Basketball on the Edge – A Case for Nurture Over Nature by Reed Maltbie

Head Start Basketball Camp

Great article this week from Reed Maltbie of the Changing the Game Project about how we look at our kids and youth sports. Ultimately, what do we want our children to become as they grow and mature into adults? What do we value most in our kids? Athletic success, good looks, or the type of person they are becoming as a result of our parental influence? How can youth sports play a role in developing our children into better people and what should we demand of youth sports coaches and organizations? I guarantee this article will make you think long and hard about youth sports and your own kids. I know it did for me.

“Your daughter is so beautiful.” The kind woman said, smiling at my 18-year-old daughter.

“Thanks, she got her mother’s looks.” I said reflexively. Then I cringed.

That’s my “go to response”. Anytime I receive a compliment on my daughter’s looks, I immediately reply about her genetic connection to her mother.

She did get her mom’s looks. There is no doubt. My wife and my daughter could be sisters. Regardless of how they look, that response brings a cringe each time it escapes my lips.

It’s not because of their beauty, it’s because of what I am perpetuating. My wife is intelligent, hard working, compassionate, morally upright. My wife is my role model and hero. She holds me accountable for the man I wish to be in the lives of my children. She demands excellence from herself, and our family, and ensures we all have solid values in place to create that excellence. Yet, I perpetuate the social belief that looks matter more.

My wife is an amazing human being. My daughter is following in her footsteps. She is following her in more than the looks department, and that is why I cringe when I respond in that manner.

I shouldn’t celebrate the looks. I should celebrate…

Click here to read the article by Reed Maltbie

Leave us a comment about this post headstartbasketball@usa.net

Sign up now to get a “Head Start” on your competition with our free basketball tip of the day delivered straight to your inbox. Click below, enter your email and we’ll also send you our E-Book, “Mental Toughness, Improve Your Brain – Improve Your Game”.

Basketball on the Edge – A Parent’s Guide to Dealing with Crazy Parents

 

Boo

I’ve previously described some nightmare scenarios when it comes to parents on the sideline at youth basketball games. I truly believe that most parents are well-intentioned, but just get caught up in the moment and don’t truly consider the impact they are having on their kids or the other parents around them. Today I want to present some practical solutions for what you can do as a youth sports parent when it seems that everyone around you has gone crazy.

Separate Yourself

I love having the opportunity to just stand on the sideline or sit in the bleachers and watch my kids play. Since I spend so much time coaching them in basketball it is nice to put away my coaching mindset and just watch. I don’t want to be surrounded by people yelling instructions, berating the coaches and officials, or making a nuisance of themselves. What’s the easiest way to do that? You will almost always find me in the corner of the field or at the end of the bleachers sitting by myself or with one or two other parents who are also there just to watch. I never sit in the middle of the parent section. I just want to watch my kids play, not listen to someone question the coaching or scream obscenities at the officials!

Don’t Buy In

Parents have been questioning coaching strategy from the first moment a kid stepped on the court back in Dr. Naismith’s day, but that doesn’t mean you have to participate. When that starts happening steer the conversation another direction or walk away.

Sure, maybe the refs aren’t too good, they make mistakes. Have you ever made a mistake a work? Would you like someone walking up and down the halls of your office to scream stuff like, “Come on moron that was clearly the wrong way to report those expenses!” Don’t be a part of that. Remember, you’re setting an example for your child and the other kids on the team. Blaming the officials teaches kids to make an excuse. I once had another parent say to me after my daughter missed a layup in a game, “Hey Mike, that was a foul. Where’s the call?” My response to him, “She has to go up strong and make the shot. Can’t depend on the official to make the call.” Put the control back where it belongs, with the player. Just because other parents want to yell at the refs doesn’t mean you have to do it too.

It’s Not About You

In the article about Sideline Sportsanity that I shared two weeks ago the observation was made that parents who tended to be the most relaxed at their children’s games were those that had reached a high level of success in sports themselves. Therefore, they were not as caught up in the achievements of their kids to establish their own identity. Based on my experiences I would agree. There may be exceptions to this rule, but in general I think it’s true. When you find yourself getting all worked up, count to ten and remember it is not about you. It’s your child’s joy and their journey.

Embrace Silence

Overwhelmingly, research shows that kids want their parents to be quiet on the sideline. They don’t want instructions (Coach gives them those), they don’t want you yelling at coaches, refs, or other players (it’s embarrassing), they really don’t even want you to cheer. If you can be a quiet observer, your child will appreciate it.

Coach The Team

If you coach the team you can choose kids based on their parents! You know who the problem parents are, don’t pick their kids for your team. Everyone will have a better experience!

Two quick stories. I once was conducting an AAU tryout where the father of a boy trying out kept screaming at his son every time he got the ball, telling him to shoot, or drive, or pass, or whatever. The player was good enough to make the team. I did not choose him simply because of his father’s behavior. At another tryout for a different team on the evaluation report for one player it said simply, “CRAZY MOM”. That player didn’t get picked either. Don’t be the reason your child doesn’t get picked for a team. You can’t make them better by yelling at them during a game, practice, or tryout.
Trust me when I tell you that coaches know who the problem parents are and they often think less of your child as a result.

Find Another Team

If you are stuck with a team full of crazy parents I urge you to find another team to play on. Find like-minded parents who believe that youth sports should be fun. Don’t steal your child’s joy (and yours) by remaining with a group of parents that don’t get it. This might be easier said than done in some cases, but there are always alternatives.

Educate The Parents And The Coach

If you don’t want to confront another parent or have a difficult conversation about their behavior you can always enlist the help of the coach. Encourage the coach, organization, or league to have a discussion with parents or even institute a parental code of conduct to help make the sidelines a fun and pleasant place to watch a game.

Leave us a comment about this post headstartbasketball@usa.net

Sign up now to get a “Head Start” on your competition with our free basketball tip of the day delivered straight to your inbox. Click below, enter your email and we’ll also send you our E-Book, “Mental Toughness, Improve Your Brain – Improve Your Game”.

Basketball on the Edge – Promoting Positivity by Elizabeth Corey

Check out the video to explore the power of positivity and then read the article to learn more!

Crowd’s cheering, players yelling, coaches screaming – so many external pressures and distractions can hinder a player’s performance, but what about the internal pressure they place on themselves?

Missing a shot or causing a turn over can cause a player to use negative self-talk, such as “that was a terrible shot”, or “I stink”. Kids constantly doubt their abilities, which is why we, as coaches or parents, need to…

Click here to read the article by Elizabeth Corey

Leave us a comment about this post headstartbasketball@usa.net

Sign up now to get a “Head Start” on your competition with our free basketball tip of the day delivered straight to your inbox. Click below, enter your email and we’ll also send you our E-Book, “Mental Toughness, Improve Your Brain – Improve Your Game”.

Basketball on the Edge – 7 Tips for Developing A “Never Give Up!” Attitude For Basketball Players

Head Start Basketball Camp

“Never give up!” We’ve all probably been told this numerous times in our lives. Maybe a coach said it to us when we weren’t getting much playing time. Maybe a teacher said it to us while we were working on a difficult assignment. Maybe a boss said it to us when we felt like a project at work was circling the drain. Sure you thought, I should never give up, but what does that really look like. What are some steps a basketball player can take to “Never give up!” and achieve meaningful success?

Determine the why.

The first action step for any player is to sit down and think about why you are playing the game of basketball. Here are some possible responses.
• I want to play with my friends and have fun.
• I want to make the middle school team.
• I want to be a varsity starter.
• I want to be an all-state player.
• I want to get a college scholarship.
• I want to play professional basketball
Your why might be one of these or it may be totally different. By identifying it you’ve started the process required to “Never give up!”

Stay in the game.

One of the most disturbing statistics that I have come across since I started writing Basketball on the Edge in 2014 is this one that was cited in The Washington Post- According to a poll from the National Alliance for Youth Sports, around 70 percent of kids in the United States stop playing organized sports by the age of 13 because “it’s just not fun anymore.”

If you quit playing you can’t reach any of your whys. If you love to play and enjoy the game, don’t let one bad experience or failure deter you from continuing to play. Seek out coaches and organizations that nurture your love of the game. Just because you didn’t play much this season or had a smaller role on the team than you would have liked, stay in the game. If you don’t play anymore your dreams never have a chance to be realized.

If all you want is to play and have fun, guess what? This is the only step you really need. If you want to advance further in the game read on.

Success takes time.

That “overnight” sensation you heard about? I guarantee he or she put in countless hours of time when no one was watching to achieve their success. You can’t expect to transform your game in a week. It takes a long time to master the fundamentals of the game. You must be willing to improve over time and not get down on yourself if you suffer a setback or don’t see the results you want immediately.

Tap your strength.

You have a much deeper reserve of strength than you think. When times get tough, dig deep, remember your why and keep working on your game. Don’t let anyone sap your strength or keep you down for long. Determination and grit will lead you forward.

Be persistent.

If you don’t reach a goal in your first year of trying, don’t give up. There are plenty of players in the NBA with stories of how they were not highly recruited, but just kept working and eventually surpassed their competition. If your training methods aren’t working try a different approach. Keep working to find new ways to add more value to your team.

Don’t compare yourself to others.

There will always be someone out there who is better than you at any given moment (unless you’re LeBron right now!) When you focus on what someone else can do or what they have, you lose sight of what’s important in your own development as a player. You have no idea what it took to get that other player or team to where they are now. Focus on your own journey and what YOU can do to get better.

There is no end.

If you love the game you will “Never give up!” You’ll want to keep playing and improving until your career is over. When the ball finally stops bouncing there are so many ways you can stay involved in the game you love. You could coach or officiate. You could become a journalist and write about the game. You could work for a college athletic department. You could become an athletic trainer and work with players. You could use your math or computer skills to work in analytics. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. When I think about my life in basketball I‘ve always made sure I used the ball to improve my life and the lives of others. I haven’t let the ball use me.

Take these tips to heart, apply them in your basketball life and the game will reward you in ways you cannot imagine. Never give up!

Leave us a comment about this post headstartbasketball@usa.net

Sign up now to get a “Head Start” on your competition with our free basketball tip of the day delivered straight to your inbox. Click below, enter your email and we’ll also send you our E-Book, “Mental Toughness, Improve Your Brain – Improve Your Game”.

Basketball on the Edge – It’s Time to End the Sideline Sportsanity by Reed Maltbie

Cheering

This article by Reed Maltbie Describes 4 types of Sideline Sportsanity.

  • The Official’s Worst Nightmare
  • The Unofficial Head Coach
  • The Sniper
  • The Super Cheerleader

Read the article and see if you recognize yourself or anyone you know in these descriptions.  Not only does Maltbie describe these problem parents he also has created a list of suggestions and tips to help you become a “balanced” parent as you watch your children play.

Click here to read the article by Reed Maltbie

Leave us a comment about this post headstartbasketball@usa.net

Sign up now to get a “Head Start” on your competition with our free basketball tip of the day delivered straight to your inbox. Click below, enter your email and we’ll also send you our E-Book, “Mental Toughness, Improve Your Brain – Improve Your Game”.

1 2 3 61

Addicted to Getting Better - On and Off the Court