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When is "open substitution" too much?

Subbing for Need vs Attrition

As coaches, it’s important to keep your players rested and healthy, but is it possible that too many substitutions can actually be bad for your players?

A since removed article on TopDrawerSoccer addressed just this concern.

Along with that I covered matches that were part of the U.S. Youth Soccer National League, the U.S. Youth Soccer Boys ODP (’92 age group), the CASL Shootout and the USSF Development Academy League, which placed a pair of matches between CASL and South Carolina United in the middle of the Shootout.

That was an interesting study in contrast, as the Academy games with their no re-entry rule were played at a lovely tempo and featured a lot of good soccer. On the outlying fields at the WRAL Complex it was 3 games in 3 days and unlimited subbing, with stamina, attrition and frenzy being more the watchwords of the day rather than skill, composure and intelligence.

I have, myself, been guilty of what I’ll call player rotation. Indeed, I still have mixed feelings about its effectiveness.

However, the article makes a good point. Most good coaches know that the game is the best teacher. By frequently interrupting the flow of the game, are you indeed, stifling your players’ learning?

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