Sometimes a team can do everything in its power to become better and improve, and sometimes it will seem like nothing is working. Training will be tweaked, as will the practices themselves, they will be increased or decreased. While many changes can be attempted, they may not work and sometimes this can leave the coach in quite the bind. The coach may have to cut a player from the team for one of many different reasons. Lack of skill, along with a lack of respect, and causing distractions to the team are a few of the reasons that come to mind immediately. No coach likes to cut players from their team, but eventually they will have to.

Making the Hard Choice
While it is hard to cut players from a team, it may come down to the simple fact that they do not fit in the current system. They may be better elsewhere, and they aren’t happy, and if you are currently losing you likely aren’t happy either. Although winning, teams may also look towards cutting people as well if they become an issue that causes negativity for the team.

There are too many reasons to simply list them all here, all that anyone can do when thinking about cutting a player is sit back for a few moments and ponder if the cut will improve your team. Sometimes players are cut and made into scapegoats. This is what a coach has to avoid doing. Coaches while accepting input from the players, and other coaches with the team, need to ensure that the reasons for the release are completely professional and do not boil down to one player not liking another player. Politics, while you cannot deny it has presence in the game; you can deny it a presence in your decisions.

Cutting a player is the last resort. After you’ve tried to work with them, taken corrective measures, and tried everything that you can think of, cutting them may be the only option. Sometimes it may even be a temporary cut, and they could be welcomed back to the team when a certain action is taken and completed. It could be a few steps required, either way it needs to be analyzed and needs to be well thought out before it is done. It is not something you can just tell a player you are thinking of doing, because that can instantly demoralize them, and can instantly cause them to act out.

They also are likely already aware that it is a potential action and are likely already trying to remedy it. Sometimes simple reminders in practice that roster spots are not guaranteed and only go to those that work and perform to their highest potentials and that give it their all game in and game out will remain on the roster. Sometimes this simple and small speech worked in properly will jolt people to make the required improvements themselves, or seek out the help they need, or even remove themselves if it is realized it just isn’t working out.