🕐 7 minute read
Generally, responsible adults tend to have one primary focus when it comes to spending money on things for themselves or others. It isn’t necessarily the dollar amount (although that will certainly play a role). It is the value they attribute to their purchase. In other words, “Am I getting my money’s worth?”
Parents are no different, nor is skills training. Private basketball training has the potential to be one of the biggest contributors to your child’s development in their life. A great skills coach can be a role model, confidence builder, additional support system, and an inspirational figure for your child.
They can also be a a bad investment, a self esteem killer, and an overall negative influence that forces your child to quit a sport they never even really gave a chance.
But the internet has so many “credible” trainers on the market, how do you know who to trust? Which of them are merely putting on a show for their Instagram page, and which truly devote their time to your child when they are with them.
We have seen them all, and have 4 TIPS for making an educated decision on who is worth the investment for your child, and when to steer clear!
1 – WATCH A WORKOUT
You don’t need to have played basketball to know if someone is able to really reach your kid or not. All children are very different, but great coaches like great teachers know what to say and what not to say to get the best out of their “students”. Would you drop your baby off at daycare the first day just because the location received 5 stars on Yelp? We doubt it.
You would visit the establishment and meet the people who will be watching your little one. You ensure the other babies are happy, watched over and playing nicely with their blocks! In basketball training, the terminology is different, but the message remains the same. “Happy” means motivated. “Watched over” means held accountable for their effort and consistency. “Playing with their blocks” means enhancing their game skills that need work, while reinforcing those that are already strong.
Sit in for the hour (with your cell phone out of reach) and watch this adult working with your child. If your vigilance makes the trainer nervous, they probably cannot handle working with your child on a consistent basis anyway. Workouts should not cause good trainers anxiety. Workouts for trainers should be a breeze, and a privilege. We believe trust should be earned not given, especially with your child.
2 – DO YOUR RESEARCH
Did your skill instructor play basketball at a high level? Did he/she coach previously? How long have they been working with youth athletes? What is their philosophy on training and coaching?
The “right” answers to these questions will certainly vary. The ease with which your trainer answers, should not. In 2019 most credible trainers have a website, instagram account, youtube channel etc. Their background and beliefs should be easy to find and if they are not, that could be a red flag. Never be afraid to ask questions.
Passionate trainers and coaches love talking hoops and love working with motivated players and parents. Basketball babysitters will handle these “depositions” differently.
“Workouts for trainers should be a breeze and a privilege. We believe trust should be earned not given, especially with your child.”
3 – TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS
If you get a bad feeling, you may just be out of your comfort zone and we understand that. You are also well within your right to trust how you feel and call it quits regardless of your knowledge of the sport. Your child may have loved the workout and the trainer could even be “internet famous” further causing your child to be intrigued. But ultimately the decision is yours and you alone have the right to choose what is best for your child. Go with someone who makes you comfortable, respects your time, appears professional and seems to genuinely love teaching the game.
4 – ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS (of your child)
We know kids don’t like to divulge too much information. About anything. Ever. This is especially true with their parents at times. We know it stings, but your teenager will love you back one day we promise!
Sometimes however, you can get them to open up by asking them the right questions:
“How was the workout today?”
is not exactly what we mean!
Ask your child some specifics about the training. “I know you said you were a little nervous about your free-throws last weekend at the game. What did you and coach E do to try and make it better? Did you tell him about it?”
If your child wants to get better, they will ask questions. Even children on the more introverted side tend to shine through for sports. Youth athletes tend to open up to the coaches and trainers they trust and admire. If they have a problem with their craft and they know a professional who can help them, they will ask. All this hoops talk may even open a new line of communication for you and your little guy/gal!
Training costs can span anywhere from $20 to $200 for the hour. Some are well worth the high end rate, and others turn out to be a bad investment (even in the $20 range). The amount you can afford is up to you, but the value of the training, is up to the trainer. So do your homework and watch your child’s face light up every time he/she sees their trainer walk through the door. It will be worth every penny, if you know what to look for!