We’ve all heard expecting parents talk proudly about the dreams they have for their child or children on the way. They’ll say things like: “my son’s gonna play for The Yankees” or “my daughter’s gonna play for UConn”. Even before a child is born, the foundation of lofty dreams and expectations are already being laid. However, there is no box labeled “Dreams” on any birth certificate. Perhaps if there was such a box, it would feature 3 choices: “Dream Big”, “Dream Small”, or “No Dream”. Of course, life doesn’t work that way. But it would be an interesting experiment to find out how parents would answer that question. What about coaches? Would any parent or coach have a mind to select “Dream Small”, or even worse, “No Dream”? When confronted with such blunt options, it’s unlikely, but not inconceivable. In reality, it’s not so obvious, but in many ways, parents and coaches convey these negative outlooks everyday. In most cases, without even realizing. By not creating a culture of dreaming big and chasing those dreams. We’re consequently creating an opposite culture of mediocrity, and either dreaming small or not dreaming at all.
Ironically, we’re all completely equipped at birth to dream and achieve anything. But parents rarely encourage their children to dream passed a certain age. Yes, genetics does determine our physical makeup overall, but the heart and mind are virtually an empty canvas just waiting to be painted. Unfortunately, many parents often fear the thought of handing their children that proverbial paint brush, and daring them to dream big. In looking to spare their children the pain of failure and rejection. In actuality, can send them on a path that’s far more likely to lead to mediocrity, and often more failure and rejection than if they’d encouraged them to dream big in the first place. Disappointingly, many of these children at some point enter into athletics with this uninspired mindset. It’s the job of every coach who believes in the power of dreams, to reverse this process as soon as possible, and inspire them to dream before it’s too late.
To the player, this new concept of inspiration and the instilling of dreams, goes far beyond the game of basketball. In fact, it can often be a pivotal turning point in their lives. Many happy and successful adults can look back to one specific coach or teacher that had a huge impact on their lives. We must never forget to inspire our players to dream big from the very beginning. And remind them to remember the dream throughout their lives, both on and off the court. It’s a great responsibility, but one that provides joy and inspiration for everyone involved.
Make sure to check out teachhoops.com for coaches who want to get better