Coaches have a duty to get the most out of their teams, and this generally equates with winning games. I love winning. It fills my heart with joy. I believe winning is the result of doing correctly all the things we did in practice with a level of commitment and execution superior to our opponent. Winning raises the stature of your team and enables them to play more games in front of more people….some of them scouts.
Winning is also a function of talent. You cannot win at a high level without it. Talent comes in many forms. Some players adhere to the talent code, and build themselves through hours of dedicated practice a level of talent that changes games. For others, their talent is innate. They are gifted in a few particular attributes be it size, speed, explosiveness or some pleasing mix of the three that makes them at the early levels of play, close to unstoppable.
It is with this particular group that the duty within the duty arises. As a coach, it may be easy to feed at the trough of their talent, but without some push to expand the talent or refine it, you are negligent.
In my basketball coaching career, I have been around a number of players below 6′ 4″ that have had talent to play in college, but for the exigencies of winning have had to play in the post. At the college level, the success of these players turns on an ability to change positions and play on the perimeter. In coaching this type of player, it is imperative that you give them the skill work necessary to do so even if the interests of your team require them to play out of position.