Jackie Bledsoe Jr.’s top five “must-do’s” for your child who’s joining a team sport.
The NBA Training camp is underway and the rookies are beginning their new lives as professional basketball players, while some veterans, like LeBron James, are joining new teams. Many have had the same teammates for the past few years, but now it’s time for them to meet new guys, learn new systems and follow new coaches.
Training camps help to set the foundation or create the vibe that the new guys will have with one another. It’s an important time for them as individual players and for their teams.
Your kids will experience joining new teams and bonding with new players during their youth sports careers as well. Just like NBA rookies and veterans switching teams, the first few practices are pretty important for them and their teams.
What can they do to make sure this time is used to build a great foundation for them and their new team? Below are 5 things they must do when joining a new team.
Drop the ‘I’
We’ve all heard the saying: “There is no ‘I’ in team.” That’s the first thing they need to remember. Although they may be competing for positions and playing time, they will all be competing together against the others teams. Approaching everything with a “what’s best for the team” mind set will go far with coaches and players.
Listen and learn
Although they may not have as detailed playbook and responsibilities as NBA rookies, there will still be a lot to learn. They need to listen well and learn as much as they can. This is the “sponge” stage, where they want to know about the coaches, the players, the plays and soak up everything they are taught.
One of the best ways to stand out is to work their butts off. I love the quote: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” In addition to getting better as players through hard work, the respect of coaches and players will also be earned. Teach and encourage a great work ethic to your kids.
The attitude your kids have will get them noticed. This could be for the right reasons or the wrong reasons. Make sure they remain positive. Whether they are struggling on the court or even struggling to bond with teammates, remind them to stay positive through it all. Being known as a negative person or a player with a poor attitude will be to their detriment as well as to the team.
At the end of the day, basketball and all youth sports are meant to be fun. They shouldn’t take everything too seriously or get too worked up about the new situation. It’s an opportunity to meet new people, build new relationships and play the game they love so much with a group of kids and coaches who feel the same way.
What’s your top “must do” for your kids when they join a new team?
A version of this post originally appeared on USAFootball.com.
(Photo Credit: Author)