Basketball season is an exciting time for parents who’s players get to hit the court and play the sport they love. It’s chance to attend games, support the school, and support your kids. As a parent, you want to be involved, but you also want your kids to define their own experience. Use these three strategies to encourage your high school basketball players during the basketball season.
1. Let Players Find Their Own Way
Being involved with your athlete’s high school basketball team can be a good thing, but only up to a certain extent. It’s important to recognize that line. Showing up to games and events will communicate to your child that you support him and the team.
High school athletics are a great way for your child to learn independence and leadership, so let them take the lead (and maybe just keep an eye on them and how their student-athlete balance is going).
If you want to be involved, make yourself present at games and in supporting the athletic department!
2. Build a Relationship with the Coach
Athletic coaches are there to help your players learn, grow, and compete. The better your relationship you can build with the coach, the better the experience for the entire team will be. Encourage your player to have an open dialogue with the coach, and make sure they’re accepting constructive criticism.
That strong relationship can also be helpful if there’s a tougher conversation that needs to happen with the coach. If both parties walk into the room with respect for one another, conflicts can be worked out much more easily.
3. Stay positive in the bleachers
High school basketball players can be distracted on the court because they’re hearing dozens of voices yelling out instructions during plays. While clapping and cheering is of course appropriate during games, coaching from the bleachers is not.
Negative comments toward your child or other players are also inappropriate. And that applies to comments aimed toward the referees as well.
Sometimes a ref makes a bad call, but have you ever seen one change the decision because an angry fan corrected it from the stands? Yelling at the referees only brings a negative tone to what should be a positive experience.
Set an example for your prep athlete by treating everyone in the gym with respect, including the ones with striped shirts and whistles.