Monday, March 26, 2012

Big Fish in a Little Pond vs. Little Fish in a Big Pond

This weekend was jam packed full of long days of basketball as we are right in the middle of our AAU season.  Sissy's team had 4 games this weekend and came in 3rd in the 6th grade age group.   This weekend was the first weekend that we have seem some good competition for them--I wish we could have played these teams earlier so that they could have been better prepared.  I'm sure we will meet these teams again this weekend at the AAU states--we lost to one by 7 and the other by 4. 

My daughter, who is normally the leader on the court and very confident with the ball, has recently been very timid on offense, passes the ball away quickly and shies away from the point position.  Her defense is great and she has many steals, but has yet to show her skills on offense.  I had to ask her about it and what is going on.  She feels very nervous that she is going to mess up and is feeling less confident with her abilities.  She is also very sensitive to the fact that she is the shortest one on her team.  Her words, "It's different not being the best player on the court". 

She has gone from a small local Y league where she has always been the best dribbler on her team and maybe even out of all the players, to now being average.  She is average on her team and average among the players that she's playing against. 

I'm not sure why this is bothering her now because she has been to basketball camps where all different kids of all abilities come for a week last summer.  She still managed to remain confident and show her skills there, earning awards at both camps she went to.  She also played with this group in the fall.  I'm hoping this is something she just has to work through.  We still have 6 more weeks of AAU, so there is plenty of time for growth here.

My question to you is:  Is it better to be a big fish in a little pond or a little fish in a big pond?

At her little local Y, she was the big fish.  Was she improving her skills and being challenged there?  No, probably not.  But she had confidence in herself and her abilities.  In this league she is a little fish.  She is definitely being challenged and learning how to play better, but has less confidence in herself. 

I guess the answer is both.  You need a balance of both, right?  You need to be challenged in order to become better but you also need to play at a level where you have confidence too. 

I'm hoping she gets past this and becomes a medium-sized fish in a big pond. :)

What say you?
Big fish in a little pond or little fish in a big pond?


Carrie said...

It certainly is tough when you go to the next level and you discover that you are not on the top any more. I think it might be hard to cope with or understand that it really is a good thing when you are younger. I know it was tough for me coming from high school track where I won nearly every race and then competing in college, I was the slowest on the team. But I became stronger both physically and especially mentally being surrounded with those "better" than me. In the end, playing with more experienced players will make her grow in her game too. And with the guidance of her awesome mom, she'll thrive on the court and in life.

PJ said...

I so enjoyed reading this! I have seen so many kids drop out of sports as soon as they are no longer the best or they face a bigger challenge. Many of my eight grade daughter's friends are already planning "not" to join the sport they played in middle school in high school. I hope most parents realize to encourage them as much as they can cause life is not going to be about being a big fish all the time!!

Karen said...

I am kind of going through that now with my tennis. I moved up to a higher level team mostly for convenience. It is definitely a humbling experience. (not that I was a superstar before but at least I felt like I was competitive). I am guessing she will get her confidence back in no time and be a better player for it.

BTW - saw your comment on my blog... NOW WAY am I 6.5! It was a combo league - so you would pair a 3.0 player with a 3.5 player. :)