New Year BasketballWith 2015 just about over and the New Year upon us, it’s that time of year when everyone starts to think about their New Year’s resolutions. As a full-time youth basketball coach, I’ve come up with 5 New Year basketball resolutions for youth basketball players and parents that can make 2016 your best basketball year yet. The below basketball resolutions are not easy, but I do believe they will add value to any youth basketball player or parent who commits to them!

5 New Year Resolutions For Youth Basketball Players and Parents

#1 Referees

Player’s Resolution: Stop worrying about the refereeing during games.

Parent’s Resolution: Stop yelling at or complaining about the refs.

The amount of negative energy spent complaining about, yelling at, or pouting about referees in youth basketball is mind-boggling. Youth basketball refs are going to be “bad” the majority of the time. These are not NCAA or NBA refs. These are human beings reffing because they love to do it and/or want to make some money. It does no good to spend negative energy and emotions on something that you cannot control, so STOP. Just expect the refs to be awful, and deal with it like mature human beings. Take that energy and put it into another area that will make a positive difference. Like supporting and cheering on young players at all cost! Make this your 2016 New Year Basketball Resolution.

#2 Conflict Resolution

Player’s Resolution: If you have a problem with a teammate or coach, TALK to them about it.

basketball conflictParent’s Resolution: If you have a problem with another parent or a coach, TALK to them about it.

Too often in youth basketball, when a player has a problem with a teammate (ie. a ball-hog) or a coach (ie. playing time) that player keeps it inside to themselves and stews about it or complains about it to others. Likewise, parents often complain about their child’s playing time, the strategy of the coach, or another parent to their child or others. None of these does any good for anyone. Instead, make your New Year basketball resolution to TALK about any issues you may have with a teammate, coach or parent with that person face-to-face. Communication and honesty is crucial to positive relationships!

#3 Overcoming Obstacles

Player’s Resolution: Don’t give up. Fight through adversity!

Parent’s Resolution: Help your child handle adversity. Positively encourage them to fight through it.

Adversity is a given in youth basketball, and all sports in general. There will be tough times and difficult challenges while competing in basketball, but it’s how players respond to them that truly determines how successful they will be in basketball … and in life. Whether it’s having a bad game or going through a shooting slump or having a losing season, adversity comes in all forms – some small, some big. FIGHT THROUGH IT!

And parents, I know it’s not easy to watch your child struggle or go through some tough times, but this sets the foundation for them later in life. If you allow your child to simply quit or you openly talk negatively about the situation with your child, that will not solve anything (at least long-term). It may be a short-term fix, but this type of behavior could teach some bad lessons to your child. Instead, positively encourage your child to FIGHT through the struggle and help them find legitimate solutions to the situation.

#4 Focus on Things You Can Control

Player’s Resolution: Focus only on the two things you can control: attitude and effort. If you want to become the true MVP of your team, attitude and effort will definitely point you in the right direction.

Parent’s Resolution: Don’t yell at the refs, other players, the coaches, or your child from the stands. Instead, positively cheer for your child and team.

This is much easier said than done, but I’ve seen huge, positive returns to those players and parents who make this change. Players, the only thing you can control is your attitude and effort. You cannot control your coach, the refs, the crowd, making shots, etc.

Parents, it’s been proven that the most impactful thing you can do for your child is watch the game without coaching from the sidelines and then after the game, simply let them know that you “love to watch them play”. Watch the video below for a powerful explanation on how you can have a huge impact on your child long-term by not coaching from the sidelines and letting them know you love to watch them play!

#5 Enjoy the Game

Player’s Resolution: Have fun playing basketball!

Parent’s Resolution: Enjoy WATCHING your child play basketball!

Life is too short not to have fun. Basketball is a game – it’s meant to be enjoyed! One of my biggest regrets is not enjoying my high school basketball career more than I did. It’s easy as players to get caught up in the challenges and outside distractions from the game, but at the end of the day, you have to have fun playing!

Again, parents, stop worrying about things you have no control over and wasting negative energy on those things. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy watching your child play basketball regardless of the refs, coaches, or final score. It’s going to be over before you know it, and when it is, you don’t want to regret that you let it pass you by without actually enjoying it!


I know these basketball resolutions aren’t easy, but they’re worth it! I promise. If you commit to these 5 New Year basketball resolutions, I guarantee you will have a more positive and productive 2016 basketball season as a player or parent. Good luck, and Happy New Year!!

Brendan Winters is a former Davidson Wildcat and European professional basketball player as well as the co-founder of Pro Skills Basketball and co-director of Pro Skills Basketball Charlotte.

Download the Ultimate Guide to College Basketball Recruiting

Click on the button below, enter your email address and zip code. We’ll send you the PDF of this guide for free.

Call Now Button