I am sharing this post to give some perspective to those that want to help their child achieve ‘HIGH LEVEL’ basketball success. High level success can be gauged in many different ways, for some, it may be playing/starting on an AAU team, for many it might be making the high school basketball team and for a few it may be a professional basketball career.
In order to achieve these goals, basketball demands an extremely high level of dedication. Everyone WANTS to be good/great at basketball but very few commit the time it takes. Most parents (and kids for that matter) do not know what other players are doing to put themselves in position to excel in basketball. I’ve coached players at every level from 5 years old all the way to NBA players and I’ve noticed a few things which I’ll share.
Recreationally Committed vs BALLER
I have been coaching kids full time since 2009. I’ve coached at recreational, AAU, high school and college levels which has taught me a lot about the game but even more about the players.
BALLERS cannot wait to get in the gym to work on his/her game, give 100% effort nearly all the time, spend time working alone, love to compete, learn from their mistakes and seek help to improve their weaknesses.
RECREATIONALLY COMMITTED PLAYERS show up to practice late or miss practices, blame others for their mistakes, hide from their weaknesses and only do what is comfortable for them.
A ton of players spend most if not all of their ‘free time’ working on basketball and if you did not know any better, you would think they deserve to have ‘high level’ success. The only issue is that basketball is SELFISH, it does not want the time you have left over. If your competition practices 2 hours, you need to practice 3, if they practice 3, you need to practice 4, etc… It is not enough to just get better, you have to get better than THEM which means, you have to sacrifice more than them.
Consider this…If you play an instrument and practice 2 times a week, month after month, you will undoubtably show improvement. You are getting better! Basketball does not work exactly like that. If you practice basketball 2 times a week, month after month, your skillset will improve but what if your competition has been practicing 4 days a week? Basketball is a competition! When you play in a game to measure your skill against someone who has been training more than you, you may look like you have not trained at all.
Now the biggest issue is time. I ask kids all the time if they practiced on their own and often times they tell me that they wanted to but did not have time as if that’s a good excuse. So, I tell them they might not have time to be good at basketball which is a real thing…MOST PEOPLE DON’T HAVE TIME TO BE GOOD AT BASKETBALL. That does not mean that you can not enjoy it and obviously, it is great exercise but when you expect to go out there and dominate someone that has invested the time while you were busy doing other things is ridiculous. At the end of the day, we all only have so much time. The choices you make in regards to how you divide up your time will determine what you’re good at and not so good at. I do not know any kids that are great at basketball, boy scouts, soccer, the violin and still has time to get good grades, go to church and hang out with their friends. However, I do know several players that are decent at all those things but not great at any. So, the question is, do you want to be great at a couple things or mediocre at several. In my opinion, this is definitely something to discuss with your son/daughter. I understand that when they are younger, you want to see what things naturally suit them the best or what they are drawn to but at some point, I think a choice needs to be made.
2 Things to consider
- My college basketball coach did not care if I could play the guitar.
- There was nothing special about Kobe Bryant except for the fact that he was willing to sacrifice and gave basketball nearly all of his time.
Take a look at the workout schedule below. Please leave a comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear some parents perspective on this.
Thanks and Merry Christmas!