January 25, 2009

Scouting - and not the girl scout kind.

On the phone the other day another parent and I were talking about our schedules, and she said, "You don't mess with basketball - it's a cult." She couldn't know how on the mark her comment was.

My youngest daughter had a game yesterday. A coach from one of the teams known for its active recruiting of talent, approached another dad from our team and gave him a business card for his daughter and mine. A week earlier we were approached by another coach scouting for a select/all-star team for summer. I have a couple of thoughts about all this:
  • First of all, my daughter is good, but not great, and I can say this because I have two older players and know what "great" looks like. She's not there yet.
  • Second, my daughter is in fifth grade. What if she has a growth spurt that leaves her hopelessly clumsy between now and then?
  • Third, it's January. I am just getting back into the schedule for the second half of the regular season - I am not thinking about summer yet.
She will play competitive ball over the summer, for sure. If she doesn't, there are other girls who will, and talent gap widens quickly, even at this age. Today in most sports, if they aren't playing competitive leagues by the end of grade school, high school is a long shot. When I was a kid, we were lucky to have enough girls for a team. On the positive side, it will be good for her to play with kids that love the game like she does and have skill levels that can challenge hers. But scouting in fifth grade? Seriously?

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