10 Tips For Parenting Your Student-Athlete

  1. Be positive
    1. It rubs off. If you complain about them not being in the starting lineup, they will do the same. Be an attentive listener.
  2. Be realistic
    1. Someone may be bigger, faster, stronger, tougher, or smarter. Know their limitations and encourage them to make the best contribution that they can. Everyone on the team will have a role and encourage them to be the best they can be in that role. Star in your current role while finding ways to improve your weaknesses outside of required activities.
  3. Don’t knock the coaching staff
    1. How can you expect your child to play to their fullest if all they hear from you about the coach is negative? The coach represents authority so you will give them the wrong message if you ridicule the coach and his/her teachings. Support the coach’s rules, philosophies, and playbook. Encourage building high quality connections with strong communication channels.
  4. Support the other players
    1. Treat each player as if they were your own. Don’t dislike a player because you don’t like their parents or their role on the team.
  5. Don’t be a know-it-all
    1. Coaches spend many hours with these young people that the parents may never see. Be a good role model and let the coaches’ coach.
  6. Be an active parent
    1. Monitor their academics and insist that they earn good grades. If you put academics first, your child will be more successful.
  7. Have an awareness of your child’s social activities
    1. Monitor their friends, hangouts, relationships, curfew, language, and rules. Talk to them about drugs, alcohol, cyber-bullying, and mental health. If you don’t communicate well in these areas, the wrong people will influence them.
  8. Be unselfish
    1. Don’t use the sport for the wrong reasons. Let them play because they love the game.
  9. Don’t baby your child
    1. Sever the umbilical cord. It’s a tough world out there so let them begin to prepare for it. Let the coaches push your child. Let the coaches make them tougher mentally by challenging and holding them accountable.
  10. Don’t live your life through your child
    1. You had a chance to be young. Let them create their own story. Don’t force any sport down their throat.
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June Newsletter for Coaches, Players & Parents

  • Finding your Team Leaders from Texas Head Coach, Shaka Smart
  • Shooting Drills on The Gun from former Wisconsin Head Coach, Bo Ryan
  • NBA Champion, Nick Nurse – 1st Year Head Coach with Plenty of Head Coaching Experience
  • Articles on ‘Be the Same, Whether You’re Up or Down: A Lesson From Golden State’s Steve Kerr,’ and ‘Inside the relationship that unleashed Steph Curry’s greatness.’
  • A breakdown of Decision Making & Reads on Baseline Drives using WNBA highlight
  • Play of the Month: Portland Trail Blazers – Rub Flare/Kill

Click the link below to read our June Coaches Newsletter.

Just Hoops June Newsletter

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What we can learn from the San Antonio Spurs – Pound the Rock

Practice after practice, day after day, season after season, the Spurs pound the rock. They get 1% better every day. They know that the first one hundred blows may not yield the outcome they hope for, but only through one hundred unsuccessful blows will come the one that cracks the rock, the one breakthrough victory, the next world title.

We live in a world where some people believe that high-level athletic performance is easy and that people are born with talent and greatness. They want immediate mastery. They want all the accolades without most of the sweat. They want to hit the rock on the first blow and have it break. The world is full of people looking for a shortcut to the top. There are none. Are you willing to pound the rock?

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April Newsletter for Coaches, Players & Parents

  • Transition Defense Tenants from Kevin Eastman
  • Shooting Drills on The Gun from former Gonzaga Coach, Jerry Krause
  • Chris Beard, “Why I Coach”, from his time as Head Coach at Angelo State
  • Articles on how heartbreak didn’t break Tony Bennett and ND Coach Muffet McGraw Says ‘We Don’t Have Enough Women in Power.’
  • A look at Virginia readings away screens & turning a flare screen into a back-screen
  • Play of the Month: Virginia – Elevator Rip

Click the link below to read our April Coaches Newsletter.

Just Hoops April Newsletter

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February Newsletter for Coaches, Players & Parents

The February newsletter features:

  • Program Organization from Virginia Tech Head Coach, Buzz Williams
  • Shooting Drills on The Gun from Davidson Head Coach, Bob McKillop
  • Kobe Bryant visits with Nick Saban during Alabama Training Days
  • Articles on Arizona State women’s Head Coach, Charli Turner Thorne, who pushes her team to stay positive & How the managing partner of a multi-billion-dollar private equity firm became a college basketball coach in Virginia
  • A look at Michigan State’s primary fastbreak
  • Play of the Month: Marquette – Double Blur

Click the link below to read our February Coaches Newsletter.

Just Hoops February Newsletter

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January Newsletter for Coaches, Players & Parents

The January newsletter features:

  • Some Things I Think Are Over-Done from Texas Legend GM, Del Harris
  • Shooting Drills on The Gun from Saint Joseph’s University Head Coach, Phil Martelli
  • “Where does changing team culture start?” from Cori Close, UCLA Women’s Head Coach
  • Articles on Michigan assistant coach, Luke Yaklich, who has taken Michigan to another gear defensively & how Kevin Keatts is building his style of play at NC State.
  • How to defend screen-the-screener action using the “shark” concept.
  • Play of the Month: MIlwaukee Bucks – SLOB – Box Double

Click the link below to read our January Coaches Newsletter.

Just Hoops January Newsletter

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December Newsletter for Coaches, Players & Parents

The December newsletter features:

  • Essential Coaching Skills from Nevada Head Coach, Eric Musselman
  • Shooting Drills on The Gun from Syracuse Head Coach, Jim Boeheim
  • “Don’t get caught up in the things that don’t matter” from Jocko Willink, who is a decorated retired Navy SEAL officer & author of the book, ” Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win.”
  • Articles on Bulls Interim Head Coach, Jim Boylen, who is attempting to toughen up his roster & why Buffalo has found success recruiting junior college players.
  • Hammer Action for a 3 from Loyola-Chicago during their NCAA Tournament run

Click the link below to read our December Coaches Newsletter.

Just Hoops December Newsletter

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Part 4 of 4: How College Coaches Will Evaluate The Prospects Answers & Making Final Decisions

This series will give you an inside look into the college recruiting process from the coaching staff’s perspective. Understanding what college coaches are asking themselves, looking for & discussing in recruiting meetings will help your communication lines as the recruiting process unfolds. Part 4 will break down the various avenues coaches use to dissect responses from prospect & their families & what specific intangibles can separate you from the pack.

College coaches are evaluating every aspect of your life (academic, athletic, social, family structure) as they conduct their research and narrow down their top priorities. No part of the evaluation process is taken in isolation. Every factor within a player’s evaluation contributes to a bigger picture, which can then contribute to a decision. There are enough talented players to go around. The key is finding the right talented players.

Perception is often reality. Coaches are going to keep an eye on several factors: the prospect’s body language, behavior in huddles, communication with teammates & relationship with the coaching staff. Even more, coaches are going to dissect and evaluate your answers to get an inside look into your desires, motivations and beliefs.

  • Does he/she hold themselves accountable?
  • How does your individual agendas connect with the team agendas?
  • Does he/she have the desire to improve upon their weaknesses?
  • Are they humble enough to take coaching?
  • Does he/she acknowledge that they need to improve?

There are multiple ways a coach is going to try and identify how serious the athlete is taking their program. Is this athlete telling us what we want to hear or are they seriously considering us for their final decision? The prospect’s excitement & enthusiasm is contagious and will rub off on the coaching staff. Playing at the collegiate level is mentally & physically taxing. Coaches must know that through difficult times the athlete is going to stick to the process & work their way through it.

  • They will ask about their roster, game schedule, style of play, conference, etc.
    • How much knowledge does the prospect have about our team? Our season? Are they following our games/recruiting?
  • They will ask you about your goals, dreams & aspirations? Favorite memory of playing basketball?
    • Are they motivated by individual or team goals? Winning championships and/or individual accolades?
  • What are your hobbies? What do you do with your free time?
    • Where does basketball fit into this? Is it something you get to do or must do?
  • They will ask about a past mistake. A tough loss.
    • Does he/she take responsibility or make an excuse?

My best advice moving forward is for you to focus on these (4) specific areas as you communicate with college coaches:

  1. Do they attribute their success to their talent or to their hard work?
    1. A player that attributes success to hard work is more likely to rely on hard work in future situations.
    2. A player that attributes success to talent is less likely to see the correlation between hard work and success.
  2. How a player reacts to losses is the best indicator of their competitiveness. Everyone loves to win. Not everyone hates to lose.
    1. Players that take losses hard hours or days after a game must have a good amount of competitiveness. We are more emotionally tied to the things we care about the most.
  3. Two biggest red flags in a conversation: lies and excuses.
    1. Excuses are loud. Coaches want people that will take responsibility personally.
    2. One of the best ways to check this is to talk about losses. How much responsibility is a player willing to take for a loss?
  4. “I” language vs. “we” language. Do they see themselves as a part a team or is everything said isolated to the individual?

You need to be open, transparent and honest throughout the recruiting process. Take individual responsibility in all that you do. Start building these habits and mindsets now with your current team and coaches. All these qualities will help you move forward in life well beyond your playing days.

Read Part 1 of 4: What Questions Do College Coaches Ask Themselves While Evaluating Players?

Read Part 2 of 4: What Questions Will College Coaches Ask The Prospect?

Read Part 3 of 4: What Questions Will College Coaches Ask About The Prospect?

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November Newsletter for Coaches, Players & Parents

The November newsletter features teaching points for PGs in transition, a half-court set used by Chris Holtmann to counter wing pressure and takes a look at the GS Warriors Post Split action. This edition also features shooting drills on The Gun used in practice by Head Coach, Danny Manning of Wake Forest University. Read articles on how Niko Medved is building his program at Colorado State & how Jeff Capel is using previous experiences to help guide his Pitt Panther program in year 1. Lastly, learn from UNC Women’s Soccer Coach, Anson Dorrance, on how he grades character & activities he uses with his players to allow them “to play for something greater than themselves.”

Click the link below to read our November Coaches Newsletter.

Just Hoops November Newsletter

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Part 3 of 4: What Questions Will College Coaches Ask About The Prospect?

This series will give you an inside look into the college recruiting process from the coaching staffs prospective. Understanding what college coaches are asking themselves, looking for & discussing in recruiting meetings will help your communication lines as the recruiting process unfolds. Part 3 will break down the types of questions college coaches will ask about the prospect to family, friends, coaches & teachers.

College coaches are going to ask questions to those inside your social circle to learn more about your character throughout the recruiting process. They will ask your family, high school coach, teachers, counselors and teammates about your family background, personality and behavior. 100% of your day you’re being evaluated by someone.

  • Does the energy go up, go down or stay the same when they enter the room?
  • Do you enjoy working with & being around this person?
  • Who does he/she surround themselves with?
  • How much struggle has he/she overcome?
    • Has adversity caused the player to operate at the edges of his/her ability?
  • What does he/she do when he/she is by themselves?

-Coaches will ask about things the athlete has control over:

  • Are they on time to class, practice, events, etc.?
  • Do they put in extra work outside of what they are asked to do?
    • Practice, lifting, school work
  • Are they attentive & engaged in class?
  • Are they moody? Have emotional highs & lows throughout the day?
  • Do they respect other opinions, thoughts & feelings?

-Coaches will ask your parents/legal guardians questions about your upbringing or childhood:

  • They will seek out examples of competitiveness.
  • Questions about losses of specific games.
  • Questions about family structure & events?
    • Holidays, siblings & attachment to local community to gauge how important proximity to home will be.
  • How many years has he/she put into basketball?
    • Were they playing with older players at a young age?
  • They will inquire about the home environment:
    • What are the demands of that environment?
    • What daily demands do they have to rise to?

When coaches come to your practice, they are searching to learn more than just your makeup as a player. They come to see how you treat people and how you act in your everyday environment. How do you treat the staff, your teammates and managers? Do you treat everyone the same? Are you genuine? Are you early? Don’t give anyone an opportunity to say something negative about you.

Read Part 1 of 4: What Questions Do College Coaches Ask Themselves While Evaluating Players?

Read Part 2 of 4: What Questions Will College Coaches Ask The Prospect?

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