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New Students Causing Less Playing Time

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This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

"My son started at point guard on his high school basketball team last season and led the team to a .500 record. This season, he is playing behind a phenomenally talented kid, who transferred to the school under questionable circumstances. This team has a chance to win state, and my son knows that would be a great experience, but between lack of playing time and ethical concerns, my son is considering quitting the team. How do you suggest I advise my son?"

PCA Response by Jim Thompson (@JimThompson18), PCA Founder
Encourage your son to let the rumors about unethical behavior go (and you let them go also). The new teammate either transferred legally -- in which case this isn't an issue --or he didn't, in which case it's still not your or your son's responsibility to address, unless either of you has some definitive proof of wrongdoing. Neither of you can control this situation, so according to good sport psychology, focus on what you can control and ignore the rest.

As a parent, I encourage you to let your son make this decision but only after you are sure he has considered all important aspects of it. Converse with him, possibly helping him make a list of pluses and minuses for quitting/sticking. Make sure he is aware of the following:

  • Basketball is a team game, and getting a talented new player can elevate the play of the entire team, including your son's.

  • More key factors included in the pdf below

Download a printable version of this resource, including additional commentary from PCA, by clicking the PDF below. To read more questions and answers like this, or to submit your own question to the Ask PCA blog, click here.

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