To Parents Of
I would personally like to thank you for your participation and support of Advantage Basketball Camps and youth sports. Our goal is to provide an atmosphere where your children can have fun and learn the valuable lessons youth sports can teach them. You play the most important role in making this dream a reality. It is critical for you to contribute to a positive, supportive environment in which your children learn and play.
Together, if we can keep our kids motivated and having fun, enjoying positive activities with other positive goal oriented kids, in a gym instead of on the street, then they will not have time to hang around the wrong crowd and slowly, degree by degree, slip in the wrong direction.
This is one of my strongest motivations to do what I do. To accomplish this, our kids must accept and enjoy the level of play of their current abilities. They must love the game and want to work hard at practicing and learning more.
As much as you want it for them, the most you can do is support them and gently push them. Teach them about commitment, setting goals, and working hard to achieve them. Continually reward them. Educate them that success comes from individual improvement and effort and is not just about the score. Consistently praise them for their efforts.
The very fact your child is out on the floor trying makes them a champion. Any young athlete can excel to a higher level of play if they are willing to put the time and work into it. The amount of time and level of effort they are willing to extend is directly related to their self-esteem, level of enjoyment, and self-worth, that is derived from the challenge.
No influence or single factor determines the future success of your child more than you. Success is seeing your child develop in areas of self-esteem and self-worth. These, by the way, are also the most important factors which determine how well your child will develop his or her athletic skills.
Statements like, “Don’t do that", "You should have", "Why didn’t you?", or "You can't", all send negative messages. Statements such as, “You did great today", "I loved that move", "You’re getting so much better", "I’m so proud of you", "Nice try, try again", or, "Right idea, try again”, all send positive messages. Tell your child they are ok and it will keep them wanting to stay in there and beat life’s challenges.
Seldom, if ever, does a player need to be reminded by you, during or after a game, of a mistake made. They need to know there was some observable value in their effort. "I made a mistake because I’m out here pushing beyond my comfort zone. Give me the ball so I can go for it again and make more mistakes until I get it right." This mind set comes from good self-esteem. Self-worth comes from the effort. Helpful advice from a parent should be deferred. There is always time later to work on developing skills that will help avoid future mistakes.
That is what practice and our camps are for. At Advantage Basketball Camps we encourage and reward mistakes. Mistakes are a good sign that the camper is trying to learn a new skill. They are pushing outside their comfort zone with no fear of reprisal, put down, or embarrassment. What player can truly develop good self-esteem and love playing this game with negative statements from those whose opinion they value the most – yours?
Thank you for all of your support. Always remember that our youth, on and off the court, are what this is all about. There is a lot more at stake here then just developing great basketball skill.
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