Monthly Archives: January 2014

16 Rules for Basketball Parents

1. Parents… you must embrace the fact that this is your child’s journey – not yours. Do not live vicariously through them. Put your focus on being a supportive and encouraging parent.

2. Parents… it’s true. Coaches do play favorites. They favor players who give the team the best chance to win, who have great attitudes, who work hard every day, who embrace their role (regardless of what that role is) and who support the program’s culture.  If you think a coach doesn’t ‘like’ FamilyCircusyour child; your child is more than likely deficient in one (or more) of these areas.

3. Parents… as far as playing time goes, coaches want to win. They want to win badly. If your child will help them win… they will play. If not… they won’t.  Period.

4. Parents… more often than not, your child’s coach is in a better position to evaluate and determine appropriate playing time because they see everything. They see workouts, practices, meetings, film breakdown and games (whereas most parents get an incomplete picture because they only see games).

5.Parents… more often than not, through both experience and professional development, coaches usually have a better basketball IQ and general understanding of the game then parents do (so questioning a coach’s X’s & O’s or their ability to judge talent is inappropriate).

6. Parents… stop coaching your child from the sideline. The only ‘voice’ a player should receive instructions from is the ‘voice’ of their coaching staff.  Cheer for them all you want, but do not coach them. That isn’t your job.

7. Parents… you love your child more than anything in the world. You always want what is best for them (which is understandable and respectable).  However, a coach’s obligation is to do what is best for the team.  In many instances, what you want for your child and what is best of the team is not congruent.

8. Parents… you should never push to discuss playing time, strategy or another player with your child’s coach. Ever. Those 3 domains are sacred ground.

9. Parents… politicking will never get your child more playing time. I promise you, this statement has never been said by a coach in the history of high school basketball, “I really need to start playing Jeffrey more because his mom thinks he isn’t playing enough.”

10. Parents… you should encourage your child to communicate any issues, questions or concerns they have (or you have) directly with their coach by having them schedule a meeting. It is my belief, as a parent, you have the right to attend that meeting, simply as an observant, but the discussion should be between your child and the coach.

11.Parents… do not undermine your child’s coach in the car ride home or at the dinner table. Subtle, passive aggressive comments like ‘Your coach doesn’t know what he’s doing’ or ‘I can’t believe you don’t play more’ do not comfort your child (although I am sure that is your intention) – it enables them to have a bad attitude and to make excuses… both of which are unacceptable.

12. Parents… if your child isn’t getting the playing time they feel they deserve or if they lose a tough game… use that experience as a powerful teaching tool. Teach them how to own it. Teach them what they can do in the future to possibly get a different outcome.

13. Parents… stop berating the referees. It sets a bad example and it makes you look foolish. The referees are doing they best they can. More often than not, a referee has a better position and a much better understanding of the rules to make the correct call then a parent does. And I promise you this statement has never been said either, “Can we stop the game? I’m sorry everyone. The loud-mouth mom in the stands is right, her son did get fouled on that last play.”

14. Parents… it is highly unlikely that your child will play professionally.  In fact, statistically, only a very small percentage of you will have children that play in college. So let them enjoy the journey. Their playing days will be over before you know it. Use basketball as a vehicle to teach the life lessons they will need when they grow up.

15. Parents… don’t push your child too hard.  It’s OK to encourage. It’s OK to suggest. It’s OK to hold your child to a very high standard of excellence… but don’t force them to ‘get up extra shots’ or get in extra workouts.  That has to come from them, not you.  If they choose to do those things on their own, be supportive. If they choose not to, if they choose to only do the bare minimum, they will eventually learn a potent life lesson (not make the team, not get much playing time, etc.).

16. Parents… one of the best things you can do is develop a quality relationship with your child’s coach.




Things We Do As Coaches & Need To Do To Improve Ourselves

1) LEAD: All eyes are on you…always. You are actively and inactively doing this at all times with your team. Your words and your actions are heard, observed, and emulated. There are literally 1000s of books to help you with ideas but ultimately you must develop your own style and your own tactics.

2) LISTEN: Hearing and listening are two completely separate things. You must listen to your staff, your players, your managers, your athletic trainers, your administration… You surround yourself with good people. So, listen to their ideas, their critiques, and their problems. This builds TRUST and TRUST builds championship cultures and identities.

3) COMMUNICATE: Your ability to do this as a coach has direct reflection on quality of your program and the quality of the people associated with it. In the iY Generation there is still no better way to make someone feel special than a handwritten note. A face to face encounter shows importance. Don’t totally discount the value of the technology we all have access to. Text message, face book, Twitter, and Instagram should all be resources in your arsenal.

4) MAKE DECISIONS: “The Village Idiot can do 95% of your job, boy. It’s the 5% of the things you have to do that separate you from them.”- Papa Neighbors. I grew up with that advice in my ear from a young age no matter what I was doing. As a coach it couldn’t be truer. You must make the decisions that will mold your team and your program. You get paid to be right more often than you are wrong. It takes experience. If you don’t have experience…READ!!

5) PRACTICE: Over the course of a full calendar year, you practice at least 5 times more often as you play a game. You must be good at planning and executing a practice. Every effective practice I have ever planned took at least twice as long to plan than it does to execute.


1) READ: “The man who chooses not to read is no different from the man who can NOT read”. You MUST make time to read. It’s the only way to gain experience. It’s the only way you will catch up to coaches who have more experience than you!!

 Write out your thoughts. You will be surprised how much thinking you will do on it before you are willing to share with someone else!! 

3) OBSERVE: Go to clinics. Attend practices. Watch DVD’s. Go on-line and use YOUTUBE or VIMEO. You can spend hours on hours. I have been watching NBA TV Training Camp and getting new ideas every hour. Again you are making the choice to or NOT to learn from others. If you already KNOW IT ALL, let me know so I can come observe YOU!!

 4) REACH OUT: There are so many resources out there. If you aren’t reaching out to others, you are losing ground to those who do. There are coaches all over the country willing to share. There are blogs. There are Newsletters. There are YOUTUBE channels. All with coaches willing to give back what others have shared with them? As Don Meyer shares “collect all the good ideas whether you use them OR not”.