Positions are assigned according to the performance of each player and the needs of the team.

Playing time is allocated according to the performance of the individual player.

Player performance evaluations are mainly based on detailed coach grades of videos of practices, scrimmages, and games. However, as Al Pacino often said in the movie The Recruit, “Everything is a test.” Coaches scrutinize every observable detail of a player’s behavior and factor it into depth chart decisions.

The ideal football player does his job to the best of his ability until the whistle on every play. Accordingly, we coaches are always looking to see which players follow instructions scrupulously and which are careless about following instructions. We look for signs of diligence versus loafing, quitting early versus sustaining effort for the duration of the play, selflessness versus selfishness, team orientation versus personal glory seeking, aggressiveness versus timidity, results orientation versus process orientation, and so forth.

Position assignments and playing time are organized in a depth chart that shows what position each player plays and what string he is (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th). We tried putting the depth charts on the Web site last season, but they changed too often so we no longer post them.

We have eight different teams:

Generally, we play the best eleven players on each team. That usually results in about 15 players who start on almost every team and about 25 players who start on at least one team. We do not “platoon,” that is, limit players to playing only offense or defense. Platooning would cause us to lose games against our better opponents.

When two players at the same position are roughly equal, we let them share the position. That is, they substitute themselves according to a schedule they agree upon with each other—typically two plays on and two plays off.

Coaches may not discuss position assignment or playing time with parents and vice versa. Only on-field performance determines.We must avoid even the appearance of assigning positions or playing time according to any other criteria. If a coach listens to parental lobbying efforts on behalf of their son and subsequently promotes the player in question, other players and parents resent the apparent violation of the only-perfomance-determines policy.

In general, the relationship of parents and coaches with regard to position assignments and playing time is similar to the relationship of parties to a lawsuit and the judge who is hearing the case. The player presents his case by his performance on the field only. No communication between the parties and the judge outside of court is allowed. Coaches will be glad to discuss other subjects with parents and coaches will be glad to discuss position assignments and playing time with players. However, players, too, must understand that player lobbying of the coaches verbally for a different position or more playing time will not be allowed. The only way to get promoted is to play better. Coaches will explain to the player why he has the depth chart position he has and what he might do to get promoted.

If a player or parent is asked what position the boy in question should be playing, the only correct answer is, “Wherever he can help the team the most.”

Always keep your head up when you hit.