Category Archives: Basketball

Basketball specific issues that may be for both parents and players.

Calling all coaches! I want to hear from you.

I’m currently writing a book about what it takes to become a successful coach.  One of the chapters will be about having a purpose or motivation to coach.  I would like to get your feedback about what your purpose, your motivation was that led you to be a coach.  Whether it is because you started coaching your own children, or because you loved sports so much, or whatever.  What is your purpose to be a coach?  What keeps you going?

Please click this link to take the survey.  When you’re finished, you will be returned to the Kidz “n” Sports HOME Page.  Thank you for your contribution.

 

 

Rob Wigod, Commissioner of Athletics for CIF Southern Section

This week’s guest on Kidz “n” Sports is
Rob Wigod, Commissioner of Rob Wigod - Commissioner of Athletics, CIF Southern SectionAthletics for the CIF-Southern Section.  Rob has 23 areas of responsibility under his umbrella as Commissioner.  You can view these areas by clicking here.

While the CIF is looked upon as the governing body of high school athletics in California, there are a number of things they have a say in and there are other things that the individual schools and school districts control.  We will help separate which is which and how the CIF-Southern Section benefits your teen’s sports experience.

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Good Coach, Bad Coach!

What do you do when your child (or you) doesn’t like a coach?

If you have been involved with youth sports at all, you know that there are many different coaches.  Some coaches are good; some are not so good.  Some coaches are better than others.  Some that may seem bad or good may just be the opposite.  So what do you do when your son or daughter comes home and complains about the coach?

When it comes to recreational sports, like little league, ponytail, pop warner football, etc., coaches are volunteers and you may have little say about who coaches your child.  Most states and organizations require that the coaches, even volunteers are checked out.  Many have to go through a background check and be fingerprinted.  For high school sports, that is a requirement.  For travel ball or club ball, while I believe better steps are being implemented to check out coaches, but there you have more say so in choosing what team your son or daughter plays for.  Perhaps your son or daughter is on that bubble where you may only have one or two teams who invite them to join.

So once your child has joined a team, it is a good opportunity to teach your child about commitment.  You all might be excited about being selected for a team only to find out later that it wasn’t quite what you thought it would be.  Or perhaps, there was a conflict along the way and now you feel some tension with team members or the coach.  Too many parents allow their sons or daughters to quit teams too easily in my opinion.  It is sort of a “grass is greener on the other side” scenario.  If you don’t water any grass it soon turns brown, regardless of what side of the fence you’re on.

It is a frustrating thing for a coach when a player is quick to chime in, usually during some instruction, “well, that’s now how my last coach said to do it.”  With a club or travel team, or even some high school teams, you might be invited to go back and play for that “last coach.”  Young athletes need to learn how to play for different coaches.  Just because you don’t like a coach doesn’t mean they aren’t a good coach.  Players respond differently to different coaches so while you might not like the coach, three other players on your team might think he or she is the greatest coach they’ve ever had.  Change your focus to trying to learn everything you can from that coach.  If you quit too many teams, you are not doing your child any favors and you will soon earn a reputation which might make it more difficult for your child later.

In my daughter’s travel ball career, which lasted seven years, we left three teams.  On one, they had a huge recruiting bonus because they made the championship game in a national tournament.  They suddenly had seven pitchers.  As you can imagine, my daughter got very little pitching or playing time.  At the Christmas break, we found another team.  Jessica said she would prefer to stay with the first team, and the manager said they were going to use her more.  We would have liked that too because their practice was 5 minutes away where the other team was 30 minutes away.  So Jessica was going to both practices.  After the first friendly, Jessica got to pitch to two batters.  When we got home there was an email from the new team saying they had a uniform with Jessica’s number on it.  That was one we left.  But we didn’t leave on bad terms and we didn’t leave in the crucial part of the season.

One team we left because they could never get enough players to play.  The third team we left we did so after the assistant coach, who liked Jessica a lot, told us the head coach wasn’t going to use her.  He had brought in a superstar pitcher, who I found out later was overused and had to lay off a year.  Other than those examples we completed our commitment to every team Jessica played on.

Parents, one of the benefits of sports is that it can teach your child how to deal with adversity.  That means even playing for a coach that you may not like very much.  Unless there is a situation that is totally unbearable, such as inappropriate behavior taking place, abusive language or actions by coaches or teammates, or something extreme where you son or daughter could be physically or emotionally harmed (I’m not just talking about being bent out of shape a little), help them deal with the negatives and look for the positives.  Help them learn to take something positive, to learn something new, out of every situation.

Have a great week.

Coach Mike

 

 

 

 

 

The Cost of Travel Ball and Early Specialization

This last week, all of our high school coaches received a message from CIF- Southern Section Commissioner of Athletics, Rob Wigod. This message is also posted on the CIF-SS web site.  Rob talks about the effect that elite travel ball/club ball and early specialization has had on high school sports.  This of course, goes along with the early recruiting epidemic that we have talked about on Kidz n Sports.

PARENTS:  I think you should pay attention to Rob’s message.  There are many “costs” of playing travel/club ball.  It is not just the fees you pay the team.  Nor is it just the money spent on private lessons or the expenses of traveling such as food and hotels.  There is a cost of time, a cost of your son or daughter sacrificing a good portion of their social life during their high school years.  And with all of the promises and opportunities of travel ball the results are still the same.  There are a very limited number of scholarships given out.  According to the NCAA web site the percentage of high school seniors that actually receive an athletic scholarship is only a few percent.

I am not against travel or club ball.  I think that travel ball can be a good experience even if you don’t get that scholarship.  My daughter played travel ball for about six or seven years.  She probably could have gotten a scholarship but at that time she didn’t want to go out of California, which limited her opportunity greatly.  But she wanted to play softball.  (Now she lives out of state….go figure).  We didn’t spend as much as many people do.  The teams we were on didn’t charge an arm and a leg.

I also think that the high school experience is being changed, and not necessarily for the better.  I’ve always said there is a different “pride” of winning a national title with your travel or club team and of winning a local or state title for your high school.  When you go back for your ten year reunion, your high school teammates can share the stories of your time together.  Ten years from now, your travel team may or may not still be there.  I see one team that we play against in our league where parents take their kids there when they should be at our school.  Then they are complaining to the coaches about playing time.  The high school experience is about sharing life, just like the band, or ASB, or any club you are part of.   It’s not always about just winning.  Parents, if you are having your children transfer two or three times during their four years what experience will they remember?  I still remember the bus trips with our cross country team chanting “We are the Lions, Mighty Mighty Lions, Everywhere We Go, People Want to Know Who We Are, So We Tell ’em”….  The trips after a race were often as fun or more so than running in the race.

So before you enter your child into high school, or before you put in for that next transfer because the coach didn’t put your son or daughter in the position you thought they should play or given them the playing time you think they should have received, I encourage you to read Rob’s letter.  I challenge you to go online and look at the NCAA stats.  Do a Google Search on early recruiting and athletic scholarships.  Talk to several parents: not just the one who’s kid received a scholarship, but to the others who didn’t.

And make sure your child’s youth sports experience is their experience first, not just yours.

Commissioner’s Message 6 – December 15, 2015

 

Whose Choice Is It?

Youth sports is a great avenue for our children to learn many of life’s lessons such as teamwork, fighting through and overcoming adversity, and setting goals for self improvement.  Just like anything else in life, there are positives and negatives.  So before you sign your son or daughter up for your, er, their favorite sport, I would suggest that you have a family conversation and explain the options. Most importantly, make sure that your son or daughter has input into what they want to do.

As a parent, your primary job is to raise your children.  That means instructing them in things like your family religion, basic education, discipline, and of course, providing safety for them.  This last one is an area that many parents are often left to guess as to what is the best course of action in many areas.  Education is the key.  Also, very important is being realistic about what lies ahead and what the potential downfalls might be.  So here are a few things to put on your list to consider:

  1.  Sports is playing a game.  It can be a lot of fun.  It should be fun.  But as your child moves up the ladder, if they want to improve their skills, there will be work.  It may not always be fun.  But that doesn’t mean that it won’t be rewarding.  Working to reach individual and team goals is the rewarding part of sports.
  2. Your child most likely will get hurt.  A friend who is a local chiropractor pointed out one study that shows that 97% of all people who play football will sustain some trauma to their body during their “career.”  This might mean bumps and bruises, but it could also mean sprains, broken bones, concussions, and even death.  Injuries are germane to any sport.  There are steps that can be taken to reduce and hopefully prevent injury.  But injuries are a part of the game.  Are you and your children prepared for this?  And on a good note, sometimes working through an injury can help improve your child’s character.  But there is a choice that must be made.  And you must live with that choice.
  3. Part of sports means letting go of your children and entrusting them to other adults for periods of time.  You must respect the fact that the coach is the head of the team and it is their team.  They will not always do things the way you think they should.  This can be a growing time for parents as well as their children.

These are just a few things to consider.  To help your child enjoy their youth sports experience, you might want to purchase my book, YOUTH SPORTS; THREE IMPORTANT STEPS TO HELPING YOUR CHILD ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE.  You can find my book on Amazon for Kindle or in paperback by clicking here.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season to you and your families.