How do I find a team for my child to play on?

This is one of the toughest things…  It sounds funny, but I know from personal experience, it’s TRUE!  So, here’s what I suggest for those parents that are in search for a team, not just any team, but the right team.

First, understand that this might take longer than you think. 

Make sure you allow yourself time to get this done.

Second, be prepared to spend a lot of time researching. 

This is where the meat of the work is.  If your son or daughter is looking to play on a select team, it might take you a full season of research!

A good starting point is contacting the local AAU office and finding out where some of the local leagues play or information about local tournaments.

Western Washington Boys & Girls AAU site

Then make plans to go to some of the league and tournament games and start taking notes of local teams that you seem to like.  Keep track of the teams and get the name of the coaches.  Also, see if you can catch the coach and get some contact information from them too.  Now be ready to narrow down your list to at least three teams.  From there, start contacting the coaches to see if you could come by and watch a practice or two.  Just let them know that you have a child that might be interested in trying out at some point and you’re checking out several teams.  As part of that discussion, you should also ask them when they normally have try-outs for their team.  This will give you all the information that you should need to get a good start.

The big thing is spending time going to league and tournament games!  Get to know the coach; find out how they coach during a game and how they treat the players on the team.  Do they yell at the players or are they teaching and correcting.  This is where the up front time really pays off, because ultimately, you want to find the right fit for your son or daughter…  The more time you spend in doing this, the more satisfied you’ll be in the end result.  Just remember though, you might end up having to travel a bit to find just the right team!  Unfortunately, that happens a lot.

Note: For those that are just looking for Rec. level teams, the local Parks & Recreation organizations should be able to help!

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Athletic sacrifice – What does this mean?

Well, it’s like most things in life!  Those things that are worth having, take a certain level of extra effort.  Since we are talking specifically about athletics, this mostly revolves around time.  How much time is the athlete willing to put into themselves?  This usually means some form of sacrifice; time to relax, time with friends or just basic down time.  This is where the average athlete hits the wall and the exceptional athlete makes the leap!  Time is a funny thing, you can’t go back and try to recapture it or try to work extra hard to somehow make up for it.  Wouldn’t that be nice, unfortunately it doesn’t work that way!

Another major factor that goes hand in hand with the sacrifice of time is Passion.  That’s the common denominator that I see with the exceptional athletes that I work with.  Every one of them has a passion and love for what they are doing!!!  They are driven to get better and better and the cost of doing so is secondary in their mind.  This all seems pretty straightforward  doesn’t it?  So, then why aren’t there more of these exceptional type players out their?  Good question… Unfortunately the time that we live in, is a time of high demand on everyone’s time and it seems to be getting harder and harder to break away from all the these demands.  With all the kids having cell phones and email, communication alone takes a huge amount of their time to keep up with.  Remember with focus and passion comes a commitment and with that commitment comes sacrifice.  There is no substitute for these elements!

So, what are your next steps for encouraging your athlete to make some sacrifices?  This is a tricky question.  I firmly believe that this is something that has to come from the athlete!  You can offer and provide all the avenues to assist them, but ultimately it has to come from them.  As you see the passion in them, you can help them with their focus and planning (Time management).  Until then, you can continue to support and encourage them with all the different aspects of being an athlete.  This is the time of nurturing the passion that may be there, but hasn’t quite taken a hold yet.  Just know that they might not ever achieve that passion for a particular sport and that’s okay.  I’ve seen some athletes not have great success in one sport and then they find another sport and blossom.  They may have some natural ability in this other sport and all of a sudden a passion grows.

Just know that they are all exceptional people in their own way and it’s our job to help them find their strengths and passion, no matter what it is.  Once they find that passion, they’ll be making sacrifices without even realizing it.  That’s the way it works, when you find your passion, it’s not work any more…

OUT WORK, OUT HUSTLE, OUT PLAY!

Welcome & Let’s Get Started!!!

Welcome to our new BLOG, where we’ll be talking about Basketball in general, Basketball happenings in the local area and what’s happening with Advantage Sports!

Feel free to leave comments, if you have thoughts on the Posts or even if you have ideas of things to discuss in the future.  I look forward to a good dialog and providing a voice for the local basketball community.

Now, lets get going and talk some Basketball!!!

This is what happens when you have an all out war in the GYM…