This is a must-read article published over at The Sports Digest by the United States Sports Academy.
Written by the wife of a D1 basketball coach, it touches on area’s of the game that are lacking today. Area’s such as discipline, accountability, work ethic, and much more. And though written by the wife of women’s coach and dealing with the women’s game, this in no way is relegated to women’s basketball alone. The men’s game has the same issues as does high school and youth basketball.
We will share a portion of this article here, but you need to go read it in its’ entirety. And please share it!
Basketball is life. I lived and breathed those words from a young age. I spent hours upon hours in the gym in a tiny Montana town hoping enough people would show up to play a game of pick up ball. I would dribble my basketball across the street to the middle school to shoot hoops, rain or shine. I would beg my friends to come play for “just an hour” on a hot summer day when all they wanted to do was swim in the local pool. Basketball was life.
That mentality propelled me to work hard every day. My dad was a high school boys basketball coach and always stressed the importance of working hard to meet my goals. There was no club basketball, there was limited college exposure in our town of maybe 5,000 people at the time. I’d have to work extra hard to get a basketball scholarship and my grades had better be good enough to fall back on. My parents wouldn’t be able to afford college, so it was up to me to make it happen and my goals fueled me day in and day out.
So you’d think that with this great life of basketball, love, and relationships, we’d be on cloud nine riding off into the sunset of passionate work and fruitful victories, but a dark cloud of change is starting to cover the basketball world and it’s scary. We see this cloud moving in daily.
I hate to generalize and there are so many exceptions and my plea is to be the exception, but the culture of women’s basketball is starting to become one of entitlement and blame. I’m seeing girls who not only won’t go the extra mile, but they will do whatever it takes to make the bare minimum. They were the best player on their club team so they don’t understand why they have to work just as hard as the girl next to them for their position. They think it’s ok to skip study hall and use the excuse that other people are doing it, too. Their teammate will get recognition for a great play or a great game and they will get jealous that it wasn’t them or blame the coach that he/she favors the player. They will lose playing time because of their attitude and will claim discrimination or mental abuse.
I’m seeing girls that are more concerned about posting on their snap chat and Twitter they had a career high 15 points and were going to party the night away, than those that love the game so much that they are hungry to make themselves and their teammates better. I’m seeing girls who aren’t as successful (even as freshman and sophomores) as they think they should be, who blame the coach and want to transfer. I’m seeing parents who aren’t happy with their child’s playing time who call the coach, athletic director, and yes, the president of the college or university, because their kid isn’t being treated fairly. I see parents after games walk up the coach and confront them that they are mistreating their child. More often than not, it’s their child that is failing school and gives very little effort at practice. I’m seeing players band together, not on the court, but off the court, claiming they are being emotionally abused because their coach yells at them and is demanding. They then sue the coach and university for all of the hardships they are going through.
What the heck is happening with women’s basketball?…
FYI … this isn’t just relegated to women’s basketball. Or even basketball. And certainly not just college.
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