Pitching with Pritch...Quitting is a problem on all levels of sports teams
By Larry Prithett
Past PCHS Acitivities Director
In a previous column, I mentioned that Jay Bilas had mentioned on one of the TV shows he visits that college basketball has a problem because players are not developing as they should because–they are not staying in college–and for some other reasons not mentioned.
Nobody to blame in particular here, but in the same vein of thinking, there were some other items that came to my attention this week from other internet columns and visiting with coaches and administrators from other parts of the state.
One item that came to light was a discussion on players that are quitting their teams when things don’t go just the way they think they should. They are not being disciplined, they are not being dismissed, they just quit, and it is happening to some of the best programs in the country.
North Carolina’s Larry Drew who had been a starter earlier in the year, but got replaced decided that UNC wasn’t what he wanted and quit to transfer. West Virginia player Dan Jennings gave the act a real visual affect as he chose to just walk away from the bench at a time out and quit his team.
ESPN with an unofficial account estimates that over 400 players started this season as transfer students. I don’t know if players see a difference in quitting as opposed to leaving a program.
Most of the time whether they choose to leave or quit, boils down to not playing enough, and if they are not getting playing time at one place then let’s look for somewhere else to play.
I don’t really have a problem with a player leaving at the end of a season or something. I think walking out during a game comes under a different heading.
The thing that bothers me most is that if a kid doesn’t get what he wants immediately or if things don’t go just like he or his parents think it should go then it is usually somebody else’s fault and rather than stay and work it out or get better and play more, it is easier to quit or leave.
The player who has never been benched or had a coach yell at him many times now walks away rather than work through the problem.
This isn’t something that is done only at the college level either. It is a little different on the high school level, but it still happens.
The “Open Enrollment” situation has helped this a lot because it allows kids to move to other districts.
The summer basketball select teams have also caused kids to look around and move to other schools. You can also count on high school coaches recruiting a little bit because of the open enrollment. You can say it doesn’t happen, but saying it doesn’t happen doesn’t really mean that it doesn’t.
This past weekend I even heard about some parents that were meeting to talk about taking their kids out of one school because they didn’t like the coach, or they weren’t winning enough or whatever.
The comment was made that many times parents think they can buy their kid success. They can send them to summer camps, hope they get on select teams, send them to position specific camps and then that will make them talented enough to play at other schools and be successful.
Those things can make kids better, but if the player doesn’t put in the extra time that it takes those camps don’t help. You just don’t roll out of bed one morning and all of a sudden you are player. Hard work and practice have to be included in the plan.
Sometimes I don’t miss coaching at all.