Monday, May 3, 2010

Youth Basketball: If You Can't Beat Them, Recruit Them

Last season, my daughter CC, led her team to the town basketball championship for third grade girls. She scored 16 of the team's 24 points to beat the number one seeded team. (Championship Recap)

After the game, a parent from the other team came up to me and my wife and said, "your daughter is a special talent."

I said, "thank you, that was a very hard fought game. You have a great team." (I had no idea who their daughter was so I made a generic comment.)

She said, "yeah, but I was rooting for your team."

Another parent from the other team was listening in said, "me too, I was rooting for your daughter. She is a rock star."

I immediately asked, "why?"

They went on to informed me that the season was a horrible experience for their kids. I learned what I already knew, that almost every play was designed for the coach's daughter, who is 12 or more inches taller than every other player, athletic and dominant.

If you can't beat them, recruit them

We recently received an email from the opposing coach. She is forming a summer team of the best players in the town. She wants CC to play. Several of CC's best friends were invited too. CC wants to play. We are a little reluctant, but we are going to let her play.

The Main Point

We of course have the choice to play for this coach or not, but in many situations you cannot pick your coach. Young athletes need to learn how to find enjoyment and self satisfaction no matter what the coaching situation is.

Some kids who only play for coaches who coddle them during their younger years, struggle when they encounter a coach in HS that is demanding and tough. Exposing your kids to all kinds of coaching styles when they are young will prepare them for the future. Prepare them for future coaches on future teams, future teachers at future schools and future managers in their future place of employment.

Of course, you should never tolerate an abusive coach.


  1. The summer league just ended. The coach did a really a great job getting everyone playing time and involved. Sometimes you need to understand the situation fully before you pass a judgment. Maybe the unhappy parents are unhappy no matter what - who knows. CC had a great time playing on her summer league team.

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