Author Topic: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team  (Read 1134 times)

dabighen

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Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« on: November 13, 2022, 02:55:15 PM »
Hi all,

My daughter is understandably upset she did not make her middle school team.  She is a very young 6th grader (birthday early October).  She really wants to make the team next year.  My observation is that she has the individual skills, but lacks that "basketball instnct" that you get from playing competitivly.

I want to support her goal the best I can, but realistically, it seems like she will consistently be behind her peers now that she got cut since her peers will now be playing and she will really only be able to play with others who didnt make the team.  I am trying to encourage her, if she really wants to make it next year to assert herself with those who made it and play with them, but other than that I am absent any good advice for her.

Any advice I can give her to help her achieve her goal?  My message to her is she needs to work hard and it is her own doing that will have her make the team next year, but I feel like I am being too vague in supporting her.

Thanks,

Matt

Malcat

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Re: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2022, 03:40:22 PM »
This is all going to come down to how emotionally healthy her relationship is with this goal.

I think the critical thing is to help her understand why she is at such a substantial disadvantage, how sometimes advantages and disadvantages are just unfair and that's just the way life is. That she may be able to overcome her disadvantages with effort, but she may not, and that's okay.

Discuss alternatives, like perhaps joining a more inclusive community team if what matters to her is being able to play.

Also talk about what it is she actually gets out of basketball, what competition means for her, what need she is actually trying to meet by making the team.

Is she able to enjoy a less competitive environment? If not, why, why not? Are her reasons for this healthy?

Basically, don't try to solve her problem for her. Try to understand what it is that she wants, what she needs, why she needs it. Take it as an opportunity to learn more about her and explore together options.

This is how people build their best lives. Sometimes the obvious path to what you think you want isn't the best one for what you actually need. Work on this with her and you will understand her more and she will have developed an important life skill.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2022, 03:53:39 PM »
 My guidance is for boys, which, unfortunately, is typically much more competitive than girls. While I'm sad for your daughter, I'm happy there are enough girls trying out that they had to make cuts. In our area, most sports have 2-3x as many boys trying out for sports as girls. Anyway, an aside.

Does your daughter play club basketball? Does she play on any type of a team? Are there camps she can play on over the break or summer? Again, using boys & our area, it's almost impossible to make any type of middle/high school sport unless you play regularly, typically club (soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, etc). It's totally fine if you don't want that commitment, your daughter isn't that interested, etc. When kids start trying out for soccer in middle school, most of the other people trying out have been playing rec for a couple of years, and then potentially like 4 years of club. That's pretty hard to compete with, for the average kid.

If she is really interested & motivated, I'd help her find options that work with your family's budget & schedule, and see what you can come up with. I know quite a few kids who got cut from a sport in 6th grade, and went on to play in 7th and beyond. I wouldn't let that hold her back.


newbie

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Re: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2022, 04:25:09 PM »
Are there rec or YMCA programs for her to play on during the winter season?  My kids participated in a 3-on-3 league which really helped their skills because there was no hiding on the court.  And I agree with trying to find a camp during the summer.  Developing her dribbling skills and being quick with the ball will give her an advantage if she isn't on the taller end.  Good luck to her!

Laura33

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Re: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2022, 07:00:29 AM »
FWIW, I suggest focusing on the empathy vs. the "how to make the team next year."  The lesson you're trying to teach is incredibly important, i.e., you need to put in the effort if you want to make something happen.  But whether she makes the team is only partly within her control -- she could bust her butt all year and still not make the team next year.  And if that happens, she'll conclude that she still must not have tried hard enough and it's all her fault and she's a failure and all that.

The most important thing you can do for her now is to listen sympathetically and not jump to "here's how you fix it."  Which is 100% counterintuitive for parents; I mean, we want our kids to be happy, we know what it usually takes to accomplish XYZ, so time to get on a program to do that, right?  But it's way more important that your daughter learn to handle disappointment appropriately than it is to make the team here; the life of a basketball team is short, but there is always, always going to be disappointment.  Plus when you tell your kid how to fix stuff, you are effectively saying "I don't trust you to figure out how to handle this on your own."  And that actually undercuts the self-sufficiency you're trying to build in your kid by telling her all the many ways she can work to make the team next year -- particularly in the MS years, when they're really just starting to fledge a bit.  (Ask me how I know)

By all means, you're doing the right thing to come up with ideas for her -- rec leagues, playing pickup ball whenever she can, etc.  But when she's in the middle of the disappointment, just be a shoulder she can cry on and still feel 100% accepted and loved.  You've got plenty of time to move on to the helpful suggestions when the tears have dried and she's looking for guidance.

GuitarStv

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Re: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2022, 07:38:18 AM »
If your daughter didn't make the team, she doesn't have the skill needed.  If she wants to make it next year she'll need to work very hard to develop it.

How many games (both competitive and random pick-up) is she getting a week?  If you want to get better at it, there is no substitute at all for time spent doing an activity.  Skill in a sport like basketball (reading other players, anticipating bounces, knowing when to jump to block a shot, reading plays, handling the ball when someone is trying to take it from you, knowing when to take shots, knowing which shots and plays are high percentage, etc.) comes directly from time spent in the game.

Now, once you have a base of games played, then comes the need to drill and practice until every action becomes intuitive and second nature.  Time you can't spend on the court competitively has to cover the sports specific training for strength and endurance for the activity - lots of suicides, agility drills, hand/eye coordination stuff, weight training, dribbling, passing, shooting, etc.  Every action needs to be practiced and perfect.  And you need someone watching her play to figure out which drills she will most benefit from.

If she really wants it, she can improve and go for it next year . . . but you should expect to be spending significant time to achieve this goal.  You want to be spending around ten hours a week to really be learning enough to become competitive in a sport, and will need access to a reasonable place to play for that period.  It's a long, hard road.  Expect to be paying for clubs, planning around practices, driving her all over the place so she can play in games, helping her look up tutorials and drills online, timing her pre-school exercises, and then packing lunch for her post-school games.  There is no short cut, and no substitute for time.

I've known very few people who were able to be competitive without working hard at their sport . . . but a huge number of people who were only able to be competitive by devoting big chunks of time to developing and maintaining high skill levels.  The funny thing is, those who didn't have to work hard at the beginning tend to be the ones who have the most trouble later on - because they don't develop the kind of work ethic necessary to continue.  That grit and drive is what competitive sports are all about (it's the single best thing that sports can impart on a young person), and it can be a learned skill.

ToTheMoon

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Re: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2022, 07:52:20 AM »
Hmm, grade 6 girls...

I am going to go a different route with this - before trying to improve her basketball skills there is something else you might want to dig into:

Is this really about basketball or is this about friends having
made the team and now she will feel like an outsider, and she is actually worried about her social status going forward?

Perhaps I am projecting,  but you might want to confirm the root cause of the disappointment before signing her up for a bunch of teams. :)

Malcat

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Re: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2022, 01:35:27 PM »
Hmm, grade 6 girls...

I am going to go a different route with this - before trying to improve her basketball skills there is something else you might want to dig into:

Is this really about basketball or is this about friends having
made the team and now she will feel like an outsider, and she is actually worried about her social status going forward?

Perhaps I am projecting,  but you might want to confirm the root cause of the disappointment before signing her up for a bunch of teams. :)

Yup.

Before you hire drill sergeant GuitarStv to scream at her about how disciplined she needs to be, perhaps figure out why this matters to her so much first.


GuitarStv

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Re: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2022, 01:58:13 PM »
Hmm, grade 6 girls...

I am going to go a different route with this - before trying to improve her basketball skills there is something else you might want to dig into:

Is this really about basketball or is this about friends having
made the team and now she will feel like an outsider, and she is actually worried about her social status going forward?

Perhaps I am projecting,  but you might want to confirm the root cause of the disappointment before signing her up for a bunch of teams. :)

Yup.

Before you hire drill sergeant GuitarStv to scream at her about how disciplined she needs to be, perhaps figure out why this matters to her so much first.

I agree that talking to the child is the first step to take - that just seemed obvious enough that it wouldn't be necessary to state.  :P

Some people have really weird ideas about sport and coaching.  Dedication and discipline don't come from screaming and forcing someone to do something.  That's the way to make someone hate a sport . . . and if they don't give it up entirely, it's despite the screaming, not because of it.  If the participant doesn't enthusiastically want to be doing the work to get better, then they don't really want to be competitive in a sport.  That's perfectly OK!  Plenty of people want to do things recreationally - nothing wrong with that.

The original poster's daughter is behind her peers right now - that's why she was cut.  If she wants to make that up, it's very likely that she can - but not without hard work.  Whether or not she wants to do that should be completely up to her of course.  I was operating under the impression that this was something she desperately wanted, but didn't know how to get there.  If she doesn't want it, then a different approach is definitely best.

Malcat

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Re: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2022, 02:21:35 PM »
Hmm, grade 6 girls...

I am going to go a different route with this - before trying to improve her basketball skills there is something else you might want to dig into:

Is this really about basketball or is this about friends having
made the team and now she will feel like an outsider, and she is actually worried about her social status going forward?

Perhaps I am projecting,  but you might want to confirm the root cause of the disappointment before signing her up for a bunch of teams. :)

Yup.

Before you hire drill sergeant GuitarStv to scream at her about how disciplined she needs to be, perhaps figure out why this matters to her so much first.

I agree that talking to the child is the first step to take - that just seemed obvious enough that it wouldn't be necessary to state.  :P

Some people have really weird ideas about sport and coaching.  Dedication and discipline don't come from screaming and forcing someone to do something.  That's the way to make someone hate a sport . . . and if they don't give it up entirely, it's despite the screaming, not because of it.  If the participant doesn't enthusiastically want to be doing the work to get better, then they don't really want to be competitive in a sport.  That's perfectly OK!  Plenty of people want to do things recreationally - nothing wrong with that.

The original poster's daughter is behind her peers right now - that's why she was cut.  If she wants to make that up, it's very likely that she can - but not without hard work.  Whether or not she wants to do that should be completely up to her of course.  I was operating under the impression that this was something she desperately wanted, but didn't know how to get there.  If she doesn't want it, then a different approach is definitely best.

But it's actually NOT at all obvious to a lot of people, especially parents.

Have you not been exposed to the enormous amount of parents who put astronomical pressure on their kids to excel at sports and other ECs?

Maybe OP is super on it, but many parents would just jump to assuming that because their kid wants to make the team that helping them heap the pressure on themselves is the answer because accomplishment and discipline are *always* good to foster, right?

GuitarStv

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Re: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2022, 05:01:15 PM »
Maybe OP is super on it, but many parents would just jump to assuming that because their kid wants to make the team that helping them heap the pressure on themselves is the answer because accomplishment and discipline are *always* good to foster, right?

I guess I don't see "accomplishments" or "discipline" as being something that comes from without.  You can foster it by suggesting things, by making your time available to help, etc.  But ultimately all that drive has to come from the kid or it won't succeed (at least not long term).

Malcat

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Re: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2022, 05:42:03 PM »
Maybe OP is super on it, but many parents would just jump to assuming that because their kid wants to make the team that helping them heap the pressure on themselves is the answer because accomplishment and discipline are *always* good to foster, right?

I guess I don't see "accomplishments" or "discipline" as being something that comes from without.  You can foster it by suggesting things, by making your time available to help, etc.  But ultimately all that drive has to come from the kid or it won't succeed (at least not long term).

N'ah dude.

Seriously? Parents obviously shape a lot of their kid's expectations of themselves. Literally every miserable over achiever I've ever worked with can trace their compulsive self flagellating bullshit back to some nonsense from their parents.

secondcor521

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Re: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2022, 05:51:49 PM »
I want to support her goal the best I can, but realistically, it seems like she will consistently be behind her peers now that she got cut since her peers will now be playing and she will really only be able to play with others who didnt make the team.  I am trying to encourage her, if she really wants to make it next year to assert herself with those who made it and play with them, but other than that I am absent any good advice for her.

Your pessimism seems to indicate that you are result / achievement oriented.  (I think I recognize it because I'm that way with my kids too.)

I would try to focus on the process, not the result.  Praise and support the effort, not the accomplishment.  Help her become a better player, a player who practices hard and studies the sport and puts in a full effort and doesn't quit and asks questions and accepts feedback and stretches and lifts weights and does aerobic work and has a positive attitude and is a team player.  Not a player who makes or doesn't make the team.

It could be an early lesson in circle of control for her and for you.  (See https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/10/07/how-big-is-your-circle-of-control/)

Any advice I can give her to help her achieve her goal?  My message to her is she needs to work hard and it is her own doing that will have her make the team next year, but I feel like I am being too vague in supporting her.

One specific suggestion you can make to her is to advocate for herself by going to the coach(es) that cut her, express her interest in making the team next year, and asking for specific feedback from the coach(es) on areas where she can improve (dribbling? passing? free throw accuracy?), and suggestions from them for how to improve in those areas (drills? joining the YMCA team? serve as an assistant coach this year for the team?).  While your opinion might be accurate, it might very well differ from the opinion of the coach(es).

This skill can obviously translate to academics and arts and hobbies and jobs and adult relationships.

charis

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Re: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2022, 06:02:36 PM »
I started playing basketball recreationally in 3rd grade, went to a a week camp every summer, played modified in 7th and tried out for JV twice without success.  I didn't have the experience, talent, or the drive to overcome being behind (hindsight) despite putting in a moderate amount of work, but I was sad. It was less a social thing than an ego/status thing - basketball and soccer her IT at my school and I didn't play soccer.  I was vaguely athletic enough to pivot to learning a less competitive sport and was part of a program that built up to a very success team by the end of high school through years of hard work.  My point is that several great lessons can be learned in the process of working toward this goal, even if it is ultimately unsuccessful.

point from x-post: My memory of my mother from childhood was that she was consistently negative.  I barely remember her attending my sporting events and all the memories I have involve negativity (was I trying hard/hustling hard enough?).  Interestingly, my dad was way more involved in my sporting endeavors and probably spent the most time giving critical feedback, but his encouragement and positivity is what stands out.  He coached several of my youth sports and saw all the struggles and triumphs.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2022, 05:02:26 PM »
My 6th grade boy wanted to play flag football and didn't make the team- not many 6th graders did. So I signed him up for parks and rec, where he got good coaching and did well.

Unless the team is just for 6th graders, she will have a much better chance next year. I second the suggestion to get her into an alternative league.

dabighen

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Re: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2022, 07:25:21 PM »
UPDATE:  She got cut from the travel team but we just found out she made her middle school team.  She is very excited and has been a roller coaster of emotions.  We were surprised to and happy to hear she made it!  In any event, thank you all for the great discussion.  Great points all around.

Taran Wanderer

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Re: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2022, 10:13:52 PM »
Regarding competitiveness, have you watched The Last Dance about the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan?  It showcases more than anything Michael Jordan’s competitive fire. That might be a way to both inspire your daughter and also explore the competitive mindset that she’s still working on.

jeninco

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Re: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2022, 09:03:12 AM »
UPDATE:  She got cut from the travel team but we just found out she made her middle school team.  She is very excited and has been a roller coaster of emotions.  We were surprised to and happy to hear she made it!  In any event, thank you all for the great discussion.  Great points all around.

Congrats!
If she's still interested in improving (not just "making the team"), @secondcor521 's advice is still good -- she should talk with the coach about what she needs to work on and, just as importantly, how she can do that effectively.

My younger kid didn't make the high school JV team for a couple of years in a row, but he was invested in doing the work he needed to do, and spent time almost every day during the COVID lockdown going to a nearby field and practicing, with and without 4-6 other friends. (I want to say, again, we were not the drivers of this, and didn't take on any part of this activity, including driving him over.) His skills improved (he was also playing club ball, and occasionally asked for private coaching time with a coach we approved of) and he eventually skipped right over JV and made Varsity...

dabighen

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Re: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2022, 06:40:32 PM »
UPDATE:  She got cut from the travel team but we just found out she made her middle school team.  She is very excited and has been a roller coaster of emotions.  We were surprised to and happy to hear she made it!  In any event, thank you all for the great discussion.  Great points all around.

Congrats!
If she's still interested in improving (not just "making the team"), @secondcor521 's advice is still good -- she should talk with the coach about what she needs to work on and, just as importantly, how she can do that effectively.

My younger kid didn't make the high school JV team for a couple of years in a row, but he was invested in doing the work he needed to do, and spent time almost every day during the COVID lockdown going to a nearby field and practicing, with and without 4-6 other friends. (I want to say, again, we were not the drivers of this, and didn't take on any part of this activity, including driving him over.) His skills improved (he was also playing club ball, and occasionally asked for private coaching time with a coach we approved of) and he eventually skipped right over JV and made Varsity...

What a cool  story.  Kudos to your son and his work ethic.

Baguettestache

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Re: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2022, 01:36:22 AM »
You mentioned she's born in October and I'm not surprised: it's harder for kids who're born in the last months of the year to succeed in sports.
The "Is Success Luck or Hard Work?" YouTube video from "Veritasium" channel explains it well, you might want to see this.

For a year and a half I followed the ATG workout programs by Ben Patrick aka KneesOverToesGuy on social medias: they're working out programs with a focus on knee and legs health and athleticism. I got incredible results and I'd recommend it to anyone who plays basketball (Ben does).

I know a guy who's daughter plays soccer and he made her follow the programs and she's crushing her opponents on the field with healthy knees and powerful legs.

(I'm not affiliated at all, I simply thought I'd never be able to run again, had weak knees... and at 30 I'm in the best shape of my life, very athletic and powerful)

GuitarStv

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Re: Daughter Cut from Middle School Basketball Team
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2022, 06:49:16 AM »
I'd also second Ben Patrick as a great resource.  He really knows what he's talking about when it comes to safely gaining strength and sports performance.