The Great Equalizer

Posted by Andy Durham on January 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm under High School | 2 Comments to Read

Special to…..

One of the great equalizers in life is having the opportunity to play organized
sports. Athletes whom get the privilege to play on such a stage can gain many
benefits such as recognition, gamesmanship, self discipline and many other life
learning experiences. Today’s focus will be on high school athletics centered around
basketball since this is the season. In Guilford county there seems to be a
misconception that for some reason or another that primarily many of the kids are
headed for the NBA even if the parents do not want to openly admit it or not. I hear
all the fuss about changing to other schools because it will make them a better
student. That may have some merit or at least it sounds good; But I have never seen
where a school made a student better that did not want to learn in the first place.
I have seen where a child becoming more disciplined and organized in their habits
works wonders. Often one may hear where a kid may have offers from colleges
to play there and that is very good, but what is keeping that kid or his parents
from going ahead and committing provided the school have everything that they want
in a school? Keep in mind that the parents said they transferred their kid out of
one school in high school becuase they wanted them to get a better education? Then
in the next sentence they say ” more competition”? Which one is the most dominant
of the two or is really the real question or answer? I bet if one would ask the kid
they will find that they do not even know.

Next, lets move on to kids believing that they are better than what they
really are? Too often kids do not realize that coaches are recruiting kids from all
across the country and outside of the United States. AAU Basketball has done some
great things for both boys and girls on a broad spectrum. But it has also ruin some
kids into believing that they are above certain schools either DI, DII, DII or Juco.
Many times kids are led to believe that they are North Carolina, UConn, Duke,
Tennessee ect.. when in reality they may have more success and be more happier at a
school of lesser media attention. It does not lessen ones accomplishments from what
they have already done or mean that they did not have the ability to play there. Too
often kids are led to believe that these ranking services defines where they stand
in the larger picture; Parents usually get caught up as well. The big question today
is how come all of these transfers in colleges are
going on for both girls and boys? Many times the answer lies in the upfront
research from both the parents and kids not being realistic from the onset. They
often have too many people telling them they are ACC, SEC, BIG EAST ect…bound
that they tend to believe that they are a failure if they are not going to one of
those schools. Nothing could be further from the truth. If one would take the time
to check, they would see that many kids have left those schools and some that are
still there that were great in highscool are miserable. Now do not misconstrue that
as a knock on either conference or school. It is only used as an example because of
close proximity. It happens at lesser media coverage schools as well.

Do not be misled, most boys that you see transferring around in highschools and
reclassing believe in the back of their mind that they will play either NBA or
Overseas some where. I never hear them saying ‘I am transferring around because I
want to put myself in a position to become a better doctor, lawyer or businessman?
Have you? Now what gets most folks rattle is when the productivity does not match up
with the hype at the high school level. It is really hard when an athlete is on public
display irregardless of whether they are kids or not and criticism comes their way.
Sports is one of the few events that is on public display that you cannot fool the
public and expect them to say something other than what they see. It is one of the
events that transparency is at a premium in that you cannot go behind the scene and
try and make things up because you are favoring a certain person or persons. Its a
harsh reality but it is the truth and it
requires thick skin if one is going to go forward to what ever the next level of
their athletic ability will take them. Sometimes parents and fans get upset when
the truth comes forward, but what they do not realize is that they are hindering
the kid when they do not tell them the truth. Do not confuse telling the truth with
not being positive. True athletes can handle the truth and it makes them better in
the long run.

  • Tom said,

    Very well said. It is very difficult for parents to be objective with their own child. Even though it is difficult, parents need to guide their children in the right direction. Your job as a parent is to produce a well adjusted happy adult. You need to provide them with rational advice and not force them into things they cannot handle. I see too many kids who end up hating the game because they have been pushed beyond their abilities. Parents need to remember that it is their time, not ours.

  • Rico said,

    About time someone told it like it is. Darn good article!