Young Ballers… You’re Better Than That!

I was talking with a friend the other day, reminiscing about old times on the hardwood. Upon this reflection, we came to the conclusion that the younger players of this generation have gotten ‘soft’. It’s almost as if kids are ready to sulk, argue, or quit at any adversity coming their way.

Unfortunately I am seeing this ‘softness’ more than ever before, hence my decision to write on the topic.
The funniest thing is that these said players, probably don’t consider the above as being soft – that ‘standing up’ for themselves every time something doesn’t go their way is valid.

If this is you, I have news for you pal. It’s not.

Quick pointer: Although I am addressing the youth, there are many young players that do have the necessary maturity that basketball demands. These negative traits also are apparent in some who aren’t so young, but with the most potential being amongst the youth, it’s of more importance that they are alerted about how their progression could be hindered.

All ‘Softness’ is, in reality, is a lack of character and that’s never good news.

Why? This type of player is controlled by situations rather than taking control of them. What sort of coach will want an erratic player that can’t take criticism or play their role, without jeopardising the team’s progress?

How Things Used To Be – A Chance To Learn

The opportunity for the younger players to grace the court of senior competition was once the ultimate privilege. With the experience, physicality and overall ability of the mature players trumping over those of the youngsters , not only would a ‘kid’ being on a court be considered somewhat a liability – so any type of stroppiness, or for the sake of this article ‘softness’ would result in being kicked off the court immediately, never to return.

How Things Are Now -False Sense of Entitlement, They Now ‘Know’ It All!

Nowadays, for various reasons, players nowadays feel as if they are entitled to be on the court, a lot of the time this is undue entitlement, mind you. I know many youngsters feel that they are above playing against men, as they are aiming to one day play at a higher level.
It’s sad to say but such players don’t know basketball at all and are missing out on a great opportunity to add to their skills.

Basketball (well, all sports) requires character to produce optimal results!

To be successful at basketball, understanding and respecting the process is key.

If you don’t, you risk restricting your potential and also negatively affecting those around you. Displaying a general lack character on the court, may even see you quit prematurely, thus ending your own career. Remember basketball isn’t easy and comes with its ups and downs and for the most part how one reacts to different circumstances can greatly affect one’s outcomes.

Understand The Process

Basketball has been this way since probably before you were born…

Maybe the younger generation think that they are the first to experience such adversity, that this is a brand new process that only they know about.
At EVERY LEVEL of basketball played, there is an element of entry level players having to learn the ropes the hard way within their team/environment. We know that many NCAA players generally have a lesser role on the team until their senior year. I mentioned in a previous post that the average minutes played globally by players U21 is 5.2 min per game. We have all seen the rookies in the NBA lugging the bags of their team mates, being resident concierges for the team and being the veterans’ prank victims – and for some reason, young ballers expect it to be different in the UK?


Those (vets) who are telling you to earn your role and respect are talking from experience. It’s happened to the best of us and staying the course promises two things:-

#1. Strengthening of character (a transferrable life skill to other aspects of life!) – something you can never have too much of!

#2. Better prospects due to the strengthening of character, basketball coaches and employers are always seeking those who don’t easily crumble!

Think of the bigger picture. If you have a bad attitude when you are playing ball, something that you enjoy, how can expect to succeed in something outside of basketball that you aren’t so passionate about? Every time your teacher/employer says something you don’t like or have an interest in you are just going to kick off?

Hopefully the answer’s no… Because life isn’t so easy!

Understanding How You Can Benefit From The Process 

Apart from the life skills, being able to thrive on the court regardless of the role, will make you more employable as a player – FACT.
Maybe being confronted by the more mature players to guide you and to develop IQ is needed – so when your time to shine comes you are ready to go, having overcome that previous weakness which you probably could have gotten away with at the junior level!

Oh, by the way for those still forming their career and not sure where the next opportunity will come from – The biggest fear any baller should have isn’t not having the opportunity, but the opportunity presenting itself and you not being ready or equipped to rise up to the challenge.
Hopefully you can now see the importance of character in basketball and also appreciate the process of climbing the rankings one step at a time!

Don’t get ahead of yourselves young bucks! Respect The Process!

Rant over.

Categories: Blog