Sophia Sabino and Justine Pissott choose to train while in grammar school

The high school basketball season ended yesterday. It has seem to come and go so fast. But these are the days now. So many great high school careers will end. But many will be off to another journey, playing college basketball. For some there basketball career’s will end but they will take memories with them that will last a lifetime. There is a new generation of players that soon will take center stage and there high school and journey to college is going to look much different. That’s because these days our young players are being set up to fail.

I have been watching the development of kids for over 25 years now. The players that work the hardest and put in the most hours are the ones that usually go on to shine brightly in high school and then move on to college. These days there is a disease taking place in youth basketball. It’s a disease that has taken root and may be hard to find a cure for. That disease is the disease of poor advice and guidance. It’s running through youth basketball like the wind. This disease has no background in developing kids. Getting them ready for the next level or helping kids prepare for the future. This disease relies on parent’s lack of knowledge and love of meaningless hype. In other words this disease relies on parents love for their children and their own personal ego. Trust me when I tell you this, this disease will be long gone when it all falls apart in the end. It will be the parents picking up the pieces.

The amount of games are shocking, they’re meaningless. We now have 3rd graders traveling out of state in the winter to play in there words “A big important tournament” you have 7th and 8th graders playing every weekend and bragging about hype videos and meaningless rankings to draw them and there parents in. We now have kids playing AAU in the Spring, AAU in the summer, AAU and school ball in the winter. AAU and Travel ball in the winter. Do you get the picture? The level of talent has dropped to an all time low in the Shore and throughout the state. But the parents and kids do not know this. That because they are living in there moment and there reality. But disappointment is right around the corner. That’s because the disease of bad advice is waiting on them.

Eli Clark was a unknown. But choose training and development over games… she off to D1

I see them and watch them and can only shake my head. They advised kids where to play. They tell the parents their kids are stars. They become trainers and coaches overnight. Yet when you ask what’s their track record they come up empty. When they are asked what’s their relationship with college coaches? They have no real answers. No they have one mission and that is to win meaningless AAU games.
They use words to parents like “your kid needs better competition” A LIE, you kids needs better skills. They use words like your kid is different “A LIE” they all the same in grammar school. Some bigger and some stronger. Some more skilled and some less skilled. But it sure feels good to be told your kid is special. They train your kid and take them to games, forcing your child to skip training that will matter soon. Why and how do they get away with this ? Because kids love games and the parents love watching their kids play even more. They offer their advice. But what’s there background? They played in high school or college. Well newsflash a million people played in high school and college. But what makes them knowledgeable. The answer is nothing. There goal is to build a relationship built on basketball and hype. Not accountability, responsibility and truth.

They are now in 7th grade and 8th grade and struggling to make layups. They struggle to shoot. They struggle to defend. But the disease is there to pretend it all just temporary. What the disease doesn’t tell you. Is that now more than ever, kids must be ready earlier and earlier if they wish to make dreams come true. They don’t tell parents when this generation gets ready for college. The number of scholarships available will be half of what they are today for high school players. They don’t tell them because they don’t know and they don’t care. The parents don’t understand your inner circle matters and don’t care until it really matters. Every parent believes they know what they’re doing and they there inner circle is supportive. But like a million parents before them. They will find out this is not the case, when it all hits the fan, the inner circle they trusted and leaned on so much gets quiet and runs to the real people who understand this journey.

So you ask? Who is going to save youth basketball? I don’t know. I just know it won’t be those telling kids, “do not play for your grammar school team, you too good it’s a waste of time” or those telling them “don’t play for local or town team” I know it won’t be those telling kids to come play on our “super grammar school team”. Remember the last super team of made up grammar school kids. You don’t? Well there is a reason for that. I don’t know what lays ahead. But I know kids playing games every weekend is not the answer. I know kids playing 4-5 games on a weekend year round is not the answer. I know folks advising kids who have zero background is not the answer. What I do know is this… GRAMMAR SCHOOL BASKETBALL IS NOW BIG BUSINESS AND A LOT OF KIDS ARE GOING TO PAY THE PRICE!

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