Father of the Year Moment #584: Pop Quiz.

Name an appropriate time to yell, “Are you F#$@ing kidding me!?”

a) At a Super Bowl party after your favorite team drops a pass in the end zone.

b) Somebody rear-ends you coming out of your parking space at Walmart.

c) Missing the Powerball Jackpot by one digit.

d)Your child does a #2 30-seconds after a change.

e)At an elementary 3-on-3 tournament where most of the participants are under the age of 10.

Apparently, for one parent at the Local 3-on-3 tournament, the answer today was “E”. 🏀🤬🕊️🦏

#Keepitclassy #WTF #cantbethefirsttime #yourecool #hatersgonnahate

10 Things That I Have Learned From Coaching My Daughter’s Youth Girls’ Basketball Teams

  1. The girls team game seems to be more organized: In between games in any particular tournament, I get to watch some of the youth boys play. My, oh, my – it is impressive how many fouls occur in one half. When a person goes up for a lay-up, it sounds like a round of applause.
  2. Parents will cheer extra loud as a way to intimidate your team: This is extremely annoying. Parents who do this end up with a reputation. As you are reading this, at least two parents came to mind, didn’t they?
  3. You have to be very versatile in your coaching: There is definitely a fine line between pushing your athletes to be better and being overbearing. Some players need to be poked with a stick, while others need constant, polite encouragement. Know the difference! There is nothing worse than a girl crying while she is running up and down the court. Yup, you look like an asshole.
  4. Not everybody follows the tournament rules: If the tournament rules say “no zone defense”, then you probably shouldn’t have your tallest player(s) standing in the paint – that is not the definition of help defense. It is youth basketball. You’re an asshole.
  5. Poor, poor, referees: Although some are terrible (there’s no denying that), it does not give you a reason to yell or belittle them. Look, I was a ref, and I know first-hand that there is no “winning” for them. They go home with minimal pay and no trophy to show for it. There is a reason why there are not enough of them to go around. Either as a parent, or as a coach, try shaking their hand and telling them thank you after every game – no matter the outcome.
  6. Some teams choose not to develop all of their players: In high school constantly played summer high school basketball tournaments against teams who where ranked in the USA Today Top 25 (this was in 1998, before ESPN and MaxPreps showcased all of them). A common theme among a lot of those teams is that some players where way more developed than others, which, to me was sad, because those under-performing players were only glad just to be on a great team. The same happens in youth basketball; just because you have an athlete who is a 5’11” fifth-grade beast in the post now, does not mean that she will be the tallest person on the court when she is in high school. If she stops growing (and has minimal ball-handling skills), backing her opponents down in the post for a layup will not be much of an option.
  7. The most aggressive girls usually win: This does not mean that your girls have to fight, cheat, or be dirty to win. But they do have to have a “never back down,” “never say die attitude.” If you have a group that isn’t afraid to get on the ground and mess up their uniforms, consider yourself extremely fortunate.
  8. Always remember the social aspect: For the most part, it’s true – girls just want to have fun. If they are not having fun, they will usually quit the sport sometime around sixth grade.
  9. Be careful about scheduling games: There are so many tournaments out there (damn near 3 to 5 per week). If you are not careful, you could end up playing in a tournament every week from December until June. And with each tournament having a three-game minimum, you team could end up with a rigid NBA schedule. Yikes!
  10. Go with the hand you are dealt: Sure, you can recruit the best of the best in your neighborhood or city, but there is something about playing with the team you got. You will go through your bumps and bruises, but you will end up with a great return on your investment.

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Bonus – Eater beware: Travel squad itself can be spendy venture,  but the concession stands are enough to break the bank. There are plenty of cheap meal options when you are in a well-populated city, but if the venue is in the middle of nowhere, pack your lunch.

10 things the 5th Grade BBall Team (coaches included) learned from getting our asses handed to us at the tourney today:

1. No one cares how well you did in previous tournaments.

2. Quitting is never an option.

3. You can do 20 things right, but if you do one thing wrong, Coach is on your ass.

4. A loss does not make you a loser.

5. We can come back from a deep deficit you competing.

6. Never look at the scoreboard while playing unless a coach tells you to do so.

7. Fall 7, up 8.

8. Little things will win you a game. But, they will also lose one for you.

9. There are 0 participation trophies.

10. We have an awesomely competitive group of girls.

Coaching your children

At first it was cute. Then they get a little older and things get a little more competitive. You see their stregnths and weaknesses and you try to correct them – only to be met with eye rolls and less-than-stellar effort. What is a parent to do? I read somthing in John Wooden’s book that helps me through:

IMG_5559

A Parent Talks to a Child Before a Game

This is your first game my child. I hope you win.
I hope you win for your sake, not mine.
Because winning is nice.
It is good feeling.
Like the whole world is yours.
But, it passes, this feeling.
And what lasts is what you’ve learned.

And what you learn about is life.
That is what sports are all about. Life.
The whole thing is played out in an afternoon.
The happiness of life.
The miseries. The joys. The heartbreaks.

There is no telling what will turn up.
There is no telling whether they will toss you out on your first minute,
or whether you will stay for the long haul.

There is no telling how you will do.
You might be a hero.
Or you might be absolutely nothing.
There is just no telling. Too much depends on chance.
On how the ball bounces.

I’m not talking about the game my child.
I’m talking about life.
But, it is life that the game is all about.
just as I said.

Because every game is life.
And life is a game.
A serious game.
Dead Serious.

But, that is what you do with serious things.
You do your best.
You take what comes.
You take what comes.
And you run with it.

Winning is fun. Sure.
But Winning is not the point.

Wanting to win is the point.
Not giving up is the point.
Never being satisfied with what you’ve done is the point.
Never letting anyone down is the point.

Play to win. Sure.
But loose like a champion.
Because is not winning that counts.
What counts is trying.

 Do I remember the message of this piece in the heat of the battle when the score is close and we have a chance to seal the deal? Absolutely not. But I guess the last line of the poem rings true for me also. What counts is trying.

Throughout my life, sports was a way for me to travel and network. Many of the relationships that I hold dear to this day are ones that were kindled by my participation; whether it be in the form of coaching or direct participation. That is the only thing I want for my children – those same experiences that I had.

 

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