This past December the Jr. NBA, Washington Wizards, and Positive Coaching Alliance Mid-Atlantic put on the third ever Jr. NBA Parent Forum. Held at the new Wizards MedStar Performance Center, this special event included a panel discussion and PCA presentation, which aimed to help parents learn how to help positively shape their child's youth sports journey.
The Parent Forum featured a panel discussion with Washington Bullets legend, Phil Chenier, Washington Mystics Guard, Natasha Cloud, Capital City Go-GO General Manager, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, and PCA Mid-Atlantic Executive Director, Jake Wald. The panel discussion, followed by a Q&A, offered parents an opportunity to hear the youth sports development stories of these successful athletes and ask a wide range of questions, including how to help their children stay in control emotionally on the court and when is the best age for sports specialization.
Remember that these are your children, and they are children, and always make sure you have their best interest at heart.
During a 30-minute Positive Sports Parenting Talk, PCA Trainer Monica Livingston educated parents on best practices for navigating today's youth sports environment. Monica warned parents to stay away from the dreaded post-game analysis in the car ride home, and instead encouraged parents to have empowering conversations with their children through adopting a "tell-me-more" attitude.
Monica gave parents the chance to practice positive cheering that would serve to fill their kids' emotional tanks and not distract them from staying in the moment. As opposed to "instructional" cheering (like "pass the ball!" or "shoot it!") that often conflicts with the coach's instructions. This conflict leads to kids becoming distracted, confused, and undermines their ability to play their best.
My parents actually allowed me to take time off. The just told me, 'focus in and figure out if basketball is really something you want to do. If not - that's okay.'