, if you beat him time and time again people will take notice, if you get crushed, burnt or drop the ball, well than you just have to get comfortable on that bench til you can step your game up high enough to beat the players on your own team before they will let you go against another team.
Most semi pro football players have school, jobs and or families and may not be able to make it to every practice and sometimes players feel like they should start over someone else because they come to every practice and the other player only comes to one practice a week, weather this is true or not depends on a few factors. One factor is length of time on the team and knowledge of the game plan. If a player has been on a team for 8+ season,
helped come up with the defensive or offensive scheme and know it like the back of his hand than this players is going to get a little more leeway, especially as the season goes on. Older players need more recovery time, the older you get the longer it takes for you body to heal and having this player on the field gives your team the best chance at winning so if he need the night off practice that it is what it is, that’s just how it works. How do you get a chance to take his spot?… Play ball, if the player misses one practice every week than as the back up you get to have double reps. The more reps you have the more chances you get to make plays and the more plays you make the more people will notice you, it make not be this season but you will get that starting spots as long as you… MAKE PLAYS.
These are a couple of the most common situations that cause players to get frustrated and if you have and comments on this topic post them in the comments on this topic on the Semi Pro Network Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/semipronetwork/