And so it begins …
My middle son plays AAU basketball. He’s in fifth grade and I knew this day would come.
We are officially past the “everybody plays and everyone’s a winner” phase.
Last Saturday, we played West Valley (my son plays for Highland) and I would say the game was pretty darn aggressive.
Micah, who is 11, banged his knee on the court at one point and sat out for a spell. There were also three different injuries to West Valley kids.
Each time, the kids left the game, but were able to return.
So, long story short, bumps and bruises, but nothing serious.
It’s fun to watch these guys flying around and learning to be competitive. They are wrestling for loose balls, taking charges and getting after it.
These are all skills they’ll need if they expect to play at the varsity level in high school.
This is also when it gets more competitive. Kids who don’t hustle are replaced by kids who do.
I think this is the grade level (or maybe it’s in sixth grade or so) where kids decide whether they’re all in or if they want to go do something else.
There are lots of good lessons for moms and dads to reinforce at home.
Teamwork, hard work, trust, execution … they are all part of the game of basketball.
And, more importantly, they all transfer to other areas of life.
If one day Johnny is running a bank, he’ll still need the values presented in teamwork, hard work, trust and execution.
So, yes, dribbling a basketball and making a free throw may not result in a paycheck later in life, but they still matter in the big picture.
Fighting for the ball is part of the growing process. That spirit may matter someday when he ‘s seeking the next promotion or needs to be a team player on a corporate negotiation.
• An editor by day, Scott Mayes is also dad to Matthew, Micah and Nathan. He’s a high school parent, a youth basketball dad and changes diapers. He never gets to play basketball at work. His boss frowns upon it.
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