March 2011
     As we work to build the best program we are capable of building for our kids, there are often things that occur that should make us step back and take a deeper look at what is really important.  My intent is to educate and to share so that our kids benefit from more thoughtful decision-making on the part of the adults in their lives. 
     Playing on a team with so many good players.....  Most, if not all, of the players in our program could probably be starters and major contributors for almost any program in the state.  So what is the advantage of playing on a team with so many good players?
     1.  Players have other good players to work against in practice.  This
          allows each player to develop their skills better than those who only
          see competition in a game two or three times a week. 
     2.  Players learn that they have to earn their playing time and that they
          have to produce in order to keep their playing time.  Especially in
          womens sports, girls often do not experience failure until they reach
          college.  For many, it is devastating!  It can completely ruin a girl's
          self-confidence.  Playing against a better level of competition prior to
          college prepares them for this struggle.  Players, more importantly
          parents, must give up their desire for their child to be the star so that
          they can be more prepared for the challenges faced as a college
          freshman.
     3.  No one player has to feel the pressure to "do it all."  This pressure is
          fine if you want your child to be "the star."  If you, however, have
          expectations and dreams of your child playing college basketball,
          working within a system is most important.  As good as players like
          Brittany Griner (Baylor) and Maya Moore (UCONN) are, to be
          successful, they have to work within the system their coaches put in
          place.  Once they learn how to do that, they are able to use their
          individual talent to succeed within that system.There are no college
          programs that succeed or compete in the NCAA without players who
          can work together as a team and execute a plan.  Unfortunately, one
          of the biggest complaints college coaches have about players they  
          have signed out of the Memphis area is that the kids struggle to run
          plays and learn "the system."



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