Every coach has had issues with at least one player who does not want to run an offensive play, I even played with a player who never wanted to run a play. There are many different type of players and ways you can get them to buy in. But first we need to find the reason why they don't want to run a play. Lets also remember that players may not be talkative and just say because "running plays are stupid".


Reasons I have heard and seen why plarers don't want to run plays:
  1. The player has troubles learning
  2. The players parent doesn't think your running the "right" plays for the team
  3. The player is defiant 
  4. The player doesn't get enough playing time
  5. The Player is preoccupied with another thought
All of these reasons are very different just like each play is different from each other just like everyone's learning style is different, which means every solution will be different from player to player. This doesn't mean you should stop reading right here because I am going to tell you what worked for myself, which at the very least will give you ideas what to try with your players. 

My answers the the 5 reasons above:
  1. Learn about the players learning style, what I like to do at the beginning of the year is to give out a small 10 question test which asks them questions about their best teacher and why that teacher was the best. Another question would be "when your learning something new do you like it when the teacher reads to you how to do it, shows you on the black board how to do it, or if you get hands on experience doing it". (Visual, Audio, Tactile)
  2. Well we have all had that one parent who disagrees with your coaching approach, there is not much you can do about this other than not picking the player the next year. The one approach I have found that works sometimes is to ask the parent not to speak to their kid about coaching. Then mention in front of the whole team and parent team that the new rule is no talking to players about the game for 24 hours. (this also works for parents who are too hard on their kids). I actually almost got into a physical fight with a parent of a 9 year old when I was coaching at the age of 14, because the father was calling his kid a weak P*$$y and an F'ing idiot. (I was big at the age of 14, I was 6'1 or 6'2) 
  3. If a player is defiant there is always a reason behind this maybe the player is having a bad day, or maybe there are deeper issues. Either way I usually ask whats going on why is he mad? I usually get the the bottom of it and help him, sometimes its as hard as a parent being to hard, or as easy as the player being sick.
  4. Players always complain about playing time, I like to have a meeting with each player to over with him/her what minutes they will be playing and what they can do to improve and get more minutes. I actually wrote out a 15 page book to help the player get better, and guess what the parent did! The ripped it up! 
  5. In the older high school age groups lots of things can preoccupy a players mind, this can range from a girlfriend to grades, or even just being sick.

My Story Time:
My first year as a head coach I was thinking of picking a player who I seen as a 10th player in the rotation and a solid 10 too. However his old grade 7 coach from his school (same coach who coached me) told me not to pick him or I would be sorry. Which it only took 1 game before they ("they" as in parents) started crying that their kid only played 10 minutes! Damn! This went on all season even the one game he started and played all but 4 minutes (8 minute quarters). 

Coach I'm sorry I never listened to you! I learned my lesson.