I’m only going to talk about youth basketball for a minute and then I’m going to get into some other stuff. Today all three of my boys played their games. The 6 yr old won his game but left feeling like life was basically about anger and spitting on things. The 8 and 10 yr olds lost and it was as much the fault of inconsistent refereeing as it was on bad coaching and kids just not fully being into the game.
I got a letter from one of my mom’s basically upset about the way the 6-7 yr old team was developing. A lot of focus was being placed on so-called star players and there was this rumor floating about that these stars had been playing together forever. I hate gossip. I hate it even more when it devolves into justification for why something you perceive to be happening is ‘happening’. Now the team in question does have an outstanding young player. I’d never met the kid before this year. He’s a superstar. One of the other so-called ‘Supers’ has been playing with my kid for a year or so, but with him size is his super power. That leads me to the allegation. No, I didn’t stack a six year old team. In fact we are young and inexperienced with a handful of players who know something about the game. Truth be told my kid, who was the star of the team last year, has been downright awful this season. That leads me to the truth behind the complaint. The mom in question admitted that her kid has always been the superstar of a bad team. He grew accustomed to being the go-to-guy and in this situation he’s JAK (Just Another Kid). It can be defeating for a kid to realize his stardom needs to be put in perspective. That’s what is up with her kid and mine.
In this game in particular my boy wound up guarding some aggressive kids who foul relentlessly. Not one for taking guff (the baby of the family must learn how to stand up for himself), he fought back and there were several scuffles throughout. That got him angry. Missing all of his shots pissed him right off. I cannot account for the bad shooting across the board on our team. We hit nearly everything in practice–even when being aggressively defended. Come game time the water spigot shuts off. Sahara Shots. Adobe brick homes laid at the feet of their opponents. Regardless, we rebound well and win a lot of games, so there’s that I suppose. I am more concerned about sinking attitudes and bad ball movement.
Which brings me to 8-9.
I didn’t expect a lot of wins. This is another young team–one that had never lost a game until this season. Five kids from the squad have been together for years and years. They know each other well but the skill levels are all across the board. These aren’t the globetrotters. We have a few Washington Generals in the five. We have a few more still on our 11 kid roster, with little by way of height. We took our first loss in week 2 and haven’t looked towards the win column since. The first two losses were by a combined total of 3 points. This latest loss was 7 points and to a team with a great deal more talent. We competed as expected. By the end of the year we should be back to form. Unfortunately that also means no basketball for another 11 months.
I won’t talk about the 10-12 game. Thats the one that got me riled. I’m not an angry person by nature, but I nearly completely lost my mind out there. It sets a bad example for the kids and for that thought alone I was able to hold it somewhat together, but what happened on the court was so beyond unfair that by the end we had at least 3 kids crying and three more ready to fight.
Tough day on the court indeed. I was supposed to get to more stuff, but ten minutes and all…