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As a father of two boys and having coached basketball for most of my life, I have grown to see such a huge change in how we as parents are approaching athletics for our kids. I think we know how difficult it has been for kids, players, families, and coaches over the last few years. One thing I have learned is that adversity is the greatest teacher. 

Prior to COVID, both of my boys had graduated high school and had gone through the process of entering post secondary education,both as an athlete and student. Thank You Jesus!! I do not know how I would have taught my kids how to navigate through the pandemic. During this time, I had also worked with athletes who had to figure out the new norm and the changes it brought with it. For some, hearts were gravely impacted and new directions had to be found and their broken hearts had to learn how to quickly mend to a new reality. For some, they were fine and able to adjust through the adversity. To me as a coach I had no answer as the landscape had to change so quickly and there was no one who had successfully navigated this landscape before.  I often found myself reflecting and trying to figure out how to get through these things. All I could reflect on was my youth and experiences. 

What I have observed between my own teen years and my boy's birth is that we as parents have learned to be ‘Super Parents’! We became determined that we were going to protect our kids from the adversity that we faced and ensure that they had the best planned future that any kid could possibly have. Unfortunately, I think what we produced is not what we expected or envisioned. 

Now this isn’t to point fingers at anyone because I am one of those parents as well. I am also not saying that all our kids are going to be failures but that our kids would benefit by allowing them to fail a bit and teaching them how to get up and dust themselves off. We should be teaching them that adversity and failure is okay and is how we learn to adapt and succeed. Besides, hindsight is 20/20 they say! 

I often chuckle because one of my old assistant coaches from over 20 years ago once said to me…. Do you know what the problem with kids is these days, my boys were 5 & 6 at the time? PLAY DATES (Parents)and he was a retired teacher! How true this was! At the time I laughed but now I see it clearer than daylight. We have become so great at parenting that we have taken growing up and all the challenges of it away from them. 

As a coach I would love to never have to teach a kid how to catch or stop or jump because their parents had taught them or they learned through unscripted play. Our kids need some rough edges and GRIT! I honestly believe one of the best things we can do as fathers when we get home from work is, 1. Love their mothers and 2. Go outside and play with our kids. Real play… climb, wrestle, tumble and fall. They will learn so much more than sitting in front of a PS-4. Besides, it may bring back memories from when you built that unstable tree fort or fell out of the tree, skinned your knee, bumped your head or did any number of crazy kid things. I hear it slows down the aging process as well!

Isaiah 30:20-21

20: Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21: Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that. – Rocky Balboa

Have a great week!

Chosen Basketball Academy

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