Eden Prairie meeting a great experience

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak to approximately 80 youth basketball parents and coaches in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The event, sponsored by the Eden Prairie Boys Basketball Association (EPBBA), also featured Eden Prairie high school boys basketball coach Dave Flom. The EBPPA purchased copies of my book “BasketCases: How Youth Basketball Parents Can Lower Their Blood Pressure and Keep Their Sanity” for 225 of their families.

Dave spoke about expectations for his program and tips about how parents can enjoy the experience. While I listened to Dave speak, I kept nodding my head because he and I share many of the same theories about youth sports and how it can teach lifelong lessons. I loved Dave’s zero-tolerance policy against parents that call or e-mail him about playing time for their sons. LOVE IT. So many coaches deal with parents who pester them about playing time, which is really sad (are those same parents going to pester their kids’ bosses in 10 years about their work assignments??).

He also told the parents not to talk negatively about another kid in front of their own. A theme that I mention every time I talk to parents. A couple of other interesting nuggets Dave mentioned:
* Eden Prairie has approximately 120 boys basketball players per grade. That number funnels down to five to seven kids per grade that will see playing time on the varsity team as a senior.
* This year, Eden Prairie had 58 ninth graders try out for the freshman team. EP kept 24 freshman on the team, which is a huge number (most probably cap it at 15). Still, that meant that Eden Prairie had to cut more freshman than it kept. Those numbers are staggering, but a reality in one of the largest school districts in Minnesota.

I had the opportunity to talk about several misunderstood rules and shared my “10 Commandments” about how to enjoy the youth basketball experience. After I spoke, Dave and I answered questions for another half hour. I want to extend my thanks to Tom Gunderson and the EPBBA board for its support of BasketCases and understanding of the importance of putting the book into the hands of parents and coaches who need it the most. 

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