10 Things I wish I knew that you need to know...
(In no particular order)
1. It’s NEVER that serious - Until your player hits high school. It’s all about learning the game, refining skills and gaining confidence.
2. Trust the process - Be patient with your athlete. Trust that the hard work and dedication they put in will come to fruition.
3. Trust your instincts - If you feel and see things are not ok in a team, in a coach, in a program... call it out, speak to who ever you need to speak to and if it doesn’t change, RUN... You are better off maintaining your athletes well being and mental health. Then “sticking it out” for the sake of loyalty or “potential” of the situation.
4. Don’t be fooled, it’s just as much about who you know as it is what you know. -The saying is The players who play are the ones who do all they are supposed to do”
... But that is not always the case. Some players play because they pay, because they have a name, because the coach likes them more, because the program director needs them to stay... understand that it is important to know the people who “run” the machine and know “how” the machine works. Make sure you meet informed parents, trainers and coaches who are willing to share with you what they know and ask ALOT of questions.
5. Take it slow, don’t rush into a “big brand” team until your child is ready to compete mentally and physically - Many of these “name brand” teams need to maintain a level of status and clout that can create a difficult and hostile environment. Don’t rush into it actually you should wait until your athlete is ready to compete against top players and is mentally strong enough more importantly CONFIDENT enough to do so.
6. Learn to play politician - You will have to learn the art of “making friends” and not always saying what you feel. Learn to listen more, talk less. Smile and be polite. Watch and observe and be careful who you surround yourself with. Not everyone needs to know your next move and not all people have your best interest at heart.
7. Be clear on your goals - Know what your athlete wants, what they need, what the end of the journey looks like and map out a plan on how to get there.
8. People lie - Self explanatory
9. Surround your child with positive, encouraging trainers and coaches - This is so important. The people who speak into your athletes life need to be genuine, real and loyal to your athlete. They need to know the goal and be part of the process. You and your kid must be comfortable with them and trusting in them
10. Teach your child to be a team player. But as a parent be loyal to no one... Very rare are the genuine and honest, programs, directors and coaches etc... -They all say we want to help them grow. “We want to help them in their journey. We are dedicated to the game and to ALL the athletes”… however reality is that this new era of programs look for clout, social media hype and profit. And many programs use the names of kids to gain that. So often times if you don’t have a “name” you are not as important. Talent can get you but so far in a world where people have their own agendas and reasons for doing the things they do. Not all programs are willing to put in the real work to help an athlete that needs to be pushed and nurtured into their role. So know your kid and what THEY need and find a place that fits.