Find Your Program Here

November 6, 2015

Parents – Expectations: Game to 21 (Common Questions)

Parents – Expectations:  Game to 21 (Common Questions)

Expectations for Parents – Winter Team Play – Game to 21

Please ask your child to read or review with your child:  Players  – Expectations:  Best of 10 (Score a Perfect 10) 

[learn_more caption=”#1  Registration System & Communication – Please READ Emails”]

Please note that we are a youth sports organization not a Fortune 500 company.  This means we do not have customer service reps available 24/7 who can read schedules and emails to parents.  Please READ emails and reminders always.  The info on our website under menu > schedules is accurate and synced to real time changes.  If there is conflicting info, yes, by all means email us so we can clarify.  If the events are changed, we will notify you of the change (we hate changes as much as you do).  Note:  Coaches are not responsible for reading the schedule for you – they are instructed to refer you to the registration system so that they do not make a mistake by giving you inaccurate info.

IMPORTANT: GAMES are not included in the schedule until they are booked by early-to-mid- December for the start weekend of middle December through early March (ends before private school break).  Please note we are very busy at the office because of our commitment to setting a 10-week schedule for almost 90 teams across 10 gyms in upper Manhattan.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”#2  Schedule:  Why Aren’t Games Listed? How Do I Check?”]

Please note again that the games are not posted until we create a 90-team schedule for mid-December through March.  We know you are concerned about your weekend schedules and we respect your time and efforts each weekend to juggle your booked schedules, but we have several factors affecting the scheduling process.  Your patience is greatly appreciated.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”#3  Why Do We Keep Referring You to the Website for Info?”]

Not only do we oversee every detail for 26 teams and a K-3 program, we also oversee all details for our 90-team league, which cuts into our days off Please rely on our communications and website system for all info and only contact the office if absolutely necessary.  Best advice is to READ the group emails, blogs, postings that are sent to you.  If you are unsure when a call or email is warranted, please read #4 and #5.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”#4  If My Child Must Miss Practice, Whom Should I Contact?”]

If your child is going to be absent or was absent from a mandatory team practice, parents are encouraged to email the coach and state why the player was absent.  Optional workouts DO NOT count for mandatory team practice time. We expect an attendance rate of 80 percent (or close) for all mandatory team events. (Click here if you need to read: Attendance:  Common Player Conflicts & How to Handle.) An absence is an absence, yet understand judgment calls must be made (We know Grandma only turns 80 once). They player can jump into another practice if there is a conflict, but should be doing it for the workout rather than to assure himself that he received credit. (Check > menu > schedules and pick the other teams in the division.) A missed practice is a missed practice or else we run the risk of kids/parents picking and choosing their practice spots each weekend and never getting the kids together as a team. We also have to notify the coach and parents with times/locations and if things change the team will be notified but since that player is not on the team list, they will not receive the notification and will head to the practice time/location. We cannot track who is switching practices each weekend. Note that playing time is determined by attendance record, effort level and players doing what is asked of them (same page rule—see #9).[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”#5  Acceptable Levels of Contact with Coaches (and Office)”]

Please do not contact the coaches for 1) schedule questions every week 2) private lessons for your child during the season and 3) to say your kid didn’t play enough (see #8).  Coaches are told to NOT give you their cell phone numbers.  Please email the coaches any pertinent information on a player’s attendance and any other major concerns you have (illness, injury, stress levels, problems at home, etc.) Please read #13 on how to handle injuries/illnesses, communication of those injuries and attendance.

Coaches prefer to go directly to the kids about effort, attendance, and being on same page as the team.  Encourage your child to listen to the coach and do what he or she is asking.  If your child is showing up, and going all out in practices and in games (to your knowledge) and not whining, complaining or making excuses, you child should be playing in games.  Do they play equal minutes?  No.  Fair minutes?  We try.  And if a coach has a full team of 8-10 bodies, it is really easy to mess up playing time.  What we do is ask coaches to remember who didn’t get as many minutes as they deserved and try to make up for it in the next game.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”#6  What if I have Safety, Security or Privacy Issues?”]

Mo’ Motion mandates that coaches are either on time or another Motion coach holds down the gym until the coach on duty reports (sometimes they are running from another workout).  If practice starts at 1 and there is no coach there at all, then yes, you can email the office.  If it’s 12:55 and 12:58 and you get upset because no coach is there, we will not respond.  Security guards are mandated in every gym.  If a guard is absent or late or in the restroom, we ask that a parent to cover the door.  If you don’t see a guard at the door and can’t get in, please give it a few minutes instead of calling the office.

Coaches and staff are instructed by law to call the police if they feel as though a person or situation is endangering the life or welfare of a child.  They call the police first, Mo’ Motion administration second.

PRIVACY:  Coaches (nor other parents) are not allowed to solicit from any Motion parents and they only have access to email lists for their teams.  Mo’ Motion does not sell our mailing list or give away any private info – whether it be email addresses, phone numbers or rosters (no asking who’s on what team).

If you ever have any safety or privacy issues that aren’t emergency situations, we always encourage parents to contact the office so we can help resolve immediately.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”#7 Changes in Schedule – We Apologize in Advance, BUT …”]

Please note that this isn’t recreational league where we can be in same time, same place, same gym every weekend due to it being a “travel” league with different programs/divisions and match ups.  We also have to factor in how to help a team that is losing (or winning) by a ton each weekend so that the games are worthwhile.  We also are building in GBA Showcase Games for the kids this year, which the kids will love.  Logistically the schedule takes 5-7 days and many revisions to compete, tweak, and re-tweak.  During winter season, Motion staff members are extremely busy looking out for all 1,000 kids in the league.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”#8  How is Playing Time Determined?  (Attendance/Effort/Same Page)”]

Coaches keep attendance and effort level reports for each practice and determine playing time accordingly.  Players must abide by style of play rules as well – meaning players must be on the same page as the coach and team.  Do not count your child’s minutes.  We do not award equal playing time.  We offer reasonable playing time (per game and cumulative) for those who are showing up, putting in the time and following the rules on the floor.  If your child gets fewer minutes for one game, but is meeting expectations as far as you can see, note that the coaches sometimes can’t make things perfect each game and that they are told to adjust minutes according to our standards in the next game. For more exact details and examples of effort, please read Effort: How To Evaluate Effort (Attitude) & Enthusiasm.  Click here to read our blog on Attendance: Common Player Conflicts & How to Handle.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”#9  What is the Dress Code for Practices/Games and Where To Get Apparel?”]

GEAR:  Mandatory mouth guards and knee pads for all team players Grade 4-10.  Why?  Crashing on floor and being slow to get up a) hurts and b) may cost you a game as well as an injury.  Why the mouth guards?  My kid hates them!  Well, a) we know how much people pay for dental work and b) a mouth guard can help mitigate contact to the face or head. There isn’t a particular style or brand we recommend. You can generally find plenty of options at Modell’s or online.

UNIFORMS/PRACTICE:  Mo’ Motion gear will be handed out by the second weekend (we always are at the mercy of UPS-this means it is usually the 2nd or 3rd weekend).  A player/parent will be given extra gear so that coaches are not responsible for this task.

1st Mandatory Event Per Weekend:  Players are asked to wear their Mo’ Motion practice issued shirt and game shorts on the first day of mandatory team events during practice time (usually Saturday) with game shorts (they are fine wearing them two days in row).

2nd Mandatory Event (Game or Practice) Per Weekend:  Wear full uniform including game shorts on the 2nd mandatory event (usually Sunday).

GAME DAY PROTOCOL:  We want everyone to match in practices and during games.  Players must wear the same color T-shirt under their jersey, meaning if you have a red/black Motion jersey, you must wear a red or black T-shirt under it or go without a T-shirt.  No wearing yellow under an orange uniform.  Orange under orange uniform and white under white uniform.  If you would like to order more gear (a second practice shirt or shorts), please contact the office or buy it through our store.

BOOST WORKOUTS:  Optional weeknight workouts have no Mo’ Motion apparel dress requirement.  If we are going to take photos or video, we will ask in advance for kids to wear Mo’ Motion gear.

IF YOU WANT EXTRA PRACTICE GEAR: Go to our main landing page on back-end registration process LOG-IN HERE and go the store.  From there, you can see your options.  Sign-in to make additional purchases.

WATER BOTTLE:  Bring a full water bottle to every practice/game.  Bring two if needed.  Do not drink straight Gatorade or juice during practice.  Dilute your Gatorade or sports drink.  Reduce processed sugar intake significantly.  Hydrate and fuel with healthful foods before practice.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”#10  Script Tips for Parents – What do I Do/Say to My Kid?  What do I NOT Do/Say?”]

Great parents parent.  They ask their kids, “So, how did you do?” or “How do you think it went?” not “Did you win?” or “How many points did you score.”  Great parents say, “I love watching the way you work out there” or “I love the way your teammates play together.”  Parents speak of the things that are important to them.  So if you are only concerned about your kid scoring points, then maybe that will happen and maybe he’ll miss several other aspects of an awesome team sport and experience.  Great parents don’t call the office constantly and tell coaches who should be on their kid’s team and how good their kid is compared to other players and talk about how hard their kids work (we have eyes – objective ones to boot).


Great parents praise hustle, heart, effort and teamwork.  They do not say negative things about children or yell anything negative at another child or their coach.  If they do, the parent will be suspended for two weeks.  If they do it again, they are asked to not attend any Motion events.  Great parents focus on how thrilling, cool, fun and dramatic it is to watch their child play sports and learn about himself or herself in a public forum.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”#11 What Do I Do If My Child Is Struggling?”]

If your child is not having fun or struggling at practice or in games, we encourage your child to talk to the coach directly, which is tough for some kids.  Encourage your child to ask the coach to state three things he or she should work on in practice and or in games (that are not about scoring).  Keep the list of tasks short and manageable.  Once the tasks are completed, tell your child that he or she is doing much better.  Maybe add another task or maybe just master those three for a short time longer.  It may be something like 1) take care of the ball 2) contain your player 3) communicate more on defense or 4) get more deflections.  Scoring, dominating, starting – not as important as building blocks of confidence.  If you are really in a tough spot in that nothing feels like it’s working, ask the coach to be clear with your child and ask the coach what you can do to help support the process (as an ally with the coach for we are all in the business of helping children, not creating conflict).  If you are really stuck, feel free to email or call the front office.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”#12  If My Child is Ill or Injured, Does He/She Still Have to Go to Practice?”]

If your child plans on returning to action, then in most cases YES.  But it depends on the timing, severity and location of the injury.  Read here for the most common injury – BROKEN FINGER?  If it’s a lower limb injury that is still in the acute state (a sprained ankle, stress fracture or fracture), then you may want to back off of one weekend or practice, but note that if the player is going to be activated soon, attendance still does count even if a player is sitting, watching, assisting.  If a child is sick and contagious (beyond a runny nose/sinus issues where sweating can sometimes help), or there is a bad head injury or very bad lower limb injury, then practice is a NO GO.  But if there is room for the child to watch, or in cases of broken fingers (you can actually play with most breaks – with right brace protecting it – but your doc won’t tell you this) – do your best to send your child in and the coach will know to modify.  Squeaky knees (growing pains), Osgood-Schlatter, Severs, plantar fasciitis – we’ve seen and/or experienced all these injuries – and staff is expected to modify around the pain.  Note that any player coming back from a serious injury and/or surgery – you must pass the doc’s OK before returning and you want to email for more instructions on cautionary actions as the player eases back in (so you avoid setting up another injury).  If you need advice beyond modifications and good judgment, email the office.  Again, light sinus infection, runny nose, small breaks in fingers and/or knee pain – our reasonable requests are to attend and modify.  Broken foot, contagious illness (feeling awful in entire body) or head injury in acute state – practice is a no go.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”#13 What Do I Do if I Think My Child Should Be Moved Up?”]

We caution you against being your child’s professional lobbyist or agent.  If your child is much better than others in several categories from skill to conditioning to talent to aggression level – the staff makes the call to the office and suggests how to put the child in a situation to progress whether it be another team or straddling two teams.  Motion Coaches are constantly checking in with each other on any players who are struggling and/or standing out – and deal with these players on case-by-case basis.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”#14  Are All Team Practices Closed?  What if Grandparents are in town?”]

Team practices are CLOSED, meaning drop off your child and step out.  Return for the last 15 minutes, but please do not judge the coach or practice based on the last 15 minutes.  Lastly, if you notice a parent sitting in the gym, it is because 1) there’s an injury or situation that warrants the parent sitting in the gym or 2) Mo has asked a parent to be near the coach/kids as a second adult in the event that a coach is coaching solo (without a co-coach).  Grandparents are allowed in as long as they are quiet and not a distraction to their grandchildren or friends of grandchildren.  Kids usually are much better behaved and focused around grandparents.  Mom/Dad often generate a much different and unpredictable response.  Coaches are in our gyms to coach kids, not parents.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”#15 How Early Do We Need to Be At Games? “]

Players are asked to be ready to go 15 minutes before each game.  This means water bottle is full, shoes are tied, bathroom has been used and they’re watching the end of the game before their game and/or warming up on the sideline or in the hallway.  If players are late, then coach can bench them for the first quarter with no make-up time owed.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”#16 What is Acceptable Parent Behavior During Games?”]

We love parents who shout out positive praise and encouragement to players on their child’s team and even the other team.  We love parents who say hello, thank you and goodbye.  After a big loss, we love it when parents smile and keep things in perspective.  After the game is over, it’s over – we need to move on.

NOTE:  We do not critique all of your parenting skills at home or on the way to the game because we are basketball coaches. You as parents are spectators and supporters.  You are not coaches.  Therefore you are not allowed to yell at other people’s kids during the game.  If you yell at another player, a referee or a coach, you will receive one warning and if you do it again, you will be suspended from games.  If you try to coach from the sidelines during the game, you will be asked to stop, and if you do not stop, then you will be suspended.  If your child looks at you during the game, the coach is instructed to remove the player from the game because he or she cares more about your input than the team.  Players can listen – they have ears, but you will never know if your child is listening to you.  They actually should not be.  It’s about what the coach is saying and focusing on the team.


TIP FOR INTENSE PARENTS: If you are like Mo’s dad at all, in that he was yelling all the time and really into the games – arguably getting too intense while watching the games – save us all this trouble and sit as far away from other parents and your kid as possible.   If you find yourself getting too intense, have a meeting with yourself (like Mo does), adjust your game and remember it’s about the kids—not the adults.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”#17  Wide Margin Games – Winning/Losing”]

Mo’ Motion staff, gym managers and board members as well as coaches of have been advised on how to handle wide margins.  It is not your job as a parent to weigh in.  We’ve been there – both sides – several times over as coaches and players.  We know who handles it with class and who does not.  We spell out the rules on this and do what we can as a program, but we cannot explicitly tell other coaches exactly how to coach.  We can only strongly suggest our league rules are followed.  We do our best to get kids focusing on investing heart & effort in EVERY PLAY.  This includes all players on both teams.  We push sportsmanship and humility, but again, if other coaches aren’t doing it or their teams/kids are just that much stronger – let’s all remember it’s just a game.  We all will live and go back to our very fortunate lives.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”#18  What is Expected of the Players?”]
Simple instructions:  Get adequate sleep.  Eat well before the game.  Drink enough water before practice.  Show up with proper gear (mandatory mouth guard, knee pads, water bottle, correct practice gear and/or uniform). Regularly demonstrate heart and effort in every practice.  Listen to your coach.  Be on the same page as everyone else.  Root for your teammates.  Respect your team.  Be a good sport and example to your peers and parents.  Read the Players Expectations Blog here.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”#19  What is Expected of Coaches?”]

Motion coaches are trained, evaluated and audited throughout the season.  We have a curriculum with a set of drills and philosophy that must be practiced in every gym.   Coaches, like players and parents, are not perfect.  Note that we are built on co-coaching season so this means two coaches and two teams in each gym for practice.  It’s an exciting time to watch your child and his friends and teammates struggle, succeed and grow. Think kid-first, support your coach, coach supports the kids (and parents), and we will all have a rewarding time.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”#20  What is the Mo’ Motion Parent Challenge/Fundraiser?”]

Our convenient “travel” league leaves us with many bills to pick-up due to the high gym rental fees and several requests for scholarships from our teams that have no revenue.  We also sponsor kids’ teams in public schools and raise funds to renovate gyms that are in need of financial assistance.  We are also adding GBA Showcase Events this year, which we will need to raise money for (referee fees, gym fees, management fees for these events.)  Gotham and Mo’ Motion are both 501(c)3 organizations.  For more info, check out our DONATE page at[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”#21  What is a GBA Showcase Game/Event?”]

Pending gym space, we hope to mix Mo’ Motion players together and/or players from other programs based on effort, academic performance and attitude.  These players will be asked to play in weekly showcase events – TBA at our Gotham Gyms. [/learn_more]

Please ask your child to read or review with your child:  Players  – Expectations:  Best of 10 (Score a Perfect 10)