Basketball is a sport, and it is famous due to its fan following. Ironically, a sport needs more fans and fewer critics, that the need of an hour and the nature of the game demands it. Sports should be taken lightly, not as considered as a game, not a matter of life or death. As a basketball teacher, mentor, or coach, I am always asked to mediate the relationship between players, parents, and coaches. A most common question was ‘how can a parent greatly contribute to a child’s playing action, rather than contaminate it?’ We will present you four important actions that have proven to be quite fruitful for athletes, mentors, and parents.
Trust the mentor, coaches, and referees:
As a parent of an athlete, you have all the right to give the child instructions and guidelines. It’s significant to know when it’s helpful and useful and when it is futile. It can be confusing for a player who is forced to select between listening to a parent or a coach. This frustration and chaos can adversely affect the overall performance and confidence of a player.
Parents must place their trust and faith upon coaches regarding the instructions and necessary feedback. It should be kept in mind that the best coaches also can’t make the best decision at all times. It is to be believed that works in the best interest of every player and the team as a whole. Trust must be placed on officials that they are doing an absolute job although every call they give might not respond according to the plan. Parents should try to channel their energy and command to the controllable. Parents should celebrate the player’s efforts and hard work put in.
Winning is not everything:
The pressures of win or lose come to a player at an early age. It is provoked by the societal attitudes that encourage winning at all times which is quite impossible. Additionally, a parent also does the same and seems to be living vicariously through their child. Always, propagate that win or lose is just a part of the game. The most important thing is the player’s character and skill-building. There are numerous positive character traits developed via sports. If parents define success and failures in terms of win or lose, we are always at a losing end for our child. Always remember the important things in sports are fun, making friends and relationships, sportsmanship, relieving stress, and being physically strong and active.
In following a game, most participants are physically and mentally exhausted which ultimately makes coaches, officials, and mentors less receptive to constructive feedback. Try to refrain from the game feedback and constructive criticism on athletes and coaches for a minimum of 24-48 hours right after the game. This has proved to work quite well as it allows everyone involved to calm down, properly access the game, self-assessment, brainstorm about what went wrong, and ultimately leading towards self-correction whenever necessary. Allowing some time will lead players and coaches to be more receptive to the feedback and not become defensive or question the intentions.
Most significant words:
The most important word one can convey to an athlete following a game is ‘I love to watch you play. Pressures of win or loss have resulted in players thinking that their worth is measured by their performance. This is the absolute truth, which can’t be negated. Following a tough performance, remind them of how peculiar they are and the things they did. They should know parents will support them regardless of the final score.