My two sport athletic daughter is over-committed and her basketball coach is not happy about it. I don't know what to do about it. Over the next several posts, I am going to think through the problem. I am not a fan of specialization at age 11, but we obviously need to address the situation to be fair to her teams.
Last year, CC found out that a soccer teammate named Mel played both AAU basketball and elite soccer at the same time. CC loves basketball and wanted to do the same. I found it hard to believe that you could do both, but I promised to investigate it. I asked the Mel's dad about it. He told me that they have been handling it with relatively few conflicts. He also mentioned that Mel's basketball team was holding a tryout over the next two weekends.
I looked at the basketball tryout schedule for first weekend and realized that we wouldn't be able to make it due to an out-of-town soccer tournament. That should have been my first clue. I looked at the second weekend and as bad luck would have it, my daughter had a soccer game 60 miles away from the basketball tryout. At first, I did not think we could do both, but I figured out that if the soccer game started and ended on time, we could possibly make it to the basketball tryout 5 to 10 minutes late.
It was a rainy day and I was hoping that soccer was going to get canceled, but it didn't. Fortunately, it was raining so hard, that the refs decided to start the game early and cut half-time short. This gave us an opportunity. Unfortunately, the rain snarled traffic and slowed us and we arrived at the tryout 50 minutes late. That should have been my second clue.
CC took the floor with complete confidence and I took my place on the bleachers. I then did a quick count of the number of girls on the court vying for 10 spots. There were 44 girls. After missing the entire first tryout and 50 minutes of the second, I figured CC's chances were slim to none. I thought to myself, that it would probably be for the best.
After the tryout, I told CC how proud I was of her for confidently jumping right in there. I told her that she can definitely play at that level, but that the chances of being noticed during the last 40 minutes were not good.
The following night, I got a call from the coach. CC made the team the team for the winter. We were also informed that another tryout would be held in February for the AAU National Tournament team.
In February, CC made the National Tournament team and we accepted. To my surprise, Mel decided to decline her offer. Her dad thought it was too much. WHAT??#@%@ He convinced us that it could be done. That should have been my third clue.
Well, thanks to a lot of rain last spring, most of the weekend soccer games were rescheduled for the weekdays. And thanks to luck, the 5 basketball tournaments were on different weekends than the 3 soccer tournaments. CC did not miss any soccer games (19) or any spring basketball games (49).
The Main Point
An 11 year old athlete should not have to specialize in one sport, but it is so difficult to do in this over the top youth sports world with year round teams.
This year is a different story all together. It has not rained much this spring and there are lots of conflicts and the basketball coach is not exactly happy. More in the next post - including a letter from the coach.