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PostPosted: 06 May 2019, 13:40 

Posts: 1
I am hoping someone can help, because my husband and I are out of ideas. My son loves basketball, but has some serious confidence issues (I believe). As a result of those issues, his performance is very unpredictable. In 6th and 7th grade, he often looked like a fish out of water. He looked like he was 3 steps behind everyone else. This past school season, he had a new group of coaches and he grew leaps and bounds. His coaches taught him to post up and ran an offense that fed the post. Throughout the season, he was improving weekly. He still had the occasional awkward game, but more often he did very well. An AAU team reached out to him at the end of his final tournament and invited him to play with them. My husband and I were weary, since he had just finally started playing well, but he begged and we relented. He is in 8th grade, but the team is a 9th grade team, which I was not aware of when we initially signed him up. The competition is much more advanced than what he was used to. He has not performed well at all. The offense that his team runs is designed to provide opportunities for 3 pointers, and very little coaching is happening with how my son should assist with his size. My son is lost, and it shows when he is on the court. Again, it looks like the pace is too fast, which concerns me for his future in this sport. He loves the camaraderie of the team, but has not had a "good" game since joining the team. He often is in tears at the end of games because he knows that he is not performing well, and there are quite a few teammates that let him know that "he sucks." When I talk to him, he just says he doesn't know "how" to go back to how he was during the regular season. Do you have any advice with how to encourage him to relax? Or is this showing that he is just not in the right level of competition? Any help that you can offer, would be greatly appreciated. I hate that we still have roughly 2 and a half more months of this and hope that we can turn this around.


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PostPosted: 07 May 2019, 16:04 

Posts: 888
michellembunton wrote:
I am hoping someone can help, because my husband and I are out of ideas. My son loves basketball, but has some serious confidence issues (I believe). As a result of those issues, his performance is very unpredictable. In 6th and 7th grade, he often looked like a fish out of water. He looked like he was 3 steps behind everyone else. This past school season, he had a new group of coaches and he grew leaps and bounds. His coaches taught him to post up and ran an offense that fed the post. Throughout the season, he was improving weekly. He still had the occasional awkward game, but more often he did very well.
To ease your mind, this very common. Kids are growing, and their bodies are changing at a rapid pace. I'm sure you were watching in 6th/7th wondering if he was ever going to improve, yet he did. Just keep that in mind as you watch him now.

Quote:
An AAU team reached out to him at the end of his final tournament and invited him to play with them. My husband and I were weary, since he had just finally started playing well, but he begged and we relented. He is in 8th grade, but the team is a 9th grade team, which I was not aware of when we initially signed him up. The competition is much more advanced than what he was used to. He has not performed well at all. The offense that his team runs is designed to provide opportunities for 3 pointers, and very little coaching is happening with how my son should assist with his size. My son is lost, and it shows when he is on the court. Again, it looks like the pace is too fast, which concerns me for his future in this sport. He loves the camaraderie of the team, but has not had a "good" game since joining the team. He often is in tears at the end of games because he knows that he is not performing well, and there are quite a few teammates that let him know that "he sucks."
This also is a common occurrence with variations on the theme. A player is invited to play (like your son) or a team decides it's time to play up a level. On a rare occasion, those players and teams do well, but usually, it's a rude awakening. What helps is having someone to keep it in perspective like a coach or parent. My teams got pummeled in the beginning when we played up, and my son seemed to be lacking in court sense at the higher levels (like your son in terms of knowing what to do). At those levels, the game is moving a lot faster with better players, which is how you learn and get better. However, timing on when to jump in isn't always clear cut. That team must have seen something in your son, or they wouldn't have asked him to join.

This is a tough situation as your son is obviously struggling. Keep in mind the coaches decided how much play time to give your son in games. So, if he's getting play time at all on a 9th-grade team, they must see something in him. You can't learn if you don't get in and mix it up.

Quote:
When I talk to him, he just says he doesn't know "how" to go back to how he was during the regular season. Do you have any advice with how to encourage him to relax? Or is this showing that he is just not in the right level of competition? Any help that you can offer, would be greatly appreciated. I hate that we still have roughly 2 and a half more months of this and hope that we can turn this around.
I would encourage your son by pointing out his improvement from 6th/7th to 8th. Remind him that the team asked him to play, he didn't ask them. The coaches saw something in him they liked. I'd encourage him to talk with the coaches and ask them specifically what he can work on in between games. If he doesn't understand what to do on the court he needs to ask them for specifics. Is he supposed to set screens? Screen and roll? They should be able to tell him. Great life lessons here about asking for help and clarification.

If you have a few extra bucks, I'd find a private coach to do some one on one sessions with your son if he's willing. If that coach is willing to watch one of your son's games, that can help a ton. This could help boost your son's confidence and give him some encouragement to finish out the remainder of this season.

Hopefully, this helps a bit. It may not seem like it now, but I guarantee your son will gain some basketball skills and knowledge from this experience. You may not see it until he's back down at his level again, but this will probably improve his game overall down the road.

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