(This tip is geared to any parents with children who play sport as well as all the business people who knock so hard on doors that they never hear the person on the other side say “come in.”)
Too often today players and parents get hung up on playing at the next level. As a college coach for over 25 years I am amazed at how many players and parents talk about playing at the next level or want to know how they can get to the next level.
It starts when junior high players worry about playing in high school and then worry about playing in college and then worry about playing professionally. My best advice to players and parents is “stop worrying” about the future. Seize the moment and squeeze every drop out of it you can. Enjoy the people you are with and the team you are on now!
If you are a high school player the most important thing to you should be helping your team be as successful as possible. Coaches at the next level always gravitate to watch teams that are doing it right and being successful.
If you are a parent quit chasing the scholarship. If your son or daughter loves to play the game and works at with enthusiasm then the opportunities will be there for him or her. From the time I started playing basketball and well into my coaching career my father (who was a high school coach in Ohio) would only ask me two questions after every game or practice.
*Did you have fun?
*Did you learn anything?
If the answer is yes to both questions, then basketball is serving it’s purpose.
These words stuck with me deep into my coaching career. In fact, one night after a tough loss to Oral Roberts I went back to my office. I was so frustrated in mad that I tried to pick up my desk and throw it out the window. As I struggled to make this happen (which was impossible due to the fact that the windows were not made to open) I suddenly heard my father’s voice. I sat down in my chair and thought, “did I have fun tonight?” Besides the loss, I was doing something I loved and that was fun. “Did I learn I learn anything?” Yes, that the desk would not fit out the window.
So, don’t waste your time worrying about the future. It will come soon enough. Or as an 8th grader said to me last week at one of my camps, “hey coach, you know why they call today the present? Because it is a gift and I am going to enjoy it as long as I can.” He was right!