State Of The Union: Basketball In North America


Pull up a chair, grab a drink and dig in on this article on called Allonzo Trier Is in the Game.

It gives a good snapshot of the culture of basketball in the United States. (Thanks Coach Gram for sharing it).

From the author…

“I often hear from parents of young athletes that their kids “started late,” even if they joined an organized team at age 7. That’s a defining element of the modern youth-sports culture, the feeling that there is always someone who has a head start or is doing more, and that there is ground to be made up. This drives the professionalism that permeates childhood sport: paid coaches leading teams that were once coached by volunteers; expensive sports tutoring; all the travel; even genetic testing to determine a child’s ideal sport. The culture demands lodestars, young sports luminaries like Allonzo Trier, to show what is possible with early attention, extreme effort and money.

I had a coach say to me a few weeks back that the dominant mindset today is: “Pay to play.” If people – that is, parents and athletes – aren’t dishing out money, they feel that their child’s experience is less than. Free play is seen as more of a nice-to-have, rather than must-have.