This one is for the parents out there! Yes, the parents. Have you been at a basketball game where there’s a screaming parent putting pressure on their kid to perform? Don’t know about you but I see it all the time. What must be going through these kids head? I felt the need to write this article due to recent comments by UCLA star guard Lonzo Ball’s father.
UCLA star Lonzo Ball
Recently I saw a video clip with UCLA star Lonzo Ball’s father, Lavar, making a claim his son is better than “Steph Curry”. He then went on to make more statements telling Steph Curry to challenge his son 1 on 1. Is this guy delusional? You are going to publicly call out a 2 time MVP and the greatest shooter to ever play the game?
In reality the comparison couldn’t be entertained. His son is not better than Steph Curry, maybe one day but not right now. This is beside the point. But the statements made by Lavar Ball puts added pressure on his son, Lonzo to live up to this expectation that he is better than Steph Curry. Is this fair? I don’t think so! The last thing you want is to put so much pressure on your son to perform instead of him or her enjoying the game and playing it naturally.
What added pressure means to your game
High level basketball comes with a lot of pressure, especially at the professional level. You don’t perform you get cut. You get cut, you don’t have money. That’s the reality. When there’s added pressure when you are young you tend to get in a shell. Doubt creeps in and in some cases your body tightens up and your health is directly affected.
I personally know what it’s like to tighten up due to self imposed pressure. Multiple times in games I questioned a shot, didn’t make a crossover because I didn’t want to stuff up and in a lot of occasions played very passive as I didn’t want people to think that I wasn’t a good basketball player.
A few years ago I was watching a Big V semi final that my friend was coaching. There was a player on his team that was one of the best players in the league and played for the Australian under 21 team. He was the real deal averaging around 20 points per game but leading up to the semifinals he has an anxiety attack. This anxiety attack was brought on due to the pressure placed on him to perform. Not from his parents but generally from everyone else around him. During the semi final game he couldn’t breath because he was so anxious.
Statements made by Lavar Ball
Lavar has made the statement on Sportscenter “he is better than Steph Curry” referring to his son and “My son will play for the Lakers. I will will it to existence”. So, Lavar has made a statement his son will be better than a 2 time MVP now he is stating that his son will only play for the Lakers. Way to get the rest of the NBA teams off side!
Not only has he put pressure on his kid to perform but now he is jeopardising his son getting picked by NBA teams. Teams, apart from the Lakers now know that if they want to pick Lonzo they have to deal with his obnoxious Dad. Placing more pressure on the career of Lonzo.
What NBA players will be thinking
With all the hype associated with Lonzo and the fact that he thinks his son is better than all NBA guards, what do you think is going to happen? These guys are going to go at Lonzo and go at him hard.
John Wall “he’s putting a lot of pressure on his kid” “when rookies come into the league, a lot of people try and leave a statement, to let em know how the league is”
Charles Barkley “It’s stupidity to say his son will be better than Steph Curry”
It’s rumoured that NBA GM’s are also saying that Lonzo’s father’s comments are hurting him. A quick YouTube search on the topic will also reveal that NBA analysts are saying that Lavar’s statements is hurting and putting pressure on his son.
Advice for parents
Parents please let your kids play the game. Support them and promote them playing the game for enjoyment. But whatever you do, do not put added pressure on your kids by making crazy statements to the public like Lavar Ball. It’s totally fine to make statements such as that behind closed doors with your kids but not the public.