Developmental Priorities: ELITE
Grades 10 – College/Pros – Ages 15+
In every period of development, the emotional connection to the game comes first. True experimentation and the inner delight of expanding your boundaries often happens away from the labors to improve and perfect certain aspects of your craft. There must always be opportunities to play the game just because you want to play the game.
You need to learn that the highest joys of competition are found when you compete for others. It is not all about you. This is a radical message today. Our kids here non-stop that they should fashion their world for their fulfillment. But this is not where the best of competition is found. The highest joy is found in offering up your effort and skill in service to others.
This may involve playing for your local school or community or University. Or both. And eventually a club or an entire city and franchise. There is an art to this. If you bounce around and make your entire youth experience about yourself (or your child), you fail to prepare him for this highest level of athletic achievement. Competing for others is where it’s at. Bearing the name of the community on your chest is a privilege. When viewed rightly, it is also a ton of fun.
Oh yes, and by the way, your community wants you to win. They aren’t overly concerned about whether you get all your want in the way of shots and court time. They want you to win. Long-term, the joy of contributing to a winner will trump those other lowly concerns.
If you really want to take your game to the next level, you need to build up your body and max out its capabilities. Speed, explosiveness, power, quickness, agility. As long as they have been provided a strong, diverse, athletic base, young players can now start to really make physical strides. Their bodies are prepared to make giant physical leaps because of puberty. They minds are also prepared to make giant physical leaps in volumes of work. They can now understand how to do the unpleasant in pursuit of a long-term goal.
The moment you fail to develop, it is time to retire. The ability to improve and experiment and add new things is what makes the game fun. It keeps you coming back. The development process never stops. Or at least it shouldn’t stop. You should always be seeking to improve. You have never fully maxed out your physical, emotional, mental, or interpersonal potential.