I’ve never been THE favorite. I’ve been in the “inner circle” because it’s usually group of three or four who are the coach’s favorites, but there’s usually that one person that the coach adores. All the coaches I’ve had, eight club and college coaches, have always had a favorite. It’s obvious who the favorite is by noticing the little things, like who’s talking to the coach the most, who the coach asks to do things, like run the warm-ups, pick the teams, help with gear before and after.
Whoever the best player is on the team is usually the favorite, and then there is usually a group that the coach spends a bit more time with. That’s the “inner circle”. The quieter you are, the less likely you are to be the coach’s favorite or in the inner circle.
As far as playing time, I’ve never seen a favorite get more time because of being the favorite. Those players who are the best on the field get more playing time.
I’ve been on teams when I wasn’t in the “inner circle” and it’s annoying because you see the coach interacting with the favorites. You think because you’re not a favorite that the coach doesn’t like you, and then you go to that’s why I’m not playing. It’s a downward spiral from there. It’s tough at that point, You don’t want to be a “Brown Noser” and you don’t want your parents to get involved because that makes it all worse.
You can’t make yourself a favorite, but you can make the coach notice you by working harder. so you’re a more noticeable player on the field, You can listen more in team talks and answer questions. You can be early to practice and games, ask smart questions., and pay attention. Don’t mess around and don’t be the one who is there to be social and not to practice.
Basically, if you want to be one of the coach’s favorites work hard, pay attention, and give it your all in every practice and in every game.