Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Coaches Corner: Topic #2 Playing Up!


Since player rankings have become one of the driving forces in youth basketball one of the main topics that has surfaced is players playing above their grade level. Some basketball purest feel like this is used to make the player better while critics say the player is avoiding the competition on his grade level. Well we reached out to a few coaches and got their opinion. 

Reggie Hatchett (Coach 8th Grade CBC) 
“I disagree with high ranked players always playing up. Parents and coaches use it as a way to disguise weaknesses. By playing up they have a built-in excuse if they don’t perform well. Also they get to add to the allure that they are above their peers, because if he plays and gets touched he can no longer be seen as untouchable.” 

Ty Boswell (Coach 8th Grade Expressions) 
“I’m all for it. You never maximize your full potential if you don’t compete against the best players out there. In terms of rankings if they are playing up and competing well they should get an extra point or two because of that.”

 Kyhree Burton (Asst. Coach Team Final) 
“A player should compete against the best on his own grade level to be considered a top player in their perspective class unless they are making a substantial impact on the higher level. Basically if a kid doesn’t dominate on their own grade level they shouldn’t play up.”

Franz Pierre Louis (Former Coach)
"I truly believe it's difficult to rank a player if he hasn't played against his peers. It's almost like their afraid of disappointment. It's much easier to hide and lay low when you are playing up than it is when playing on your level. When a high ranked player is playing on their grade level it's more pressure because all eyes are on them each possession and then you can see what they really have in their game. I applaud all the young men that can perform on whenever they play."

 Eddie Torres (Coach NJ Pirates) 
“I think it’s unfair in terms of the rankings. How can he be ranked ahead of players he never competes against? The parents and coaches look at it as a win-win situation for the kid playing up because he has nothing to lose.” 

Chuck Rockmore (Coach Wall 2 Wall) 
“It’s all good but at the end of the day, the age/grade doesn’t change. So eventually you have to play against your peers.” 

 Robert Turner (Coach ECE) 
“If this kid is having success playing up why bother playing down or on your level. He can meet his classmates at camps and showcases. Eventually they’ll meet on the circuit down the road and all we be able to see. It worked for Karl Towns.”

AD Gaffney (Coach Team IZOD 6th Grade) 
"I think highly ranked players should play up. That way they will always be challenged. One of the most difficult adjustment periods is going from 8th Grade to 9th Grade. If you are as good as they say you are then prove it against bigger, stronger and faster competition."