I have been watching UCLA sports for a little over 23 years, As a fan, I appreciate it when I see talented young players receive the opportunity to move to the next level in professional sports. I feel like there is something exciting to watch athletes achieve their childhood dreams.
Right now, there is a saga unfolding for one young athlete by the name of Lonzo Ball. Lonzo is a top tier basketball player who has high draft stock and great potential to be a solid player at the next level. However, his dad, LaVar Ball has been saying some outlandish things and challenging the status quo of the NBA system.
Lonzo Ball has statistics that demonstrate his ability to play the game well and lead his team deep into their season. Yet, some scouts and analysts suggest that his dad has had a negative effect on his stock. Some teams have shared that they are concerned his dad will be too involved and outspoken if he doesn’t feel his son is used appropriately (Lonzo Ball Concerns).
LaVar was a professional athlete himself. He wasn’t a star, but still had a contract for a practice squad in the NFL and some time in Europe (LaVAr Ball’s Career…kind of). He apparently didn’t leave a lasting impression.
Now, he is focused o his kid’s careers. He is trying to force their success. He is making calls for who they will play for and what they are worth. Unfortunately, his claims are pointing towards some hard times for his sons.
So, what can we learn from him?
In my opinion, it seems clear that he is living vicariously through his son and he is gaining the fame he longed for in his short lived career. He has heavy expectations for Lonzo and his basketball future. Is it fair? No. Is it unexpected? Nope.
If you are a parent, learn from LaVar. LaVar is not allowing Lonzo to be an adult. He is a parent that cannot step back and watch his son be successful. He wants to be in the spotlight just as much as his son, if not more.
Give your children space. Trust their ability to make decisions on their own. Don’t place unnecessary pressure on them. Don’t live your dreams through them.
I look at my son and, yes, I imagine him being a football player or talented baseball player. However, I will acknowledge that his success is based on his talent, not mine. I can teach him how to play, but he has to play. I can support and encourage, but he has to love what he does and be who God has created him to be.
LaVar, and parents like him, can, and most likely will, cause damage to their children’s future. According to the professionals, Lonzo will be losing money. Some suggest, he will lose endorsements. All because his dad can’t sit back and let his son do something great.
Our kids are a gift. We cannot allow our dreams for them to hinder their potential.
May we embrace our role as parents. May we celebrate our kid’s gifts and talents. May we allow our children to grow and be who they are meant to be.
Peace and blessings friends.