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 maturity

The whole family, and particularly parents, are encouraged to support and always act in the best interest of the player. They are usually the ones bringing the young player into basketball. Same as the player, they will mature over time and it is critical that they understand their role along the player’s career.

As a parent, you must understand that you have a critical role to play and that you are one of the most influential persons on a player’s development period. The parent’s involvement spectrum can be divided in three:

  • The unfulfilled dreamer
    A young player’s success should never be utilized as a means of status or personal intent. Parents need to be able to differentiate the needs of their children from their own. Excessive coaching, pressure, and criticism can result in undue stress for the player, leading to performance anxiety, fatigue, burnout, and loss of enthusiasm and drive for the sport. Forcing children to live out their unfulfilled dreams is not healthy, and it is usually a precursor of career failure, drop-out, and bad parent-player relationship.
     
  • The under-involved parent
    These are the parents that lack any sort of enthusiasm or engagement for the athlete’s goals and endeavours. The lack of support and encouragement can become disheartening for a young athlete, making it more likely that his/her dedication to basketball will wane.
  • The adequate supporter
    In the middle-ground of parenting, we find the adequate supporter. This kind of parent  provides flexibility for the player’s progress, he/she is moderately involved, and provides adequate support without controlling every move. Ideally, they will have a good communication with the coach to be able to provide feedback according to his/her message to establish the best developmental path for their child.

It is important to remain sensitive to a young player’s developmental needs to maximise the long-term success on the court and off the court.