The 10 Commandments of Basketball Parents
(Adapted and reprinted by Coach Elliott with permission from Coach Chris Curr, Auburn Mountainview High School)
1. Be positive with your daughter; let her know she is accomplishing something by simply being part of the team. Encourage her in her role and her desire to grow as a player. Whether she starts or rarely plays in a game she is an intricate part of the teams success.
2. Don’t offer excuses for her if she is not playing. There is usually a reason for it. Encourage her to work hard and do her best.
3. Don’t put down her coaches. Remember the coach represents the “boss”, the “authority”, the “teacher”, the “law”, etc. If you constantly bad-mouth your daughter’s coaches, how can you expect her to respect and play for them?
4. Whether your daughter is a first stringer or a seventh stringer, players must follow rules pertaining to promptness and school. Basketball is a very demanding sport and coaches must concern themselves with a player’s off-the-field activities in order to get the maximum physical and mental performance out of their players.
5. Insist on good grades. No matter how good a player is, if she doesn’t have good grades, she doesn’t get into college. Eliminate use of the car, phone calls, television etc. that cut into study time.
6. Don’t criticize other players because you dislike their parents. Don’t try to live your life vicariously through your daughter. The West Seattle Basketball program is for your daughter; let her play. Don’t show animosity or jealousy to any of your daughter’s teammates because they score more, play more, or even get good press. This type of envy rubs off on your daughter and it can devastate a team. Who cares who scores or plays the most as long as everyone does their job to the fullest?
7. Don’t be a know-it-all. The coaches work with the players every day and they know what each kid can, and cannot do. As a fan, you are entitled to scream your head off in a positive manner, but please don’t become belligerent and arrogant toward players or officials. They are amateurs. Coaches are working toward a team goal. Respect that.
8. Insist on your daughter’s respect for team rules, school rules, game officials and sportsmanship. Don’t let her make a fool out of herself, family, school, and team by some uncalled-for gesture or incident that brings her shame. Self-respect begins with self-control.
9. Encourage your daughter to improve her self-image by believing in herself. Don’t compare and contrast your daughter with others, including family members. Every youngster is different. Don’t add pressure by expecting your daughter to live up to past players or an older sibling’s individual accomplishments.
10. Encourage your daughter to play for the love of the game, not for a scholarship. This alleviates a lot of the pressure on the youngster. Scholarships are in the hands of college recruiters. West Seattle High School doesn’t give them. Many talented players fizzle because the pressure on them to get a scholarship causes them to become selfish. Insist on unselfishness. Good things usually happen to the unselfish, hardworking athlete.