Time to beat our chest!
PICTURED: How can we expect an athlete to expect things of themselves if they have no idea on the steps or opportunities available and/or how to attain those opportunities? A focus on "pathways" enable athletes and families to focus on the step by step approach to their goals.
Clubs, coaches and leaders of basketball programs must realise that the development of athletes to achieve their best in basketball it is a complex, competitive landscape today.
Our sport is globally significant and over the years I have really educated myself up on the resources, facilities and structures committed to athlete's development in overseas programs as well as the CoE here in Australia. At times when my friends and I discuss the AFL vs basketball conundrum I often respond that the problem with AFL is there is no money in it and opportunities are limited in the sport. They will either laugh, look at me strangely or debate the issue. This is not a debate I lose but we do sometimes acknowledge our differences and move on. Just imagine how different Patty Mills' life would be had he chosen AFL Football instead of basketball?
I don't think at junior level we beat our chest enough about our sport, coaches now talk about the need to juggle football and they assume that if an athlete is good at both sports they will play football in the end. They say things like "our region has a football culture Andrew". That does not make sense because when you talk about our region - IE the WORLD is our region these days - there is a basketball culture, more prevalent than a football culture, and it is not even close. It seems some leaders in our sport would rather spend time talking about being under resourced or complaining about peak sporting bodies, my suggestion is think bigger; this game is global!!
I also feel that many Coaching Directors and Coaches that have been at it for a while DO have a lot of knowledge and expertise they can offer their players and parents in this space. However, because they know it so well they just assume that others do, this is not the case. People don't know what you as experts in this space don't tell them and even when they have been told they need to be reminded from time to time.
Goal oriented athletes, making informed decisions on their goals and commitment in our sport will reap huge benefits for the competition, state and high performance programs and private commercial providers. Working together we can ALL improve the culture and mindset of athletes in our state, well cou