5 WaYs TO Follow Your Dreams when Your parents don’t Support You
This topic came about because I wrote an article on The Odds of Going to the NBA.
If you visit that page and view the 80+ comments, you will see an underlying story from tons of young kids who have the same dream of making it to the NBA.
The scoop is…
Their parents don’t support their basketball dreams!
And the crazy thing is, not all parents support their kid’s dreams, especially if their kid’s dream is to be a professional basketball player.
There are a million kids who have the same dream and based on statistics, it is almost impossible to make it to the NBA.
We all understand this, but even if the odds are against you, why should you waiver your potential by not following your dreams because of a statistic or a lack of support?
Does the odds stop people from winning the lottery, becoming famous, etc.?
Most of the time it’s tough to keep working towards what your heart tells you to do when your parents aren’t supporting you. However, as tough as it may be, don’t give up on your personal goals which you have set out for yourself.
Because I experienced a lack of support to a certain degree when following my dreams, I was impelled to write this article!
Here are 5 things to do when your parents don’t support your dreams, especially when your passion is basketball.
#1 Keep Dreaming
Let’s get this clear…it’s important to never let that feeling go and to never let your childhood dream fade!
I will say this, dream BIG…
I did and at 5’8″, I was able to do something not too many people were able to accomplish from my hometown and that was play Division 1 Basketball and professionally overseas.
Do you know how many times I was told I was too short?
Not talented enough…
Not good as someone else who had talent in my community…
The list goes on! Did that stop me, hell NO!
I grinded every day (worked on my basketball skills) and made my dream come true!
Did I play in the NBA?
NOPE, but I still accomplished something that I dreamed about as a little kid without the support from many people.
One thing I learned is that, if your parents don’t support you, you will be rebellious towards them.
It is hard to listen to your parents when they start pressuring you or not supporting you, in addition to constructing your success, especially when their idea of success is much different than yours.
Some parents start to pressure their kids into thinking about real jobs as early as high school, although many will wait until college to start before arguing about why basketball shouldn’t be the only profession worth thinking about, and because children want to make their parents become so proud about this, it becomes more difficult to resist their wishes as the most important of all.
I’m not trying to sell you a dream here and no one should if you consistently work hard on your craft.
It is hard to live the American Dream, but why not try achieving it? That doesn’t stop all the million people who do fulfill their dreams in whatever it is!
However difficult it seems, keep fighting against your parents’ wishes. No matter how many people tell you that becoming a professional basketball player is a one-in-a-million chance, or how many people tell you that you aren’t being practical, never stop dreaming!
Dreams can be a powerful force, and if you let your dream fuel you through the tough times, you will be that much closer to accomplishing your goals.
I had so much to work hard for because so many people told me I wouldn’t succeed in basketball, so every day I worked on my game for hours to prove to them and most importantly to myself!
According to one famous quote: “The power of your dreams is the primary factor in becoming motivated.”
#2 Work Hard
This may seem like a no-brainer, but working hard doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. Only the most dedicated basketball players are going to make it to the Pros.
This means dedicating as much of your time as possible to basketball.
Working hard goes beyond just showing up for practice, training, and games.
The greatest basketball players did more than just the bare minimum; they worked so hard that many people probably thought they were crazy.
While some players have natural talent, even the most talented players have to polish their skills and practice even when they don’t want to.
The people who have made it to the NBA are the ones who have persevered, even when their coaches told them they weren’t good enough.
One of the most well-known examples is Michael Jordan. Jordan didn’t make his varsity high-school basketball team when he first tried out because the coaches didn’t think he was tall enough.
However, Jordan continued to practice every single day and led the junior varsity team to success. He made the coaches notice him, he continued to work hard, and didn’t give up, even when it would have been easy to do so.
One thing working hard will do, it will show your parents that you’re serious about pursuing basketball as a career, and not as a hobby, which might make them more likely to support you.
Putting in the extra practice hours and going to extra basketball camps, is going to show your parents that you not only have the desire to play professionally, but you have the dedication.
Need a Basketball Practice Plan? Here You Go!
#3 Talk to Your Parents
Sometimes sitting down and talking to your parents can really help. Children rarely talk to their parents about what’s going on in their life.
It seems to be a default setting in our brains, but talking to your parents can make a huge difference when it comes to gaining their support.
The more they understand, the easier it will be for them to let go of their fears as well as truly support your goals and passions.
So if your parents are pressuring you to pursue another career, or are constantly showing their disappointment, ask them to agree on a time in which all of you can sit down and talk.
Don’t make the conversation one-sided. Before telling them that you’re going after a professional basketball career with, or without, their support ask them questions.
Ask them why they don’t want you to become a basketball player.
Try and understand their point of view, and then tell them why your goals are important, and why their support is important to you.
Acknowledge their fears and worries; let them know you understand while trying to get them to understand that going after your dreams is the only way you want to live your life.
#4 Placate Your Parents
Unfortunately, some parents never come around to the idea of their child pursuing a professional basketball career, and they’ll continue to stress the importance of other options. To get them off your back, you may have to placate them just a little bit.
While this sounds like you’re going backward, instead of forwards, placating your parents doesn’t mean giving up your goals; it doesn’t mean being less dedicated to basketball.
What it does mean, is showing your parents that you have other interests.
One of the best ways to do this is to be a good student. Not only is this going to show your parents that you are capable of pursuing other careers, but getting good grades is going to help you in the long run.
If you work hard and have talent, you will get better scholarship offers from colleges; it’ll show that you’re well-rounded.
If you have time and the ability to join a club or two, or do volunteer work, during the off-season, then think about doing that. It might get your parents to stop pressuring you so much.
Of course, basketball should still be your number one focus. Only placate your parents if you can do so without sacrificing the things you need to do for basketball.
#5 Have a Back-up Plan
Having a backup plan doesn’t mean giving up on your dreams. If you want to be a professional basketball player, then dedicate your time to doing everything you need to do to make it happen.
However, having a backup plan isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a good idea to have one no matter what you’re trying to accomplish in life. It just means you’re prepared to have to take a detour to accomplish your overall goals.
For me, I had backup plan B, C, and D. I knew the challenge and difficult task of being drafted to the NBA, so I wasn’t going to give up on my dream, but I had other plans as well if I didn’t make it to the NBA.
As long as I accomplished one of my plans between A through D, I was happy with how my life turned out.
Here was my overall plan:
A). Make it to the NBA
B). Play Professional Basketball Overseas or D-League
C). Become a Pharmacist
D). Run My Own Business
Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the NBA, but I was fine with that. I earned a professional basketball contract overseas.
After I retired from playing professional basketball, I had my daughter so Pharmacy school was out of the picture.
Now, I’m running my own SEO Agency in Charlotte! Dreams do exist and I was able to accomplish 2 out of the 4. Not bad.
I love the grind, the dream, the passion, execution, hard work, faith, the lack of support and everything that comes with dreaming BIG!
You think I had a ton of people in my corner rooting me on to play professional basketball? Ha-No!
You think I had people telling me to start my own business? No! Matter of fact, I had companies tell me I wasn’t smart enough, didn’t have enough talent to keep up, that position wasn’t for me, and many other things that drove me to go out and get it!
This is not meant to brag, and my journey is still in progress, but when the odds are against me, the man upstairs pulls me through!
Back to the backup plan…
Your backup plan can be basketball related. Consider getting a degree to be a personal trainer, or to become a basketball coach. Join a community league.
Create a backup plan solely for the purpose of having something to keep you busy if becoming a professional basketball player doesn’t happen right away. It’s a way for you to stay on your feet, while you’re figuring out your next move. Remember, never give up on your dream.
Or have a backup plan based on other passions you may have developed.
I couldn’t just speak to the kids, now it is time to address the parents because I am one…
When kids are little, it’s easy to go along with their idea that they’re going to grow up and become a professional sports player; however, when they become older it sometimes becomes difficult to continue to support their professional basketball playing dreams.
Only 1.1 percent of basketball players make it the to the Pros, and for parents, that statistic can be frightening. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up on your child’s dream.
Don’t Let Fear Overwhelm You
One of the biggest fears parents have is that their kid won’t have better opportunities than they did when they were growing up.
Many parents tell their kids once their older that all they want is for their child to be more successful than they were; they want their kids to be happier, to be wealthier, and to be healthier.
While the desire for your kid to have the best in life is admirable, sometimes the fear that they won’t get have those opportunities, can make it difficult to support your child when they want to pursue a professional basketball career.
However, your support is crucial to their success.
How many athletes do you hear crediting their parents for their success during interviews?
Watch this MVP speech from Kevin Durant, you can hear the great support system that he had to accomplish his dream of playing in the NBA. This is a must for your child!
While the chances of becoming a professional NBA player are slim, and the path is hard, don’t discourage your child from going after what he or she wants. It’s important to remember that their definition of success and happiness is probably different than yours.
As your children get older, you may not always know what’s best, as hard as that may be for you to accept.
According to Psychology Today, knowing what’s best for your child, may be going along with what they think is best for themselves, and if your child thinks, wants, and knows that he or she wants to be a professional basketball player, then support their decision.
They’re going to need someone to turn to when the path gets hard, or when they stumble. You play a large role in their success, so don’t let your fears get in the way of that.
Talk About Finances
As children get older, sports become more expensive. Some parents just can’t keep up with all the costs of sports fees, equipment, and training camps, and most parents are too embarrassed to admit it.
The result is that parents might end up discouraging their child from trying to play sports professionally because they would rather convince their child that his or her dream isn’t an attainable one than admit to their child that they can’t financially afford to support their dream.
However, as children get older and their dreams become more expensive, talk to them about your situation.
Adolescents can be very understanding, and in fact, many adolescents may even be aware of the families financial situation.
Adolescents are good at hearing whispers behind closed doors. So if you can’t afford to keep up with the financial demands of helping your child become a professional basketball player, be honest with your child, no matter how difficult that may be.
This way you can come up with a solution together.
If your child is truly dedicated to making his or her dreams come true, then they are going to be open to finding different ways to make that happen.
They might be willing to get a part-time job to help pay for costs; maybe there are scholarships and grants he or she could apply for; the sometimes school may even work with you to help cover costs.
This way some of the burdens is lifted off of your shoulders, and you can support your child in other ways, such as helping him or her with schoolwork, or being present at every one of his or her games.
It’s Ok to Let Your Child Face Disappointment
One of the worst things for parents to experience is their child’s disappointment. This causes some parents to try and end their child’s basketball career before it even has a chance to begin.
Often parents encourage teenagers to play sports because of the opportunity for college scholarships, or it’s a way for their child to make friends, and become part of a team.
However, parents know that becoming a professional basketball player doesn’t become a reality for the majority of people who try to become one, making it difficult for them to encourage their child to follow a dream that could end up in disappointment or failure as this should be much important to most of the people who are involved.
The remarkable thing is, some of the most successful people are successful because they failed. Failure and disappointment become the encouragement for those who are truly dedicated to making their dreams a reality.
People like Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth, Tom Landry, Stan Smith, and Mark Cuban, failed over and over. They messed up in their games; they were told they didn’t have the height or the skills to make it, but they took that negativity, and failure, and used it to make them better.
That is what you should do for your child. Don’t let them give up; don’t refuse to support them, because you are afraid they might fail. Encourage them to see their failure as an example of what not to do.
Teach them to go after their dreams, even when it seems impossible.
Any stories out there about how you or someone gained success with a lack of support from your parents or family members?