Do I regret transferring?
When I was 18 years old, I signed an NLI to play basketball at the University of Florida in one of the top recruiting classes in the country. Guess what? It was hard, and I struggled. Instead of sticking it out, I transferred.
I still regret it to this day.
I wasn’t tough enough, nor did I work hard enough.
At the time, I thought all my reasons were good reasons, but the only thing quitting did was make it easier to quit every time things got tough.
Fortunately, I get it figured out before I destroyed my entire playing career, but I failed at first, and I failed miserably. We have to let our kids fail, and help them (from afar) figure things out.
Don’t let your kids transfer from high school to high school, or from AAU team to AAU team when they are young. Don’t settle every hurt feeling by their coaches with a parental confrontation. Don’t badmouth the coaches to your kid or in the stands.
Talk to your kid about how to handle adversity. If they aren’t playing, tell them to work harder. Just showing up to practice isn’t outworking anyone; they’re required to do that.
Don’t get me wrong….this is tough to do! It hurts your heart to see your kids hurting or disappointed. But we are handicapping our kids for their future as adults by interfering every time they have a problem.
When they get to college and they actually sit on the bench, they want to quit by Christmas time. Our kids actually behave as if the only thing that matters is if they are playing/scoring, not winning. They no longer care about winning, just playing and/or scoring.
There are more important things learned by being a part of a basketball team, whether in high school or at the next level: they learn to care about others more than themselves, they learn to be tough and how to overcome adversity, they learn how to respond when you are not the only good player on the court, they learn how to juggle a million things at one time, etc.
The list goes on and on. Don’t let your kids quit!!
( Side-note: there are, of course, exceptions to the rule, but not many).
– Nikki Jessee
Nikki Jessee is the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Warner University. Jessee was a high school All-American at Lakeland High School before taking her talents to the University of Florida in one of the top recruiting classes in the country as she was one of the top-50 players in the country.
After two years, Jessee dressed for Rollins College for the final three years of her career.