Who is here to help advance my career?
Key Learnings
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Take the decision to work with an agent very seriously because you are deciding to let someone act on your behalf.
Ensure your agent has certification from FIBA to work within International basketball as an agent.
Use different representatives (agent, financial advisor, and lawyer) for different parts of your personal and professional affairs.
Remember that the reputation you build at the early stages of your career will impact how marketable you are when you are playing at higher levels.
Build good relationships with your sponsors to increase the chances of renewing your contract.
A mentor looks after the player’s best interests and personal development only.
Family plays a paramount role in the development of a player; however, they do not understand the specificities of the game, and, most of the time, they will not understand what is happening in your head.
Parents are primarily responsible for the overall evolution of the athlete as a person.

Parents interactions

Many issues arise because parents are unsure as to how they can best assist their children. Parents may often choose the less opportune decision over the more appropriate one. Parents  are  primarily  responsible  for  the  overall  evolution  of  the  athlete  as  a  person.  At  an early  stage,  parents  should  promote  the  notion  of  a  healthy  balance  between  sport  and personal development. They should act as a regulator for young athletes, who could be still too young to have a clear and long-term vision of their career.

Parents who care about the sport future of their children should be educated in how important it is to build positive  relationships from early childhood. Once it is clear that your child can become a professional basketball player (e.g. competing at international level), your role might change a bit:

  • Interaction with the athlete
    • Ensure  the  player  respects  the  principles  of  good  sportsmanship,  behaviour  and ethics.  They  should  stay  grounded,  and  parents  should  avoid  expressions  such  as: "the referee was terrible".
    • No matter what stage the player is at, you should always try to manage them so that they live within their means and follow a monthly budget.
    • Understand that professional players may have to grow-up faster than other people of their age. However, they will still need your psychological and physical support.
    • The more professional they become, the more people will be needed to help them. While you must be his/her main support at a younger age, you must understand that, at some point, the player will need an agent, a financial advisor, a sport psychologist, etc. to grow his/her career. Step aside and understand that this is for the player’s best interest.
       
  • School and education
    • If possible, give preference to sports-friendly schools and institutions.
    • Speak  to  other  parents  to  see  how  they  have  managed  to  find  time  for distance-learning education courses or short-term training courses for their child.
    • As a general rule, try to drive your child towards a dual-career. However, the final decision should come from them.
    • Talk to your National Federation or FIBA Mentors to learn about all the possibilities.
       
  • Interaction with the coaches
    • ​​​As  parents,  you  must  acknowledge  that  a  coach's  expertise  and  knowledge  makes them an authority figure within the sport and that they must be treated as such.
    • Depending on the level and age, you might want to have a good relationship with coaches and have a fluid and friendly communication with them.
    • Understand that the coach will gain a lot of influence on your child’s life. Try to work with him/her, instead of against him/her.
       
  • Interactions with Agents
    • Take  your  time,  together  with  your  child,  to  choose  an  agent.  It  is  a  key decision that will affect the athlete's career.
    • Make sure you find out important information, such as whether or not he or she is well respected in the world of sport. Ask for recommendations from people around you.
    • Make  sure  the  agent  will  have  no  conflict  of  interests  in  taking  decisions.  Is he/she totally independent from clubs or other associations, for instance?
    • Check the section agents from this guide and contact your National Federation or FIBA should you have any questions.