On my women's teams for the last several years, I have been the clutch person.
I do not mind at all anymore, and would prefer it for two main reasons in tough competitions: (1) I feel like I can play under pressure, and (2) If I don't win, I'd like to be the teammate that can handle that disappointment.
I've written about these two things before (mental side and experience). And the only reason for BOTH, is because I have been in those situations enough to be able to handle them now.
I mentioned to my captain the other day that we should rotate the clutch spot to a few of the girls on our team. They get nervous when they are in that position on LEAGUE night. Well, if they get nervous just on a league night, how are they going to be during playoffs or state events? Sure, I would still be the clutch in those positions, but MANY times I have already won my match and we are waiting on them to finish. This means their match is very crucial still and now they feel pressure to win and perform.
So, I suggested she rotate that final game on league nights so the girls get more experience at playing in tough situations.
Usually the best player on the team is put in the clutch position. But, in order to get better, we need to be put in tough situations. It doesn't magically appear - it's from lots of competition.
As I have learned - I am only good under pressure because I have been in the position a 1,000 times now. Because I have dogged the 8ball on the hill and learned from it. Because I finally know what to do because of all my experiences.
So, let's not keep me in that spot all the time - let's rotate it out and give everyone the experience of being in that position. Even if they lose, league nights are not the end of the world. I think it's the perfect opportunity for them to practice it, actually.