Monday, February 1, 2010

Do's and Don'ts of Club Ball from Elite Parents #3

With the high school season winding down and club ball ready to start, I have asked some of the parents of college bound kids to provide advice selecting a club team.

This advice comes from the mother of Kansas committ, CeCe Harper:

Having played collegiate basketball , a parent of 4 basketball players (2 DIV I, 1 DIV I Transfer to DIV II, and a current grade school player), and a short stint at coaching youth basketball, I can truly say that I have seen it all on the club scene and there is nothing that surprises me. The thing that sticks out to me most in choosing a club team, is the honesty and integrity of the organization and the person/persons involved in running the program. We have been involved in club basketball on the East Coast and currently in San Antonio where as the level of play differs, but the tricks of the trade remains the same. When I refer to tricks of the trade, I make reference to shady coaches, out of control parents, and most of all the glits and glamour of the high priced club v/s the Mom and Pop club as they call it. The first question I often tell kids that desire or have the potential to play beyond high school is, “if any coach on any team promises you a scholarship just by joining their club team”…..BEWARE ! These teams often come with a hefty price tag, and a lot of ill promises that only leave everyone bitter by season’s end.
Some of the Do’s and Dont’s I offer for selecting the right club and preparing your child for college are as follows:

Do –
- Be selective in the type of people you surround your child with; too often they could end up hating the game if not in the right environment

- Be open and honest with the coach, as you would want him/her to be with you; everyone will not be happy in every situation, but spreading rumors because you are unhappy is not a way to deal with the issue

- Research a coaches history and the history of his/her team; how often do kids quit only after joining for a year or so? Do understand that everyone has their own reasons for leaving/staying

- Find a team that fits your child’s playing ability;

- Be aware of teams that are pay for play: this is usually not the type of team you want to be associated with

- Be honest with your child about their talent level; there is nothing wrong with DIV II, III, NAIA or JUCO, if you are planning to get a free education. Everyone cannot and will not be able to play at the DIV 1 level

- Push your child to be the best student-athlete they can be; no one can help you into college if you cannot make the grades and most colleges will be hesitant to take a chance on a below average student. Every club should be pushing kids to excel as much in the classroom, as they do on the court

- Be more concerned with the improvements your child will make, rather than the number of games their team wins; college coaches could care less the score of a game

- Learn more about the recruiting process and the requirements of college athletics; don’t let the coach do all of the talking for you and your child, your family will have to deal with it for the next 4 years if the wrong decision is made

- Not jump from club to club; this reflects badly upon you and what you are teaching your child in some instances

- Try and form a bond amongst player and parents; get everyone to trust one another and what the coach is trying to do as a whole. You will spend lots of time together and there is nothing like teams divided

- Take the SAT/ACT more than once; taking it as early as the beginning of your Junior year is always a plus

- Pick a club based solely upon the coaches resume; just because he or she played basketball, doesn’t mean that they know how to coach

- Criticize the coach in front of or around your child; how can the coach get your child to trust him/her, if you as a parent don’t

- Be overly concerned about your team’s win/lose record; in the end it is the exposure opportunities that matter most

- Give a coach more authority over your child’s future than you have; get involved in your child’s recruiting process

- Believe a coach that tells you if you play for me, you will get a scholarship; he/she is not on the college staff making decisions

- Boost your child’s playing ability only to down play another child; cheer your team and together they can all do great things

- Believe that just because you are surrounded by top ranked players that you will be ranked or that your team will be the best team around; be a difference maker

- Waste your child’s time, your time, or a coaches time with schools that you are not interested in; you and the coach can divert time elsewhere

- Wait until the last minute to take the SAT/ACT or apply for admission to the school of your choice; if you don’t have the scores, you cannot get in!