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by Bill Finn Every child who picks up a basketball dreams of playing at Duke, North Carolina, Michigan, UCLA, or any of the prestigious NCAA Division I programs that garner national exposure for their programs from every media outlet imaginable. Unfortunately, the odds of a high school player earning a Division I scholarship are extremely small. It is important for any high school basketball player to know the facts. There are over 500,000 high school basketball players graduating each year. There are only about 306 NCAA Division I universities offering approximately 1150 scholarships in any given recruiting year. Therefore, only about one player in 500 can earn a scholarship to a major college each year. The three most important things a high school player can do for themselves is to improve themselves academically to be a college qualifier with their high school grades, improve the athletic ability they bring to the court, and obtain a realistic opinion of the skills they possess. Oftentimes, parents and high school coaches have an over-inflated view of the player's potential for Division I competition, for obvious reasons. Remember: There may be only 306 Division I schools, but there are also 254 Division II schools and over 300 NAIA colleges that offer full scholarships, a great education, and quality basketball. Recruiting college basketball players is what makes and breaks many coaches and programs. It is one of the most difficult tasks that a coaching staff must do. It is not an exact science! Of course, different coaches look for different qualities in their players. If a coach has a more deliberate style of play, he might not be so hung up on recruiting great athletic players at all positions. If a coach has a pressure full court game plan, he will be more inclined to look for quickness over size, and so on. What coaches do try to look for is a certain number of players by position. It wouldn't do a school any good to recruit and sign the best 5 point guards, because only one can play at a time. A school will look to bring in a team of well-rounded players that allows for backups at all 5 positions. With colleges being four-year institutions, if they sign four post players one year, they will not need to offer a scholarship to an inside player for a few years. Most colleges try to stagger the positions, as not to have too many players of the same position graduate in the same year. These are the truths that you must realize when you are ready to be recruited. You have no control over those factors, so don't be depressed if your number one college choice is not recruiting you; they may have signed 2 players from your position last year.
Sport A Winning Attitude! Sportsmanship Criteria Coaches: Set a good example for players and spectators to follow. Respect the integrity and judgement of game officials, and accept their decisions graciously. Respect the integrity and personality of the individual athlete. Display modesty in victory and graciousness in defeat. Encourage players and fans to SPORT A WINNING ATTITUDE Participants: Show respect for opponents before, during, and after contests. Respect the integrity and judgement of game officials and accept their decisions graciously. Show respect for members of the coaching staff and team. Display modesty in victory and graciousness in defeat. Encourage other players and fans to SPORT A WINNING A ATTITUDE!! Spectators: Show respect for opposing players, coaches, spectators, and support groups. Respect the integrity and judgement of game officials and accept their decisions graciously. Show respect for members of the coaching staff and team. Display modesty in victory and graciousness in defeat. Recognize and show appreciation for outstanding plays by either team. Use only cheers that are positive in support of their team. Encourage coaches, players, and other fans to SPORT A WINNING Attitude! ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR... Applause during introduction of players, coaches and officials. Players shaking hands with opponents while both sets of fans recognize player's performance with applause. Accept all decisions of game officials. Cheerleaders lead fans in positive support. Handshakes between participants and coaches at the end of contests, regardless of the outcome. Treat competition as a game, not a war. Coaches/players search out opposing participants to recognize them for outstanding performance or coaching. Applause at the end of the contest for performance of all participants. Everyone showing concern for an injured player, regardless of team. Encourage surrounding people to display only sportsmanlike conduct. UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR... Yelling or waving arms during opponents free throws, etc. Disrespectful or derogatory yells, chants, songs or gestures. Booing or heckling an official's decision. Criticizing officials in any way; displays of temper with an official's call. Yells that antagonize opponents. Refusing to shake hands or give recognition for good performances. Blaming the loss of the game on officials, coaches or participants. Laughing or name calling to distract an opponent. Use of profanity or displays of anger that draw attention away from the game. Doing own yells instead of following the lead of cheerleaders.
Sportsmanship Criteria for Coaches, Participants and Spectators and a list of acceptable and unacceptable behavior:
A wonderful critique of sports parents from the kids perspective. Parents should check this out, then ask their child if he or she would care to expand or modify the list: 1. During car rides to games or practice, kids don't want you to tell them how to do this or that. ("I am not stupid," or "I know how to play the sport I play," are typical responses.) 2. Kids can get psyched for a game without parental help. ("I hate it when my parent says, 'Are you ready? We're going to win,' like they're the one playing." ) 3. It's your duty as a parent to sit quietly and watch your kids do wonderful things. (Kids get bummed out when you miss games or yak it up too much with friends in the stands.) 4. If you don't know what you're talking about, kids don't want you to talk. (Typical comments: " Parents think they know the rules, but they don't." "My mom asks annoying questions.'' And ''I hate when my mom tells me to do things even when she doesn't know the first thing about sports.") 5. Even if you do know what you're talking about, kids don't want you to talk. ("I hate when parents tell us to do the exact opposite of what the coaches say," "If your parent isn't the coach, he or she shouldn't try to be one.") 6. Kids wish parents would practice what you preach about sportsmanship. ("My dad always wants me to he a 'good sport,' but a lot of the time he blames the loss on the ref." "Arguing with the refs is not only embarrassing, but it takes up time." ) 7. Kids often can't hear a parent yelling when they're concentrating on the game. (Sometimes, they can. Either way, they don't like it. "Parents yell advice a player doesn't hear because they're so into playing the game."I feel embarrassed when my parents yell so loud that the whole town can hear," and "They yell and scream and look like dorks.") 8. After they lose, kids don't want to be told it doesn't matter. ( Typical reactions: ""I hate when we get knocked out of the playoffs and parents say, 'You'll get them next time!" "When parents try to cheer you up after a loss, all they do is remind you of the score." ) 9. After they lose, kids don't want to be told that it does matter. ("Parents take losses harder than we do". You win some, you lose some, no big deal! "Get over it!") 10. Kids just want to have fun. Parents lust don't get this. kids say. --From the Diocesan Handbook concerning sports, parents, coaches, etc.
Studies have shown that as many as 70 percent of the children who participate in youth sports drop out before age 13. Here are some of the reasons: 1) players do not get a chance to play 2) the coaches are abusive 3) winning is overemphasized 4) there is excessive repetition that leads to boredom We need to change this. Let's make kids' sports fun for all the players!