Penetrating insight by Lady Vol coach Holly Warlick in this Q&A. Most pertinent is this:
And I don’t understand why kids don’t have emotion. But that’s me. We’re up and down, we’ll play great one night and then the next night you’ll go ‘Why did you throw that ball…’ We’re striving for perfection and I don’t think anybody has reached perfection.”……
“Yeah, here’s what I think has been missing in kids since maybe four years ago. I think kids overall, I think they’ve lost the love of the game. I think somewhere along the line we’ve lost some passion. Where did that go? Why is it gone? Because you’ve got to spend too much time here. Because you’re supposed to, because you’ve always done it. I think you saw fewer injuries (before) because we’re running track, playing basketball. And now we’re pounding, pounding, pounding. We get these kids and they’ve got bad knees, bad ankles, bad shoulders. And that’s just because of the wear and tear of their bodies. But I think for some reason — and don’t get me wrong, on our team we’ve got great kids. Great kids. But sometimes we’re not consistently passionate about the game. And I think that’s my feel on women’s basketball across the board with kids nowadays. I think the four kids we have coming in, I think they have a love for the game. They could prove me wrong.”
I’ve talked with coaches of all levels for the last several years, and all agree with Warlick: the pursuit of scholarships has created a machine. Kids are having overuse issues in high school, far earlier than they used to.