Re: The State of HS Basketball Slowly................

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Posted by My 2 Cents on September 21, 2017 at 08:56:40:

In Reply to: The State of HS Basketball Slowly................ posted by Intrigued on September 21, 2017 at 07:25:35:

: I wonder if we will ever see High School Basketball become the medium it once was less than a decade or so ago. HS Basketball for the masses , not the few and on both sides, Men and Women has become such a sad state of affairs that there can be an argument should it even still exist in its current form.

: The laundry list of problems many High School problems face is long, complex and honestly ridiculous. From administration to parents to kids to coaches , all involved have played a hand in the eroding of a once great idea, High School Basketball. I am sure that this can be said of all sports but since this is a basketball forum why not stick to basketball.

: Having a great person to help shape young men and women through basketball is a thing of the past. I know there some coaches out there that do a great job but we all know we are talking about the 1 percent. Why is it so hard to find quality? Two main reasons one which revolves around money and the other is the dynamic of "behind the scenes"

: Coaches stipends $3500 $4000 at most, if you break that down hourly you are well , well below minimum wage. Compare this to a "Super Indented who is some districts racks in $175,000. I understand the two are different. The gap is too large though between the two that are supposed to be helping prepare young men and women . One can argue that coaches and teachers are far more important to the process than Principles and Administrative staff. This is by no means an attack on them but an opinion.

: Another problem is not having teaching jobs to offer coaches. This runs off a lot of good candidates. No one in their right mind believes you can run a great program "off campus" You have to be there daily for a myriad of reasons. In many instances Administrators would rather hire a walk on, or make little to no effort to find a potential candidate a teaching job at their school or within the district. Again I can site few examples as I am sure some of the readers of this can as well. We are talking about the overall problem, not trying to find the silver lining.

: I was prompted to write this as I have seen first hand within the last two years people get jobs that have no business getting jobs that involve young men and women. These are people that are hired to coach but honestly these are people that should be helping young student athletes become pillars in society, Winning is great but it has a price to pay if the end goal is overlooked or ignored. I was fortunate enough to have great men as coaches and they are respectively in their 20 plus year of teaching and coaching.

This is a very important topic, one that needs to be analyzed and discussed in depth.

However, in the end, I think it really comes down to simply $$$$$$$.

As I rifle through a couple issues, please understand I speak in general terms; there are always exceptions. However, they are the minority cases.

Not enough money to pay good, quality, engaged coaches. This of course goes back to your point of no/not enough teaching jobs to offer people that really are coaches first. When I was in high school, every coach in the school was a teacher. Whether the teams were good, bad, whatever, a teacher was the coach; and on campus every day, seeing/fostering personal and athletic growth of the student athletes. Now, most coaches are walk-ons, that show up for 6th period and practice and that's it. Not a lot of school involvement. Free time probably taken up running a club team/program.

Secondly, the carrot of the college scholarship. Kids and (mostly) parents want that scholarship, because nothing is better than free college. To attain that, they have personal trainers for strength/conditioning, skills coaches, etc. Then there is travel/club teams. The idea behind them is sound. Kids who want to play at a higher level than rec ball have the opportunity. And theoretically the coach is better than the weekend Dad at the park. As you get to HS, travel becomes more important with these teams for exposure, and that costs more $$$$. So because parents have invested all this time and money, they have unrealistic expectations of the high school team experience. They constantly complain (to put it nicely) with the coach and AD. And if they don't like it, they just transfer.

30 years ago, there were maybe 5 travel teams in So Cal for boys and 1 for girls. The only people who played on them were the best of the best. Now there are hundreds of boys and girls teams. Many HS coaches either coach teams or have their own clubs. And that is the priority for them, because they make more money with their club.

Also, you have the conflict between HS and travel ball. Again, the goal for the kids/parents is scholarship. And this is despite the statistics that 96% of HS athletes don't play past high school. And only like 2% play Division 1.

College coaches don't usually go to high school games. Especially for girls. Some schools get some, but 98% of them don't. You have to play/go to NCAA viewing events to get the exposure. That means time away from the high school team, especially in July.

So this causes more conflict between HS coach and kids/parents. My daughter's team has 12 varsity players on it. 10 of them play on various travel teams. Makes it hard to have a good summer program, especially when some of them are basically gone all of July traveling to Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Vegas, Oregon, Bay Area, etc. Not to mention the practices and the conflicts that arise there.

Look, there are many reasons for the decline of high school basketball, and high school sports in general. In the end, I think the above is 75% of the problem.

And I don't have any easy answers.

This is a good conversation to have; hopefully it doesn't degrade to the usual negativity on this board.

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