Updated: Oct 8, 2021
As your kids get older, the job description of "basketball mom" gets updated. Spoiler alert, though--the pay doesn't increase. You go from signing up for the end of game snacks, and forgetting about said snacks, and missing the first half of the game because you have to run to the grocery store to smelly sneakers and nurse to twisted ankles and jammed fingers. But you wouldn't change anything. Well, maybe remembering the snacks.....
My son was late to the world of basketball. He began in earnest when he was about 6th grade. Yes. That's late. So, I had a sharp learning curve. If you are like me, you might have a few questions if you are new here. I'd love to share some tips that I've learned along the way.
Choosing a Team
You've got a few options when choosing where to play ball. Learn which is right for you and your child.
The first is a good old recreation team or "rec ball." It's a place to have fun, learn how to dribble and pass, and enjoy some physical activity. If your child is just trying out different sports, you'd probably want to spend a small amount of cash and go with rec ball.
Next is club ball. The benefits of club ball are in the coaching and development of the players. Players typically play year-round, with the older teams taking time out to play High School ball. If your child wants to play high school ball, being part of a club team is essential. There is often a monthly fee, uniform fee, and tournament fees, but shop around because the prices can vary and don't always necessarily coincide with the program's quality.
Outfitting your Player
You may want to run out and buy all the things to make sure your child looks the part of a serious player, but hold up there tiger. Consider the essentials:
Your child may claim that they have been told that all players need a pair of Kobe Grinches, but that's probably just their dreams talking. Do your research--you can get a good pair of basketball shoes for about $100. If you are wondering why you even need to lay down a Benjamin for shoes in the first place, consider the fact that shoes are the most essential part of equipment for playing basketball. The ability to stop, pivot, jab step, and make those unbelievable slam dunks when you are 5' 1" comes down to a good pair of shoes. And maybe some Flubber for the 5' 1" slam dunks. Nevertheless, it's all in the shoes.
Some players like to wear compression shorts, pants, or shirts under their uniform. It's all a matter of comfort for the individual player. You may also want to invest in a good pair of basketball knee pads if you have a child prone to going all-in on the court.
This might be the most crucial bit of information when it comes to learning the ways of the basketball mom. Don't fall victim to these faux pas.
There was an internal debate on whether to place this in the above section about outfitting your player. But, it definitely falls under this category. It's one word--Slides. Along with the basketball sneakers, you must get slides. A simple pair of shoes or sandals for your player to wear to the basketball game because---and this is important---basketball shoes must not be worn anywhere outside of the court. Don't even suggest that your player wear their shoes from the house to the game. Just don't. Your awesome mom status will drop like stocks in a bear market.
There are indoor basketballs, and there are outdoor basketballs. Be a peach and never make the mistake of bouncing an indoor ball in the outdoors. You will get the look that you give them when you are out in public, and they need to stop their antics, but you can't yell because you will look like a crazy lady. Trust me on this one.
Finally, now that you know the secrets to being a basketball mom sit back, enjoy the game, watch your child expand their potential and let that pride burst forth. But, don't cheer too loudly; you might embarrass them.
-Mandy, Basketball Mom