Entitlement v. Investment


I recently lost the opportunity to coach a talented freshman player. I had high hopes for this player who was an excellent athlete and possessed many of the skills I value as a passer and penetrator. The player professed an interest in playing as soon as football season ended, and observed several practices. Due to the overlap of football and basketball, he was about two weeks behind, but this is not an insurmountable setback for a player of his apparent quality.

After two days of practice the player decided to quit, citing concerns over playing time and role on the team. During the two days he was with the team, he played as well as I expected and clearly would have been a core player. The exact extent of his role, or really any other player’s is, as always, fluid and evolving. His sense of entitlement told him he should be handed something without making an investment.

Sports do not offer guarantees. I like my team, even without him, and have a loose conception of what our record might be, but it is nothing more than speculation. The team and the individuals that comprise it are on a journey, hopefully a journey of improvement and growth on and off the court. We can only account for our investment, our time practicing and working to be better. We have no control over the talent or investment of our opponents.

At seasons end, we will have a record of wins and losses that will tell a part of our story. The rest of the story is the return of the investment. The work put in, the improvement made, the time spent together in laughter, victory, anquish and defeat. The depth and quality of that return is the depth and quality of the investment made.

4 thoughts on “Entitlement v. Investment

  1. Kevin Eastman’s Entitlement vs Investment 101. That’ll be my next post to perfect follow this one. Great stuff. Giant missed opportunity for a young player who could’ve not only been a great player, but will miss out on memories that some remember for the rest of their lives.

  2. Investment or entitlement
    Nice article Coach Pink 
    I was (still) a basketball mom.
    My son has played basketball since he was 4 along with other sports. I always had major concern over sports politics in the High Schools.
    Example: Coaches letting kids play when grades were well below the range set by the school…just to make sure they win.
    Coaches having favorites…extra playing time even if the kid was not a strong player.
    Coaches bringing in players from other schools (OH IT HAPPENS) in order to build a team.
    Which leads me to believe that certain (not all) coaches also have entitlement issues.
    It’s nice to see “Investment vs. Entitlement” from a different perspective.
    I think most kids have entitlement issues. Hell, WE THE PARENTS made them that way. I know my son has major entitlement issues. I can only hope they are used in a positive way as he becomes an adult.
    Here’s a great season….

  3. I am fascinated by coaches favorites. I know that I have mine. I think they are very telling of what the coach believes about the game. I had a discussion tonight with a soccer coach, and we discussed mutual appreciation of complete “five attribute” players. I love this type of player because they offer tactical versatility.

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