From one parent to the other parents: Let the kids play and let it be fun

Posted by Andy Durham on November 30, 2009 at 11:38 am under College, High School | 6 Comments to Read

I was reading over some of the posts on your website and I reflected on some of my past experiences.

As I was raising my kids we would go out and play and have a great time playing the game of basketball. What other kids called “work” we called fun. One thing that we did as a family was to go out and play.

This day and time kids don’t play anymore (playstation, facebook,etc…). They think that they can watch a game or two learn a couple of plays and they know the game. What we called “work” or “training” would absolutely kill them, but I digress. I’m writing this e-mail particularly in regards to girls basketball.

I have a daughter who is very well known in the basketball arena. I taught her that basketball is just a “tool” to get her to another place in life. I sit in the stands and listen to parents fuss at their kids when the game is over about everything that they did wrong.

In reality the chances of a female making alot of money in basketball is slim to none. There is no future in basketball after college (for most, if they make it that far). I guess what I’m saying is let the kids be kids and enjoy their childhoods. Get them out of the house and make it enjoyable. Teach them team work, hard work, and the most important of them all make it fun.

Parents are tearing down their kids because of a bad play but haven’t even spent anytime with them just enjoying the sport. If you have a girl that can get a full scholarship and a quality education what else can you ask for. I love them game and love watching the kids have their moments. Parents relax and encourage and support them. Make it fun!

GSO.com note on making it fun:
The more you love it and enjoy it, the longer you will keep on playing the sport……


  • parent said,

    very good article; parents should make the game fun. Parents have lost focus that getting a good education come 1st over a B’ball scholarship. We have kids that do not have to grades to be successful once they enter college and are you prepared; what happens; they get the scholarship to play ball; fail their grades and loss everything; back home. I am seeing alot of this. Parents, re-group and know that your kids need support; regardless. Education will go further that basketball.

  • Right said,

    Great Post,

    I can honestly say that I was becoming one of those parents. There is a fine line. We spend lots of money these days on AAU ect… So it does become a double edged sword between fun and working hard.

    I still give my opinion, but I do it differently. I let my child tell me what he did well and what he can work and then I may throw in something I saw. I no longer ask questions after the games either.

    My child is being recruited by great schools, but his focus is not the school but if they have his career of choice. How mature is that?

  • NGparent said,

    I was so glad to see this post. As a parent of a child who plays girls basketball I can relate. There is always a parent or two who spend the whole game yelling at their child and also the other children if they make a mistake. They also yell at the refs. It ruins the whole game when you have to sit with these parents and listen to the nonsense. What ever happened to sitting back and enjoying our children and their teammates playing a sport? These over eager parents don’t realize how foolish they sound. Somehow they are trying to relive their childhood. Unfortunately these parents will never get it and will continue making what should be a fun game of basketball into an opportunity to vent their anger. I wish these parents would follow one of my favorite rules… If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!

  • Tom said,

    Great post! The AAU parent syndrome creates the problem. This is true in basketball, softball, volleyball , soccer, baseball, etc… The majority of parents are wonderful and great, but there is always one or two who are insane. On many occasions, I have seen parents get thrown out of an event. How embarassing for the child! I have been to middle school games where parents were yelling at their children to not throw the ball to the other kids on the team because they weren’t good. My daughter has played travel sports for many years. We have always picked the team based on the parents first. We never wanted to be associated with people who didn’t act like mature adults. It is no coincidence that children of mature adults are normally well adjusted kids.
    I had my time to play and I enjoyed it. I want my daughter to have the same type of great memories.

  • francis said,

    Don’t leave out the coaches; they have students putting sports 1st before education to try and gain a championship at no cost. They do not realize that if these students play sports in college they have to be academically prepared. you can ask a student; what are you thinking about majoring in college and they will say basketball; are you kidding ????

    Parents, step up and take charge of your child if you want to get a sports scholarship. Merit scholarships go alot further that sports scholoarships; you can walk on the get a scholarship to play sports. If your grades are not right; you will get a partial or nothing at all. If a college coach looks at a student that plays very well w/up/down grades but the other student is a ok player with excellent grades; who you think will get the scholarhip??? Wake up parents ????

  • Damon said,

    Great Post!!!