We hear the phrase “pay for performance” a lot in the business world these days. The theory makes sense. If you perform well, you should be compensated more. It makes sense for professionals in sales and for bonuses in other industries.
I heard a story last night related to pay for performance that made my head explode. I was in Rosemount to speak to their youth basketball association parents meeting. After I spoke to a large group of parents about several rules that youth basketball parents and coaches often don’t know or understand, I met Steve Schuster, who is the Coach and Player Development Coordinator for Rosemount traveling basketball. He told me the story of a player who was actually paid money for each basket she made. Are you serious? If I recall correctly she was in sixth grade. I can’t think of anything worse to destroy the team concept than rewarding — or bribing, if you want to call that — your son or daughter for making a basket. “Hey Jenny, pass me the ball.” “I don’t want to. If I shoot and make a basket my mom will pay me a dollar.”
I have heard numerous youth sports parenting stories that make me cringe. Usually, its the ”premeditated” parent who will do anything to give their son or daughter an advantage over other players. I hope this parent doesn’t fall under this category. I want to think that this parent is just not very smart. But you never know.
Sixth grade basketball is no place to pay for performance. That kid is going to grow up with a warped sense of money and motivational issues. If you want to pay for performance, youth team sports is not the place to do it.