Whether you are an avid watcher, or go for the socialization and beer, I’m lining you up with some tips that will take your college hoops fandom to the next level!
- If you don’t have a team, that’s okay!
Some people just like basketball, and if that’s you, embrace it! You don’t follow any particular program to enjoy the game, you just really like having an excuse to have a cold 6-pack with your buddies and make incessant noises at your TV screen. It’s okay, we approve.
- Stay open minded.
Who knows, maybe your team is going to come out running a new defense, or they’re trying out a new lineup… We all like to get our panties in a bunch when the starting 5 isn’t the same as it has always been or when our all-star 3-point shooter hasn’t taken any shots. I’m sure it’s for a good reason, and I’m sure if you were the coach, you would know that reason. Enjoy the game… sometimes the only way to work out the kinks is against an opponent.
- Don’t think of these players as potential NBA players…
Remember that these are 18-22 year old kids who are going to school and playing a sport that they love. Enjoy them and their skills for what they are. Don’t try to compare them to what they can be in 5 years as an NBA player – admire what they are bringing to the court right NOW, and just stay quietly hopeful about what they could potentially do in the NBA.
- Have patience.
With the players and the coaches. Not every player is Ben Simmons, not every kid gets drafted outta high school like LeBron, that’s just not realistic. But, every kid is at their respective program for a good reason and they have the skills and/or potential to be a great asset to their program… and let’s be honest, unless you’re Michael Jordan, do you really have room to trash talk this kid’s 48% shooting percentage? It takes coaches a little bit of time to get used to the program that they are in, and it takes them a minute to establish exactly how they want to run things. (I have a 4 year limit – if you’re not making adequate changes, get the hell outta here.) But you have to take these things into consideration and think that maybe, just maybe… things aren’t gelling just yet.
(Make sure you click the hyperlink! Article about the boy-wonder; written by my colleague Terrance Singleton)
- Be passionate.
We see passion almost everywhere we turn in the sports world. Whether it’s the guy from the student government who is in a morph suit (who’s probably showing a little too much), or the 7 buddies from your freshman hall who are painted head to toe with your school’s name on their chest – find your passion. Stand up and get rowdy, throw your popcorn at the TV set when you get mad, and hell yeah, turn to the guy on your left and give him a high-five because well, SPORTS! It is a totally different experience when you’re actively engaged with what’s going on versus having the game on as background noise.
- Allow yourself to relive your own glory days!
One of the easiest way to stay engaged in the game is to allow yourself to relive what used to be! I’m sure you remember what it felt like to be in the stands when your school was playing their arch rival and your starting point guard sinks a buzzer-beater. Remember what that moment felt like and allow that to transpire into present day. Getting up for work might be a little bit more difficult the next day, but it will be totally worth it!
Start thinking about those brackets people! March will come sooner than you think!