Jeff Farris
If Your Kid Can Make the Team, Can You?
Given the importance of team chemistry, many select and travel teams are starting to evaluate parents as well as the players when making their decisions for limited team spots. Parents who have demonstrated inappropriate behavior or who have caused problems for coaches or staff often put their kids at a disadvantage. Parents who don't have the right perceptions of select sports can also cause problems for teams. Here is a quick questionnaire that teams can use to evaluate the parents of select or travel players.Instructions: Choose the BEST answer from the list provided. The word "select" can also mean "travel". A hint is provided at the end of the question. 

1. What is the proper role of parents on a select team?
  • Help the coach spot flaws in the team.
  • Help the coach track playing time.
  • Help bring the coach's attention to bad officiating.
  • Provide support and encouragement for their child and team.
If parents provide a supportive and nurturing environment for their kids, coaches will have an easier time focusing on player and team skills. 

2. If a player starts showing signs of burnout on a select team, parents should:
  • Encourage the child to play through the burnout, knowing that it will pass.
  • Encourage the child to skip practices to recover.
  • Encourage the child to skip games to recover.
  • Encourage the child to skip practices and games to recover.
Burnout is a very serious issue. Like an illness, it should be treated immediately with no rush to return the child to a full schedule. 

3. The number one goal of select team participation is to:
  • Have fun.
  • Participate on a winning team.
  • Earn more playing time.
  • Test competitive drive.
If you missed this question, you will need to go back and read all the back posts as punishment. 

4. When it comes to their child playing other sports, parents should:
  • Discourage other sports.
  • Encourage other sports.
  • Remain neutral.
  • Go by the example of other parents.
With the additional dollars and activities of select team participation, it is easy to neglect other activities - especially other sports. Parents should encourage their child to play other sports as way to maintain a balanced life and prevent kids from focusing too early on just one sport. 

5. Because playing on a select team costs more money, parents should expect:
  • More entertaining games.
  • Faster skills development.
  • Chances for high school and college opportunities.
  • More fun.
Select team participation often costs more than a family vacation. If parents and kids don't have more fun participating than taking those missed vacations, then select sports may not be the best investment of parental dollars. 

6. When compared to kids on recreational teams, players on a select team:
  • Make far fewer mistakes.
  • Make more mistakes.
  • Make the same mistakes.
  • Make different mistakes.
Kids are going to make mistakes at any level. Any time that kids are developing new skills, mistakes should be expected. 

7. Select team success is measured by:
  • Regular season wins.
  • Tournament wins.
  • Both regular season and tournament wins.
  • Fun.
Almost any answer on this quiz with the word fun in it is probably the right one and this one is no exception. Fun is an easy way to measure the overall experience including time with friends, the increased confidence that comes from skills development, the satisfaction of team contributions and the improved quality of family time. 

8. In case of schedule conflicts, parents should give priority to:
  • Games.
  • Practices.
  • Doesn't matter between games and practices.
  • Nothing should conflict with select team participation.
Though games have high energy, practices are where the majority of player skills are developed. 

9. Playing on a select team means that a player's academic performance is:
  • Less important.
  • More important.
  • Not an issue.
  • No change in importance.
If one of the goals of playing select sports is to create the opportunity for post-high school play, then grades become even more important. The competition for college athletic scholarships is so fierce that when players are judged equal in athletic ability, academic performance may become the deciding factor. Colleges look for athletes who can demonstrate the ability handle school work along with athletic participation. 

10. Playing on a select team means that player's conduct is:
  • Less important.
  • More important.
  • Not an issue.
  • No change in importance.
For the same reason that academic success is so important, a player's conduct can quickly become a deciding factor for post-high school sports. If coaches feel that they need to keep an eye on a player's behavior, they are more likely to look for an equally skilled but less difficult alternative. 

11. Team selection by a player and parents should be based on:
  • Last season's win and loss record.
  • Last season's tournament wins.
  • The resumes of the coaching staff.
  • The team's ability to have fun and improve player skills.
Youth team success is often determined by having one or more players who are physically more mature than the others in the league. Trying to judge a coach or team by last year's success seldom works since kids continually move up in age categories and other kids continue to develop physically. 

12. On a select team, parents should expect their child to:
  • Have more playing time than other players.
  • Have less playing time.
  • Have playing time based on the situation and the score.
  • Have equal playing time.
If the purpose of a select team is to develop talent, then all players should receive equal playing time regardless of the game situation. Select teams that do not practice equal playing time do not have player development as their number one goal. 

13. On a select team, parents are expected to:
  • Help out more than on recreational teams.
  • Help out less.
  • Rely more on the coach.
  • Rely more on the team manager.
More practices, games and activities mean more work. If coaches are to have the necessary time for instruction, parents must pick up the extra load. 

14. On a select team, kids should limit:
  • Time with friends.
  • Overnight activities.
  • Trips with family.
  • None of the above.
If kids perceive select sports as a reason for not being able to have fun with friends and family, their motivation to play will suffer. Participation always requires a careful balancing of time among all activities. 

15. When parents pay more money for sports, they should expect their kids to be:
  • More motivated.
  • Less motivated.
  • Show no change in motivation.
  • Rely more on their parents for motivation.
Parent's money is never good motivation as any parent of a college-age child will validate. If kids don't have the right motivation prior to a parent writing a check, it is unlikely they will develop it afterwards.

16. If a child struggles with the competitive level of select sports, parents should:
  • Consider an aggressive approach to private lessons.
  • Stay on the coach to make sure all players get equal playing time.
  • Pressure their child to perform at a higher level.
  • Consider placing their child in a less competitive environment.
One of the main reasons for select sports is to match kids with other kids who have similar skills. If kids are much above or below average, they either won't be challenged or won't be able to develop the necessary confidence. 

17. If kids want to stop playing after parents have paid for a season, parents should:
  • Remind them how much participation cost.
  • Remind them of how much other teammates are depending on them.
  • Try to find out why the sport is no longer fun.
  • Let them quit.
There are many reasons that kids may want to quit and parents should investigate to see what the underlying problem is. Simply quitting may not provide a solution. 

18. Success of a select team is different from success on a recreational team because:
  • Everyone is at a higher skill level.
  • Coaches are often paid.
  • Teams travel.
  • There is no difference.
If select teams are successful, then kids improve as players and people and want to play again next year. These are the same goals for recreational teams. 

19. A good select team should win:
  • Almost all of their games.
  • 50% of their games.
  • Doesn't matter how many wins.
  • Doesn't matter as long as the team wins tournaments.
If teams are playing at the right level, they should win about half of their games. Too many or too few wins are a good indication that the team is not playing at the right competitive level. 

20. The primary reason to travel to games is:
  • To create good memories for kids.
  • To test the team against teams from across the nation.
  • Showcase team and coaching talent outside the local area.
  • Get kids ready for careers in professional sports where travel is required.
Although it may be necessary to travel to find competitive games, the overall goal is to create memories. The vast majority of select team players will not get the opportunity to play sports for college or professional teams. Although parents may feel their child is the exception, statistics are against it. If kids don't have good memories to show for their time in select sports, then they are likely to have nothing to show for their time in select sports.�