Thursday, May 10, 2007

Next Year versus Right Now

I think it is harder to win a college title that it is to win the UPA championships. It feels like the open and womens divisions of club are inertial. It takes some time for a team to build up some inertia, but after that they can just keep rolling until they run out of steam and get replaced. In the college game you only have 5 years, and you are stuck with the players you have (much harder to transfer than just move cities).

With that in mind I feel that as a college coach I am always thinking about next year. Who is going to be picking up the disc? Who is going to be our defensive stopper? etc. So to what extent should a coach let that affect how they play their players at nationals?

We need to develop our talent for next year, but at the same time we have a good team and could potentially make a run and go deep . . . but probably not win.

My current mindset comes from something that I think Jim wrote about DoG at Nationals. On day 1 you just want to make it to your power pool. Day 2 you want to win one game. That will put you in the semis while avoiding a play-in, and at that point you have given yourselves a chance and it is time to start playing your best. I think at college nationals, if you have a shot of winning the pool you take it, but really you are playing to finish 2/3 and be in a preQuarter game. All the preQs are 2 v 3 games so the talent level shouldn't be that different if you come in at 3 versus coming in a 2. After winning your preQuarter game then you've given yourself a chance to win some big games.

So is the mindset to make sure you win your 1/2 games on Friday to advance then focus on talent development with the other 2/1 games for next year? Does having a large freshman class make the subbing lean more towards development for a future chance at the title? Does having a big senior class mean putting it all on the line with those players to give them their one big chance? How much of an affect does worrying about a strength bid have on the decisions? I know these are all subjective to the team, but I would like to hear other people's thoughts/experiences on the subject. Thanks.