Six techniques that new and returning coaches may use for to help ensure equal playing time
Communicate with your players and their parents. Let your players and parents know your commitment to fair playing time and what they can expect throughout the season. Make sure your playing time commitments are explained to the parents at a pre-season meeting. The better you communicate up front, the less push back you will receive during the season.
Plan ahead. Prepare a detailed substitution pattern before each game. Set your line-ups to have the best chance to be competitive in each quarter, half, or inning. Don’t “stack” certain line-ups to try to win – players pick up on this and might think of themselves as the “B Team.” Make everyone feel like they are on the “A Team” and you will get the most out of every player.
Stick to your playing time commitments, regardless of the game situation. Is sacrificing a player’s opportunity to have fun and feel accepted by his/her coach and team worth improving your record? You decide.
If possible, have an assistant keep track of playing time; this could be an assistant coach or a trusted parent. Recruiting some help will allow you to focus on game strategy and instruction of your players during the game.
Take advantage of lopsided opportunities and give more time to your less-used players (especially when equal playing time is not guaranteed). Don’t wait for the other coach to do this. If he/she wants to play their stars the whole game then that is their problem. Also, make sure this isn’t your only playing time strategy.
Help players earn playing time. In practice, set up contests where players earn playing time. That way, you commit publicly to adding more playing time for certain players in the next game, and you are more likely to live up to that commitment.
Coaces looking for some simple and effective drills for both new and seasoned players should check out the video below that showcases Ryan Powell's "Root-B 22" training system. There is a lot of good material here.