Tips for parents or other fans

Playing the game can be tough, as can coaching. Watching the games? As invested fans, that can be tough at times too.

As fans of youth basketball, it can be all too easy at times to get involved in everything that goes on on the court - especially for parents. You are taking your kids to camps, practices, and games as well as footing the bills for leagues, equipment, and so on. This gives a deep feeling of involvement with your player and the program.

This is a good thing! You should be active and engaged in what is going on in your son or daughter’s lives. However, this involvement can also make things a bit difficult when you see your athlete placed in tough situations or under-performing.

Just remember - it is often best to address these situations according to the time and place. On the way to or from games are terrific times for constructive discussions, as everything is fresh in the player’s head. At practices, that is the coach’s jurisdiction. Let the coaching staff handle everything on the floor.

Where things often get tough for parents is where it is toughest for all parties - during games.

There are fine lines to walk during games. On the one hand, you are encouraged to cheer on your players and team, to praise them during their successes, and to build them back up when they make mistakes. As such an invested individual though, you may sometimes make mistakes.

Encouragement is always helpful, there is no limit on that. Where things can go wrong though lies in criticism, whether it is of your player, the coach, or even referees. Shouting at the refs will build bad blood between that ref and your team, no matter where it comes from. It also sets a poor example for the players, leading them to believe referees are a scapegoat for their shortcomings.

Criticizing coaches or your player’s teammates is of course discouraged as well. It will distract all of the players and take away from the important focuses of playing the sport.

Finally, save constructive criticism of your own player for another time. Your son, daughter, or otherwise is already going to be aware when they make a mistake. Compounding that with a public disappointment of their parents is going to get in their head in a big way. During game time, just remember - encourage, encourage, encourage. Let the coaches and team handle the rest.

Being an involved parent or fan is important, just do your best to go about it in the best way possible. Yanders Law is a tight-knit group, and we have faith that our parents, players, and coaches can set great examples for each other.