How should I be setting up my squads?
Great question and one I get asked frequently. When setting up your squads there are many factors to consider. While some coaches believe it doesn’t matter how you squad your athletes I am not of the same mindset. Coaching adults is one thing but coaching high school kids is a completely different thing. While adults can handle and are used to difficult situations many time athletes are not. As the coach you need to know your athletes and squad them in a way that allows them to shoot to the best of their abilities. Here are a few things I factor in when setting my squads………
This one should be kind of a “No-Brainer” but it’s very important to recognize your athletes skill set and squad them accordingly. Keeping athletes who carry roughly the same average is important because it means that you can coach the entire squad consistently. Athletes that shoot at a high level rely on timing and rhythm and do not want to be distracted. The same goes for beginners and recreational shooters because many of them have to have increased coaching which eventually slows down the squad. As athletes improve do not be afraid to move them around constantly searching for a squad that they will fit in with. Ultimately ignoring athlete averages will do more harm than good to your high-end shooters.
This is probably the biggest thing I factor into my squads. Although ability and average is important you cannot rely on this alone. Our teams are made up of kids in all grades and this has to be considered when setting your squads. More times than not I have found that athletes shoot better when they are along side kids of their same maturity level. It can be boys with girls but making sure that they are having fun and comfortable is the key to improved scores.
If you aren’t using a squad leader you should be. Squad leaders are crucial to how a squad works together and reacts to situations on the field. We ask our athletes if they want to be a squad leader because it can be difficult for some to start on post 1. Talk to you kids and find out who has leadership qualities and doesn’t mind the responsibility of leading a squad. Many of our squad leaders have eventually moved up to captains as soon as they become eligible.