McDONOUGH — It’s not often a coach will admit things, but load management in the professional level has been a major topic of discussion over the past few years.
But what is load management, you may wonder. No, it’s not dealing with electricity. In the NBA, it’s a team giving a player a night off during the 82-game season.
That’s not the same as high school. For high school sports, load management comes when players start the game and are subbed out at a frequent pace or taken out completely before a game can be considered a blowout or the coach deems it as a non-win situation.
For it to reach high school, something would have to happen to limit a player’s availability. With the rise of AAU basketball and the inception of fall league basketball, many athletes are on a court all year long. Load management must be a thought for the coaches of these athletes who inherit them during the high school season.
When a game goes into overtime like the Eagle’s Landing and Dutchtown game did this week, players are on the floor longer than normal. It came as no surprise Monday when Eagle’s Landing head coach Elliott Montgomery answered the question of load management around his players.
In recent days, Kirshon Thrash had been battling the flu and was playing through it on Monday.
This led to him having to miss time on the court, and in his return, had to play in a limited capacity to monitor his health. On top of Thrash, there was also some extra thoughts about how to manage the load the players took on when they have three games in a week to play.
But considering how few players line the bench, it’s getting to the point where Montgomery has to think about the next wave of games his team would have to play.
During the game against Dutchtown, the game was far beyond a high school game in terms of atmosphere and Montgomery knew he couldn’t play certain players. Not because of talent, but because of how delicate the game was when considering who they were facing.
Considering the bench struggled in Lee County when the Eagles traveled down there. It’s understandable when the region could potentially be on the line. But load management would still be on the mind of any head coach that plays a game on Monday and then doubles up with a Tuesday game.
“We have to be careful with Thrash’s minutes. I don’t know if you saw him, he was sick,” Montgomery said. “He was sick all week. He didn’t play against Stockbridge, he was sick. But he said he had to play Monday. For (Keith) Lamar, the minutes. They don’t usually breathe hard but the minutes.”
That was just Monday though for the Eagles. The program has three games this week and they’ve already played two of them, but the load management is still a factor for Eagle’s Landing.
Against Dutchtown, it had to go out the window because Kameron Hobbs and Cameron Bryant didn’t come out the game much. And the only way Jamaine Mann came out the game was due to foul trouble.
“With load management, people will have to come in,” Montgomery said. “You’ve got to match dog against dog. They gotta think of load management too and we gotta take it a game, at a time. We’re out of this one and onto the next one.”