John Lucas Speaks – We All Should Listen


Here at Maroon and White Nation we specialize on team specific content about your Mississippi State Bulldogs and work to give you the best coverage possible about the Bulldogs in all facets, but from time to time things come up and other messages need to be delivered and today is one of those messages.

Listen up, perk up and pay attention – as my granddad use to say, “shut your mouth and open your ears as you will learn way more by doing so as I have a lot to tell you”.

Recently former NBA player and coach John Lucas spoke prior to a basketball camp for kids that he runs, called the International Middle School Combine. As Spencer Pulliam of reported, his words were powerful and straight to the point to parents and kids alike.

Lucas was straight to the point, very candid and said something that honestly millions of people need to hear and hear it over and over.

Said Lucas –

"“It’s for me to evaluate, not for your ass to be out here trying to coach them,” Lucas said. “If you want to tell them something, tell them before they get here. Right now, it’s for them. Coaches and parents, leave them alone. Let them figure it out. That’s the last warning. I ain’t got no AAU team. I ain’t got nothing to be responsible for.”"

When @CoachJohnLucas1 speaks, ppl listen. Gym completely silent. Message to parents, “let kids figure it out”. #IMSC

For anyone that has ever coached any kind of ball, be it girls or boys sports – I bet you are smiling and nodding your head when you hear Lucas speak.  This is not an indictment on all parents, but Lucas said something that all parents need to hear and adhere to.

I, myself coached competitive girls and boys sports for almost a decade and the biggest challenge wasn’t the kid who couldn’t get things right, it wasn’t the competition; it was the parents of some kids and their attitudes towards the sport, towards the coaches and towards the kids.  John Lucas gave a deafening speech that needs to be heard across the sports world and one I will expand on that carries over into every day life.

To paraphrase Lucas – You take care of your kids at home and focus on that; let the coaches take care of the kids when they are in our care.

I still remember my time growing up like it was yesterday and I lived in this world where I had two sets of parents.  My folks raised me at home and set strict boundaries and then there was my coaches and their boundaries.  It was the best of both worlds as I knew what my parents expected and what my coaches expected and I will always be greatful to all involved in my life.  They all helped mold me into what I am today.

Today however, we are seeing a growing trend around the country where parents want to coach their kids, even at the games as they think they know what’s best.  I remember a time in a state tournament where we were adjusting our outfield in a softball event and I kept noticing the kids would move after they were adjusted.  We would set their alignment and they would move and this went on for a couple of innings and I was perplexed as to what was going on.  Finally someone said I needed to look in the stands after setting the lineup and when I did, there were two dads in the stands, standing up telling the kids where to go by pointing.

I literally lost it with them and trust me the conversation is one that cannot be written in this column.  Parents have gotten out of control in all sports with their overbearing approach to coaching their kids and the attitudes they instill within their children, all the while forgetting what they are called to do as parents – which is raise your kids, not coach them.

This is not an indictment on all children and all parents because there are some fine outstanding people in this country that are doing a jam up job with their kids and even down to how they handle coaching and sports.

But, this is an issue that needs to be addressed and quickly.  Over the last 10-years we’ve seen kids, primarily those that are Millennials become extremely sensitive, extremely violent and their respect for mankind go out the door.  Hate is being bred in our kids and it is tearing our society apart, amongst other things.  One glance around social media and you will know what I am talking about and this is our fault, my fault, your fault – all of our faults.

The other day I walked in to drop my kid off at daycare and as I was signing in, I saw two little boys that couldn’t have been a day over three years old, both from different back grounds and they ran up to each other and hugged one another.   One walk through a daycare and you realize this goes on with children all the time and you can learn a lot by walking through a daycare.  We are born with a  sense to love, nurture and embrace discipline.

It is society and all of us as adults faults for kids going astray and by becoming a generation full of whiners, complainers and bullying vigilantes and I promise you, you are doing your child no favors by showing out and trying to take command of their ball team.

There is a reason Lucas addressed this before his camp, because he knows the problems that are out there.  If we as parents would focus on what we need to do which is parenting and let the coaches coach – the world would be a far greater place.  Teach your kids respect for one another and their piers, how to say yes mam, no mam, teach your little girls to be young ladies and your little men how to shake hands firm and look other people in the eye.  Teach your kids compassion and how to love and love abundantly.   You want to solve all the issues in this world and particularly around this country?  A facebook post won’t do it and a mean spirited tweet won’t either.  You have to change within yourself, take care of your home and your people and it has to happen with love, compassion and understanding and you have to teach that to your kids because if you don’t, oddly about the only other person that will is a coach, but not if you are handicapping that situation as well.

Teach your kids to stop standing around when a conflict is involved and recording a horrific fight or event and to fall in and break up the fight and offer a helping hand, and let your coaches coach your kids.  I know you probably played ball you think you know what’s best, but you handle your house and let the coach handle theirs.

I’ve had the pleasure over the years to be around tons of coaches in all sports and most all are great individuals and do a fantastic job, but you have to let them do their job.

Focus all your efforts on raising your kids to be future pillars in society and back away from the coaching.  Let the coaches do their jobs – based on John Lucas’s speech, I would say he would second every bit of this and that was his message.

We can all make the difference that desperately needs to be made, but we have to do our part as parents and for goodness sakes let the coaches do theirs.