How powerful is showing love? It’s the most important thing you can do. Especially when it comes to your children. I often watch moms and dads at sporting events berate and criticize their kids while trying to mask it as coaching. It’s tough as a parent to sit and watch your child not live up to their potential, trust me I get it, but in a world where in their everyday and online lives and are constantly examined by coaches, peers and teammates, even parents of teammates, their mental capability is not always caught up to where we think it should be, causing kids to feel defeated, dejected, almost like they have no one to understand. In those moments, be the voice that reminds them, “Good job” or “I love you”.
My dad passed away August 11, 2013. I was fortunate to have him in my life for 30 years. He was my hero, my best friend, & a great father. He was always there. Having played basketball as an amateur for 10 years, he only missed ONE tournament of mine in Lufkin in 2000. He always critiqued me, my teammates and my coaches.. lol Hell, everybody could hear him in the gym, no matter how packed it may have been. He was tough on me, raising me to understand that being a black man in America will not always be easy so I needed to be equipped for the good and the bad days. Throughout my collegiate recruiting process he was there for every step- going on visits with me, watching college practices with me, and talking my ear off on long rides home.
But the most important thing my dad did for me was believe in me and confirm it by telling me how much he loved me & how proud he was of me.
Whenever I look back on our memories, the fondest ones I have are during my AAU years, when my dad and I spent so much time together. I tear up a little right now because I miss him and his tough but compassionate love. Now that I am 35 with my own children, I understand, appreciate, and commend him for his toughness. It prepared me. I cherish those moments of us watching games, him watching me play, and our time together in the gym.
During this journey you’re on with your child in this basketball thing that engulfs us all, I encourage you, parents, to shower them with love. I know you want to instruct and give pointers that you feel deep down to be beneficial, but showering them with love and encouragement is just as important as telling them how you can’t afford to miss layups. Telling them you’re proud of them is just as meaningful as talking about his/her free throw routine. Instilling confidence in your son or daughter will take them far. Focus on having a healthy balance of positive affirmations/criticism because when a young adult knows their parent(s) believe in them and the parent voices how proud of them they are, those kids can conquer so many more obstacles.
No matter how old a kid, teen, young adult get he/she will always look in the stands for that voice- the voice of positive affirmations and positive criticism… that love.
Never stop giving love..