The first time I read this article in this morning’s paper (SA Express News), I didn’t believe what I had read, so I reread it. I have very mixed feelings about what Renee is doing and do believe her father is allowing her to miss out on a building block which will allow her to grow as an individual. However, as a parent, you want your child to succeed in life and be the best they can be and support them in their decisions. But her father also wears another hat, as a basketball coach. Here is where I feel her father is neglecting her development, not only as a player but the experience of, what Coach Evans referred to, ‘building relationships and camaraderie’. Being only a high school junior, Renee is still at a formative point in her life and being an athlete, these two characteristics form a foundation for her development and views on life. But I feel her father, as a coach, is dropping the ball. Coaching basketball is bringing together a group of players to play as a unit, as a team and this is what I feel Renee is losing out on at this point in her life. By splitting off from her high school, she’ll form these opinions about herself as being better than everybody else and could quite possibly become a ‘lone wolf’, playing for herself and not as a teammate. She can practice all her wants but she’ll be missing game competition and this is where she’ll miss the development of character in her life. As Coach Evans mentioned, if she’s successful, this could begin a trend for high school players to break away from their high school sports programs and venture on their own. And I am at odds as to how I feel about this; some of me would like for her to succeed and be as good as she can be but part of me wants her to fail and not be a role model for others to follow. When our kids leave the nest on their own, they have to live their own lives and have to live with the decisions that they make. We hope they make the right ones. I come from the old school and hope I’m completely misreading this article but it’s hard to misinterpret what’s already happening.
Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.