Monday, February 1, 2010

Do's and Don'ts of Club Ball from Elite Parents #4

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 father of Southern Illinois commit, Olivia Patterson:

As parents we ALWAYS want the best for our kids. This sentiment should be the same when selecting a club basketball team for your daughter.


- Select a team that fits the skill set of your daughter. For example, if your daughter is extremely athletic and has above average speed an UP-TEMPO style club may be what you are looking for. As this type of team lends itself to freedom of play and individuality. Conversely, if your daughter is more skilled than athletic then a more structured or "half-court set" type of team may be beneficial. I can't stress enough putting your daughter in the best situation to succeed. Just because YOU like how a team plays doesn't mean your daughter will be successful.

- If at all possible talk to former players and parents of the perspective team. Get an unbiased view of the program of play, coaches and organizational history. While the win and loss record and the production of college bound players is important ,the goal for your daughter should be personal development and exposure. You can't get that sitting on the end of bench of an elite team.

- Select a team where the coach's daughter isn't on the team. My reasoning is this, no matter how much the coach tries to remain or "appear" to be impartial there will be some perception of favoritism and that can only affect the team negatively. Not to mention if your daughter and the coach's daughter play the same position, in your eyes, will she get the same coaching and opportunities?


- Don't select a team for your daughter solely based on the coach's name. The coach's name is just that, a name. Trust me when I tell you this, your daughters ability goes much farther than the coach's name or reputation. A name doesn't get you exposure, playing does. A reputation doesn't get you letters of interest, your ability does. On the rare occasion where your daughter's talent's and abilities align with the elite coaching pedigree of a well known coach, CONGRATULATIONS.

- Don't select a team that playing schedule doesn't extend north of Waco or south of San Antonio. About ten years ago this may have been acceptable, not anymore. The game has become far too competitive and our daughters need to consistently compete against larger more diverse groups of players. After all, these are the same girls who they are competing against for those coveted scholarships. It only makes sense to level the playing field the best you can.

These are just a few Do's and Don'ts that I believe are particularly important when selecting a club team for your daughter. Ultimately if your daughter has the POTENTIAL to play basketball beyond high school it is incumbent upon parents to put their daughter in the best situation to succeed.