State of Play (2013): Season 1, Episode 1 - Trophy Kids - full transcript

The growing obsession of parents in the scholastic athletic competition of their children is the focus of this first installment in HBO Sports innovative new documentary series. Each new edition spotlights a topic or person whose impact on the sports world is undeniable, opening with a brief overview, followed by a verite documentary and a roundtable discussion.

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"The following
is the presentation of HBO Sports."

''That's the great thing about sports
you don't play to just play.''

"You play to win."

''If you started telling me
it doesn't matter...''

''then retire, get out''

"Because it matters."

I've betrayed your trust.

''Sports became like a religion.''

''You get the sermon that's
being presented to you on the field.''

''and you can drink in
the madness of going ballistic.''

I'm Peter Berg
and you're about to watch Trophy Kids

the first of what we feel are several
very thought provoking documentaries

in our new HBO
Sports series State of Play.

Trophy kids explores a dynamic
between 4 parents, 5 children

and their respective sports.

Join us after the film
for an in depth discussion

with the football icon Todd Marinovich
and sports psychologist Larry Lauer

as we examine the challenges
of raising a child

in today's competitive sports environment.

That was better than yesterday.

That's deep.

"As a parent you need to be realistic
in your beliefs about your child."

"Our plan as a family for Amari
is simply to get her to the LPGA Tour."

"I know Amari is the one.''

''I know she has everything
it's going to take"

"to be that superstar golfer. I know."

"There's no questions."

"This girl has an opportunity
to do something great for this game"

"and we're not going to let that slip
through our fingers."

"I don't think you're supposed to be able
to push the cart for the kid up the hill."

"The brother was pushing Zoe's cart.
that's not fair for the other players"

"They got to push their carts
up that hill, and she don't."

"What is the infraction if someone
pushed a players cart up the hill?"

You're not supposed to assist the players

but I don't know that we have
a definite assigned penalty for that.

That's the first time
that question's been asked.

How you doing? Hey, can we help
the kids push the carts up the hill?

- Yeah.
- We can?

- Yes you can.
- I don't think you can.

I'll just find out.

"Golf has really turned
into as Asian ethnic sport."

"They got their ways
of doing things, which I love"

"and they got money."

"Can't afford fun and games"

"you got to be here trying to win."

That was going over...

dam it man. That's bullshit.

God damn it. Mother fucker.
Stupid bitch. Stupid...

Go strong Derek.

What are you waiting for? 3, 3, 3 bank.

"To get recruited by a D1 school
the scholarship is the goal."

Penetrate. Penetrate.
Keep penetrating D.

Keep penetrating.

"So I'm in each shoot
in each dribble, in each goal."

Defence. Defence.

"I'd always be a little bit too emotional."

Come on. You're 90 feet away.

You fucking idiot you. You idiot.

"Let's remind everyone
to have good sportsmanship out here."

Can you be any stupider man?
Can you be any stupider?

How dumb.

There's my boy. You're going
to go put it in the basket my man?

Right in the basket.

"In 2000 I had nine business
with about 80 employees."

"Derek was coming up on 7."

Daddy's watching let's hit it.

"And that started the basketball."

"I never worked a day
from 2000 to this moment."

"Started playing local ball"

"scoring 20, 25 points a game
winning everything locally."

"53 Derek Biale."

"At 9, 10, 11 and 12
best shooter in the country."


"It's a lifestyle.
Now it's become the working out."

"I'm trying to get
that whole training mentality."

"at 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
he was taking 20, 25 pills a day."

"I was sticking glutamine in everything
and creatine in everything."

"I was hoping maybe we can bop 6.3, 6.4
with a little of this, a little of that."


Short, up through your nose man
up through your nose.

There you go.

He's been real lucky.

Dunk the tennis ball again.

"Him growing up
living through the kid vicariously"

"the money spent it was unlimited."

''I'd say 2 Lamborghini's easily."

That was nice man.

"If it's going to happen for him
it'll happen this year."

- Ready? Go
- Jesus.

"I am a good athlete
their dad is a tremendous athlete."

Come one, strong legs
back and fourth, boom.

"I wanted to create a pathway for them."

Shuffling back
splitting step, running it in.

"An energetic pathway
that the can travel along."

"And I know how much
they loved tennis, and wanted it."

Push in, come on get that ball.

"And so I said my will for you"

"it's the covenant
that I'm making with God on your behalf"

"is that you be number 1 in the world
in tennis, in doubles."

so you're going to get 10 balls, own it.
This is who you are.

"And I want to give them everything
that they need to achieve their dreams."

And that and issues that they have
they have to work out with God basically.

- Nice Tanner.
- "To me, it's a learning process"

"because I've never done anything
really great in my life"

"and I don't want it to be about me
and so they need to be the leaders."

Who does the glory
about your talent belong to?

And Tanner who should get the glory
for your tennis?

Good. I don't want to wait till their 30
to figure out oh God, it was about me.

"So it's that fine line."

Dart, dart, tackle, tackle.

"My whole goal is to be there
to give him the support."

"It's not necessarily for him to go
play football and make it playing football"

"it's more of giving him work habits."

This might be part of the problem

he doesn't know
how to put this uniform on.

"Giving him something
to where he has confidence."

Okay here we go. You're a free safety

you got to get to here
as fast as possible.

They're hoping that you're going
to be lazy, and you're going to run.

Are you lost?
You look kind of like you're lost.

- No, I'm good.
- So to you, you're playing defence

- Spread to you as a...
- Run.

No. Really? That's what you saw
on the film yesterday?

- I think so.
- Why would he do that?

It doesn't make any sense. Pull your head
out of your ass dude, seriously.

It's simple.
We just went over this yesterday

get ready to play, get in stance.

Don't, that you look like
you're taking a shit.

Just bend over, it's all you got to do.
I snap the ball, I get it.

- He's deep, what are you thinking?
- Speed option, or dive?

No. That's why I asked
if you look confused

you got that stupid daze
in your eyes again.

Line up in your fucking position, dude.

Okay, snap the ball to me, I do this

you're just going to stand there
like a mannequin I guess.

Come here, dude.

You play quarterback. Look at this.

It's spread, deep back I'm thinking option

I'm thinking draw, it's simple.

You're going to stand there for 5 days?

It's a run.

Hurry up, Justus. So now I've to spend
30 minutes doing one play.

Set, go.

Back, hurry up.
You guys do this at practice today?

you should know this play at least.
We'll do remedial football.

Set, go.

Back, hurry up, hurry up, hurry up.

Set, go.

Go. Back, hurry up. Go. Go. Go.

You get that target that time, didn't you?

Even I can make that putt.

- Darn.
- What do you think happened?

I used my power again.

Will you speak up
we cannot hear what you're saying.

You used your power in your hands
instead of the strong muscles, huh?

- Yes.
- Can't hear you, say what?

- Stop.
- No, can't hear you, speak up

- Brian doesn't hear what you're saying.
- I said yes.

- Not a baby, speak up, man. Okay
- I said yes.


Oh, much better.

All right.
and then you'll get use to the timing.

But you feel the power difference?

Good job.

Daddy. Daddy.

"Just keep thinking about
where that handle is at impact."

"For me, I mean money's tight"

"and if I'm fitting 50 bucks
an hour for a coach"

"and I spend 150 bucks
a weekend on golf"

you know, that 150 bucks
can go somewhere else.

This here is some of my literature
that I tend to read.

It tells you pretty much
everything you need to know

to get your kid to the next level.

Thank you for this food
we're about to receive

thank you for our home
our family and our friends

thank you for my strength getting better

and thank you for my tournament. Amen.


Come on, man. Come on already.

"For me, it's like
really no longer youth sports."

"Youth sports to me is like 8 through 14."

"When you hit 14"

"it becomes more structured
it's high school, it's AAU."

Jeez, Don't hand them the ball D.

"You know, 7 through 13 and a half
you as a parent control it."

"At 14, you know all of a sudden...''

''everything you're saying
is argumenterary."

What are you doing, son
what are you doing? Go, go.

"Every weekend man, we've been
to tournaments the last 5 weekends."

Nice move.

"My whole thing through all the years
is the incapability of the referees."

- Hey.
- He throw the elbow.

Oh, brother. White threw the elbow.

2 steps both guys walked, ref.

- Okay.
- "90% of the referees is incompetent."

God damn you guys suck.

Watch your mouth though
watch your mouth.

"Makes you want to pull your hear out."

- Hit it. God
- "And in my case pull their hair out."

Terrible man.

- You didn't see the foul, man.
- I didn't see anybody foul.

You didn't see it
because we're talking to you

and your head is this way.

- No sir, you're wrong.
- He got fouled on the arm of the 3 man.

- He got hacked on the arm.
- What you're describing, sir, I didn't see.

- Huh?
- What you're describing, I didn't see.

Okay, I know you didn't see it

- you were looking the other way.
- That's enough, sir, okay that's enough.

"We had a big fight
me and him, this week."

"He says you're doing it for you, man
you're doing it for you."

You got 18 man

you got 4 threes and 3 of 4 baskets.

I still don't see why, to me.

"For me it's always been Derek."

"He thinks it's all me"

"when it's really
my undaunted love for him."

I just see so much more in you, man

that's all. You know, man, I see more.

"The existential issue of life
is do we matter, do we have value."

"And what human being
doesn't really want to be seen''

''and acknowledged?"

"It's really positioning them
in that equation"

that says yes they do matter
which is what I want for my kids, you know.

And really surrendering
and knowing that they're God's children

and it's God's Will for their life
that this will happen.

That's the fear in me.

What if I don't do everything I could
to help them realize their dreams?

I don't know the answers
so I spend a lot of time praying.

Let's just recap everything
that we've been training for.

Okay, you're explosiveness
your foot work

start feeling breathing in the essence
of how you want to play out there.

Dominate the ball
dominate the energetic field.

You Heavenly Father
play through Tanner and Blake

and play through their minds
their hearts, their spirits, their bodies

their footwork, and their handiwork
and may it glorify you Heavenly Father

in Jesus' name we pray

- amen.
- Amen.

So, go have fun.

- Okay.
- Listen, be who you are.

- I can do that.
- Dominate and get out of there

- and, of course, just try to win.
- Okay.

Praying to God that...

Come on Justus.



"You can gauge effort."

"You don't have to be the best out there"

"but you're going to give me
your best effort."

"That's what you're going to give me."

"You have a couple opportunities."

Got to throw it to somebody else.

- Did you tell the coach to allow you play?
- Yeah.

- How many times?
- I was standing right next to him.

Are you sure?
Because I stood right next to you.

I tried. I was by him
as many times as I could be.

Dude you're not getting it done.

Let me explain something to you
if you do something wrong do I tell you?

- Yeah.
- Okay I correct it, or I tell you

so you can correct it.
How do you know...

what to correct if you don't even know
why he pulled you out of the game?

What did I tell you about that?
Are you scared of them or something?

- No.
- So why don't you go ask him?

Like right now you know we're going
to have this conversation after the game

you know it's coming.

Okay, this is part of you
becoming a young man.

If someone does something
you're just going to take it.

So if I was walking up to you
and slap you inside your face

what will do? Just turn around and be like
I don't know why that guy did that?

It doesn't make any sense J.

You act like you're 10 or 9 or 8.

Dude you're just
going through the motions.

If you're going to be selfish
you know what

you have other brothers and sisters

okay, we'll take you
from out of that school

and give them a chance
and put them in a private school.

I don't understand it.
I don't understand it.

It confuses me.

What's the problem?

every time I come back in the car
always feel like I'm in trouble

- or I did something wrong.
- Well, did you?

- Yeah.
- You had more personal training

than any of those kids out there.

Okay, back to the drawing board.

Back up to getting early
back up inside the morning, okay

because it doesn't make any sense.

You've me driving back
and forth from this school

back and forth, back and forth

back and forth for you to go out
and do absolutely nothing.

I don't understand why you don't get it.

I don't understand it.

"From Riverside, California
Ms. Amari Avery."

Yeah. Yeah.

You got to be able to win, man
to get any kind of sponsorship.

Oh shit, turn, turn
looks good, it's going to turn.

Okay. That's what we want to do all day
just hit straight balls.

I'm hoping it's not that far off the green.


"I see how her game has transitioned
because of what I've done."

"I put the focus in her
so she's out there playing."

"she's a mini tour player out there
against girls that are twice her age"

"they're not competing
at the same level as she is".

Oh the green, God. Doggone it.


"when a parent is hard on their kid''

''they're only teaching them
how to be tough."

"Too many parents think that
you be too hard on your kid"

"you might push your kid away
from the sport."

Oh, nice shot.

"I think just the opposite."


Damn it.

Dang it.

You see that Ronald McDonald
thing on their shirt

they're sponsored by McDonald's dude.

That's the difference, they're sponsored
and they get their ass whooped.

That's why Tiger's so fucking good
because back in the 70's

you could whoop your kids ass
and not go to jail.

You can't do that in America, man
you go to jail for that.

Too far, too far.

That's the story of our lives, too far.

Damn it. Damn it.

Doggone it, man, doggone it.

Dang it.

Okay, okay, I'll push the cart, man.

- Please I want to push it.
- Move out of the way.

Move, Amari.

Get over here. Get over here

Get over here. if you embarrass me
like that again in front of all these people

I'm going to smack you in your mouth.

when I say let go that means
let go one time, you understand me?

- You understand me?
- Yes.

Derek. Derek, it's slipping away, D.

You got to shoot the ball, Derek.

He's going to lose the game
then I got to go the whole weekend...

You got to take him
all the way to the hoop.

It's not enough.

It's enough
for everybody else here, man

but me it's still not.

It's garbage when you hit a 3
at the right time.

It's going to be the whole game man
it can't just be the last 3 minutes.

You got to win the game, man.
You got to want to win the game.

You got to want it, man.
You got to want it.

D, you got to shoot through.
You're shooting short.

The whole fucking game, man
never picked it up.

I text him today let's go to the line
and shot free throws

it's all I asked him to do today.
Let's shoot free throws.

I'm with my friends.

I'm with my friends.
this is on him, man.

Hey, hey.

No, God all might. No.

Derek you got to shoot.

Oh God man.

Now you're handing away games, man.
You're handing them away.

Handing away free throws.

Fucking 3 throws, man, they're
free throws, they're free throws.

You hit the 2 free throws
you win the game.

So tons of foot work, breathing

imagining, dominating, having fun.

"Children and human beings learn best
when we're in a state of play"

"and I want to always encourage them."

"That's why I want to let them know that
their talent and gift is to play"

"and find play, find what you do best
and put it into tennis."

Go do some split steps
and get out of your head

and go get into your body.

What the society encourages is rankings
and wins, and trophies and...

We're on opposite sides of the draw

so the only chance we meet him
is in the finals.

If we do end up playing each other

than one of us is going to forfeit

because then we might
get mad at each other.

Well there's also, I don't want that to be
part of the complexity of their thinking

is that kind, I don't want them to be

under that kind
of emotional pressure, or turmoil.

They're always so graceful
towards each other.

- because no one wants to win.
- No.

Well you do, but you don't.
You guys won't take the win.

I get really tied in knots

but rather than oh I want them to win
I don't want them to lose

and dah, dah, I mean I pray saying
God's will for them. It's God's will.

You know we can place our attention
on the pressure

and acknowledge that it's there
but then really just go deep inside our self

and feel what we're thinking
what they're thinking, we, whatever

I practice this in my life so.

yes. Get up. Oh that was match point.

That was match point. Yay. Yes.

Well you know what because they want to
you know, it's like...

it's what they want.

Nice match.

Good grief all mighty.

How do you miss that tackle?
See he ran right by the guy.

Argh. That kid is not that big

and see how he can come up and hit?

Justus is way bigger than that kid
and he will not go do it at all.

I'm from Compton where it's dog eat dog
it's gunshots, it's whatever may be.

But you have to have that hunger
you know, it's a competition.

No, no, no, no.

I don't think so.

A lot of work
a lot of work, a lot of work.

You're setting yourself for a big failure.

That's the reality of it.

So I don't think
you really understand it.

How do you think you're going to feel
after starting offense and defence

how do you feel next year
if you don't start offense and defence

and you set on the bench?

Now all those people
that you guys make fun of

you become one of those guys.

Not going to feel good. You know
what you're going to end up telling me?

Want me to tell you
what you're going to end up telling me?


You'll tell me that you don't like football
or that it doesn't interest you anymore.

And you know why
you're going to say that?

You don't know
what it's like to be hungry

at all. You've never
wanted for anything ever.

Okay? This is not
everything's just not about football

okay, it's about you growing up
and becoming a man.

Because you can't quit.
What are you going to do quit on life?

what are you going to do
take a gun and blow your head off?

You going to jump off a building?

You got to keep your head down.

You got to do what we practiced, man.
Dang gone it. It's the last round.

Just do what we practiced, please.

Can you do that today for me, please?

Oh God.

Shit. Come back.

Get over here. Get over here.

- Get over here now.
- I didn't do anything.

- just kept my head down as you said.
- Get over here. Get over here.

7 iron.

That 7 iron
better get on that freaking hole.

You better make sure
you have enough club in your hand

to get it to that damn hole.

You better make ensure
you got enough club to get to that hole.

I'm going to try.

Dang it. Amari.

Doggone it, man. Doggone it.

Give it here.

It's going to be
another frigging bogey for you.

Goddamn it. Just hit the ball
close to the hole.

- Dad stop.
- Why do you do that?

I didn't do anything, please stop.

We wouldn't have had this problem
if you'd hit the ball straight.

Stop hitting the damn thing right and left.

Come here.

It's over.

It's over. I'm done.

I'm done.

Give me the club.

It's over. I'm done.

What the heck was that? It was nothing
like you practice swing at all, at all.

I don't know what the heck that was.

Okay, with the winning score
from Japan, Tsubasa Kajitani.

"I don't want to be that story.
You know, I don't want her to be that story."

"Oh what happened to that kid Amari?
What happened to her?"

"You know, dad pushed too hard.
I don't want to be that story."

"I am super proud of my daughter.
Super proud of her achievements so far"

"but I can't let her know that kind of stuff
you know what I mean"

"I can't let her know how proud I am
until we get to where we're trying to go."

"sports and what we do
the regimen that we do is basically"

"giving him a background on how to be
successful in something."

"Whatever it is that you do
if you're going to put the time in"

"and the effort in to go do it''

''then you might
as well try to be good at it."

"That's why I'm on him so hard
with having the right structure and base."

- Yeah.
- He's texting, not paying attention to you.

That's why I told you
cell phones, texting and everything

should be banned while you're in the car
and while you're eating dinner.

You're texting Kyra
pointless to have a girlfriend at 15.

All she's going to do
is break up with you.

Give it probably about 6 months.

Yeah I had a girlfriend in high school
but I'm trying to tell him it's mistake.

- What are you confused for?
- because you did the same thing as me.

I know, but listen
to what I'm explaining to you, okay

if I get into a car and I drive
and I'm not paying attention and I wreck

and then I tell you
listen to me when you're driving

pay attention to what you're doing

you're going to tell me that you're confused
because I did the same thing.

I wrecked. You know what that means?
That's a mistake that was made.

What, I don't, how are you confused?

- What makes you confused?
- Never mind.

- Tell me how you're confused.
- No, I just asked because you'd one too.

Right, but I'm trying to explain to you

that it's mistakes that I made
and things that I did

I tell you those things
so you don't go down that same path.

- Where's your confusion at?
- I don't want to talk about this.

So you're going to tell me that
you don't want to talk about something.

Not right now.

You out of your mind

- huh?
- I don't know

You end the conversation
when you become the adult

and you move out
and you take care of yourself

little boy.

Don't you ever in your life

- tell me you'll end a conversation with me.
- I didn't say I wanted...

I said I didn't want to talk
about it anymore.

Exactly. You don't say that.
You are not the adult here.

Now if I was a parent that didn't care.
I'd be like okay no problem.

You know what, J
don't do your homework.

You know what
get up later for school

do whatever you want to do
it's not a problem.

I didn't try to end it
I just said I don't want to talk about it..

- there's not...
- What does that mean, tell me?

- It means I don't really want talk about it.
- Exactly.

So what does that mean?
Does that end the conversation?

You just could have said no we're not done
talking about it, you didn't have to yell.

What are you talking about?
I'm not going to talk to you like your mom.

I told you that.

You don't tell me
when we're done talking about something.

You ask my permission
just like you ask my permission

dad, can I play the videogame?

You just don't go play no videogame.

You ask me.
Do you understand the difference

between a statement and a question?

- You ask me.
- Why do you treat me like I'm retarder?

- Because you're acting like you're retarded.
- I'm not retarded.

You're not retarded? You don't know
the difference between...

what the fuck?

What do you want to do?
Get out of the car and do what?

I don't know who to talk about this.

- What does that mean?
- I don't want to be in the car right now.

I don't care. You don't want to do
a lot of things that I make you do.

What you're doing is teaching him fear.
He's afraid of you.

- Good, good.
- He's afraid because of how you treat him.

How in the hell
if you treat him like that

how the hell is he supposed to have
respect and confidence?

You really think, you really really think
that someone is going to respect you?

You earn your respect.

Your time that you had
when he was a baby

growing up till now
those times are over.

I would prefer that you would not tell me
that I'm stopping his confidence

because I'm actually
giving him confidence.

This is what has to be done

for him to go out there.

"Every parent wants their kid
to be a superstar. Every parent."

"I think if a parent can find out
how to do that"

and you can capsulize that
you can make a billion dollars.

- "Player 23"
- "As far as growth and health"

at 12, 13, 14
he was taking 20, 25 pills a day.

I pray saying God's will for them

- it's God's will.
- Come here, dude.

"You can't quit.
What are you going to do quit in life?"

Take a gun and blow your head off?

- God damn it. Why do you do that?
- Dad stop. I didn't do anything.

"If she's crying
because I'm getting on her, it's good"

because I'm going to make her tough.

"You know, man, if he stops here
he isn't going anywhere."

That's your reality.

You have to get who you are
as a human being first.

- That God put you here.
- I want to be rewarded...

some how some way.

"It's simple."

"In golf, tennis, football
whatever the case may be"

get the kid to buy into your dream.

"If you can get the kid to buy into
what you're selling"

got it made.

You've just watched Trophy Kids

the first of several documentaries
in our new HBO series State of Play.

I'm joined by Todd Marinovich.

Todd has a deep understanding
of the subject matter at hand

"having been raise by an ambitious father
who developed Todd's athleticism"

"through an intensive training
and lifestyle regime."

"Todd achieved
notoriety when he broke''

''the national high school passing record"

"He went on to be the first starting
freshman quarterback for the USC Trojans"

"since the 1940's"

"and was an NFL first round draft pick
by the Oakland Raiders."

"Despite his phenomenal trajectory"

"the pressure to succeed led Todd
to struggle with substance abuse"

which would ultimately lead to the end
of his career as a professional athlete.

- Thank you for being here, Todd.
- Thanks for having me, Peter.

Pleasure. Joining Todd is Dr. Larry Lauer

a mental skills specialist
for the United States Tennis Association

including a five year study
on the role of parents in youth sports.

- Larry, welcome.
- Thanks, Peter.

Guys a real pleasure
to have you both here.

It's our first show. I'm very excited.

Will you talk just a bit
for anyone that doesn't know your story

about how you were brought up

and how your dad treated you
maybe a bit differently?

My childhood started off
with a diet being strange

and it was just health conscious.

When you say childhood, at 10?

No we're talking
as early as I can remember.

''So as an infant, 2 and 3
I was on special diet."

"And then it went from the diet
to athletic type movements"

"from from stretching
to hand-eye coordination"

"and my dad's profession
was strength and conditioning for the NFL.

And so his passion is there a way
to enhance athletic performance.

And I know that my father didn't intend

to do these things
with my malicious intent.

It was all to really give me
the best opportunity

and all these parents that vocalized
certain things I've heard over the years

It wasn't the easiest thing
for me to watch.

Right. Larry you talk about
an optimal push as a phrase.

What's optimal push?

Optimal push
is somewhere in the range of

you're providing some structure
but not too much structure

because what happens when you try
to control every aspect

of your child's development
and control everything they're eating

and they're doing
they're going to rebel in some way.

But how do you find
that because obviously

what my optimal level and Todd's optimal
level are different. How do you know?

I think 2, sorry, I think 2 parents
are important to play on each other

- and checking the other one
- Very good point.

because having somebody else
to check you is really key.

That's critical because if you've 2 parents
who are over involved in the sport

- that gives that child no place
- Right

- to go to away from the sport
- Right.

and it's constant pressure.
You can see with Justus

it was constant, constant, constant.
And you need that...

that other parent to buffer you
and give you the balance

and talk about school
and just to be a kid.

The advice I would give
in terms of optimal push is number one

whose goal is it? When Andre said
you get the buy to buy into your dream

"that's completely opposite''

''of what I'm trying
to educate parents to do."

Help your child find their passions
what they are passionate about

and then support them.
But it's got to come from them first.

What about the idea that
we as parents have the ability

to really adjust a kid's effort level
versus a kid figuring it out on his own.

My dad would be the first one
to tell you that there were some things

"that were lost
in not allowing me to make mistakes"

"and just being a kid.
We're not even talking about on the field."

I really learned my most valuable lessons
through the sport itself

not through really any coaching,
or any lectures.

But I think that goes along with life that
I had a structured environment as a kid

and that negativity played a part
in my adult life on decision making.

I truly don't care
whether my son wins or loses

where I start to get anxious
is if I see a lack of effort.

What is a healthy relationship
in your opinion

between a parent
their child's athletic effort and the sport?

That's an interesting question as I work
with coaches and athletes every day

and it's a constant battle, as Todd knows

the coach trying to get more effort
out of the athletes

and the athletes thinking
well I'm giving everything that I have.

And then throw a parent in
that maybe isn't trained to sort of...

- Evaluate.
- evaluate how much effort

or to know
how much effort should be given

or if that's the most
a person at that age can give.

And I think a lot of times our athletes...

hear a lot, but when it clicks for them
when they're on the field they realize like

oh that's what coach was saying
or that's what mom and dad were saying.

I get it now.
But they had to experience it.

And I think the frustration adults
and Todd and I talked about this is

well I know exactly
what it is you need to do

but you're not doing it. And you see
that with Josh, Justus's father

of why you're not doing this?
It seems so simple, and yet for...

for an adolescent who's going through this
for the first time it's not simple.

Effort to a young person
is a something that is quite abstract.

Like how much effort can I give?

But then a lot of time
you get the parent saying...

''I know what your best effort is
and that wasn't.''

So then you're caught between that.

I think when the love you give your child

- is contingent on performance
- Yeah.

that's when you start to see problems.

The number one thing I would tell parents

is that make your love
and support unconditional.

''I'm super proud of my daughter''

''super proud of her
achievements so far.''

''But I can't let her know that
kind of stuff, you know what I mean''

''I can't let her know how proud I am''

''until we get
to where we're trying to go.''

I think, you know
what we saw with Andre and Amari

where this idea of withholding the love

and being tough
is how you develop young people.

We don't really see any evidence that...

by being hard on children
that they develop faster or better.

I think it comes from a position...

where there's a lot of good things
about you that I believe in

and here's something that
I can help you get better at.

And that's much easier
for an athlete, a young person, to take

than you're doing this
this, and this wrong

which they start to think, ''well, there's
obviously something wrong with me.''

The proof is how do you react
when I play poorly?

Like right now, you know we're going
to have this conversation after the game.

You know it's coming.

Okay, this is part of you
becoming a young man.

If someone does something
you just going to take it?

So, if I was to walk up to you
and just slap you inside your face

what are you going to do?
Just turn around and be like...

I don't know why that guy did that?

It doesn't make any sense J.

- Would your dad watch your practices?
- All of them, yeah.

Would there be conversations
after every practice?

There'd be conversations, most
they were called lecture series

- as I get older I...
- So, they were formal.

- Yes, I gave them a title.
- You titled them.

Do you remember any of the topics
of the lecture series?

Oh my God, they're endless, Peter.

When he was most upset
was due to my effort

was a soft spot when he said
I can gauge effort.

But can you? And I don't know.

And the little bit I got to see
Justus play on the show

a very tentative athlete.

You are a product
of how you're parented

and these kids need to figure it out.
You know, yeah

we got to give them feedback
but it's going to be...

it's got to be controlled.
It can't be non-stop.

It seems that business is kind
of getting in on the act here, right?

What's the real added value

in parents spending
thousands of dollars on camps

and personal coaches
which then causes that investment

when you hear the guy say
I quit my job

are we making better athletes by having
this intense focus at an early age?

- What the hell is going on?
- Good question.

It's a great question.
We'll just take ice hockey for example.

If you're going to play ice hockey then...

you've got to be involved
in these programs in the winter.

But then that's not enough
you got to play spring hockey

and then in the summer
you need to be doing some dry land

some training. And then in camps.

And then you're sitting
in the stands at a camp

and someone talks about
their son's slap shot coach, what?

You have a shot coach?

Oh yeah, sure we have a shot coach
two days a week

Tommy you know
works with Bobby Orr.

Well, that would be nice.

And it costs 400 dollars an hour
but he's got a wrist shot coach

and then he's got
a different slap shot coach.

We're selling a dream
and sport seems glorious.

It's on TV, we see it all the time
there's a lot of glory there

and we know in society that...

there's much more of a push for kids
to have these big dreams and big goals.

It's not enough just to go on
and take a job in your local community.

You need to be something special.

''Oh, definitely when they were
showing the training of Derek''

the basketball player, he was
doing some state of the art training

that I recognized
that I know doesn't come cheap.

Looking at Steve and the kinds
of things he was, you know

having his son do
at what price are we going for success?

But I'm watching
what seems to be parents...

really out of control with rage issues
Josh in the car, you know

looked like to me
they're crossing a line

and they're losing control.
What's happening?

Well, it's an emotional investment
you have in your child

and if you sacrifice so much
or at least in your mind

you have money, time, and some
other person's deciding their fate

like okay, you're going to lose
this game because of the official

which may or may not be true
probably not

suddenly you explode
because it's so important.

If you want to see
where a parent's really at

what their goals truly are
put them under pressure.

When you put parents under pressure
you see the true goals in action.

I agree so much. As a parent...

I read a book like
Malcom Gladwell's The Outliers.

I think Malcom does a great job
of marketing himself

and writing a whole bunch of words
that kind of get distilled down to one idea

you got to have 10,000 hours
of consistent practice

or you will never
be great at something.

As a parent I read the book
and I'm like...

''well, that's it, Emmett
my son, you got 10,000 hours.''

He said, ''dad, leave me alone.''
''No, I'm not going to leave you alone.''

''it says right here
we need 10,000 hours''

''and I've run some numbers
and we've got 200''

''so we got a little work to do.''
And he said, ''dad, really?''

The idea, okay, practice
you got to practice.

That's a good idea, but now we turn it
into no, it's not just practice

you need 10,000 consistent hours
of repetitive practice.

My dad took it a step
further back in the day.

We've all heard practice makes perfect

but this was perfect practice.

- Oh, yeah.
- Come on.

I think there's some validity
to the idea of...

if you really truly want this you have
to do the hard work to get there.

And at the same time
parents take that

and say, ''okay, 10,000 hours
so my kids four, by 14''

''he's going to be the best in the country''

Guess what, at 13 you burned him out.

Now you're handing away games, man.

They're fucking free throws man
they're free, free throws

they're free throws. You hit
the two free throws you win the game.

What would you say
to a 43 year old father

who's in a basketball stadium
and his son misses a free throw?

Having visualized Michael Jordan
missing a free throw

because everybody
misses free throws, right?

It's so hard to separate that it's my kid

and we've spent so much time at this
and you shouldn't be missing.

But, come on.

When I was a kid we used to play
tackle football at Mike Morgan's house

there were rocks, and there
were trees that we moved out

and there were dogs
wild dogs, nobody knew

that were trying to bite us

and everybody was like
bleeding and crying and fighting.

Did you have, you know
playing at Mike Morgan's house

- with dogs biting you?
- Not as much. No.

Or were you put in a more
intense regimented structure.

It was structured
and thought out and planned

and did I have fun? Sure I had fun.
There were moments of it.

How many athletes, pro athletes
when you watch football

who looks like they're
really having fun out there?

I mean, I watch football games
all day Sunday

I see a lot of intensity
I see a lot of nervousness, I see tension.

How many guys can I say to my son
like look at, you know...

God Favre looked like
he was having fun.

- We talked about Favre.
- You know, now that he's not playing

- I'm trying to think.
- Brett Favre.

It doesn't look like anybody's
having a whole lot of fun.

Because there's
a lot riding on it Peter. Jeez.

And you look at the young guys

the pressure is so intense
there's no fun.

If the person who is doing the sport
can tap into it's fun

to do the hard work
that it's going to take

to get to this point, like if they enjoy...

- Well, I never did that, Larry.
- It's a difficult place to get to.

But I understood
I did understand and grasp...

that I couldn't take my God given ability
to where I really wanted to take it

unless I did these things
that aren't fun.

And I learned that
because I started young

and I was always around training camps

so I got to see guys doing things
that weren't fun, so I understood.

And that's important
that it's not always fun.

It's not always fun
and at the same time

the fun is knowing that by doing this
I'm making myself better.

And if you can delay that...

everybody's got to have
instant gratification.

If you can delay that
delay the gratification and say okay

by doing this work I know that
this is making me stronger

making me better by lifting
these weights, running these laps.

Someone can't tell you enjoy this

because, you know
this is going to turn you into a pro athlete.

You can't guarantee it
and you can't tell somebody to have fun.

I want to ask you a question about
and this is the idea about burning out.

You experienced
some battles with addiction

did all that pressure push you into drugs?

Probably yeah, a hundred percent.

I mean, it's not really a surprise
when you look at certain people's lives

that are played out
and mine was kind of...

played out
on a national scale so to speak.

For the most part
my youth and my childhood

it was concentrated on athletes.

So, is something
going to suffer? Hell, yeah.

If your dad was here, and again
thrilled that you guys are, you know

you've rediscovered your love
for each other, and you're buddies

and all the great things that...

but if you said to him
if he could go back and do it...

anything different, what...

Without a doubt he would say...

I would've allowed Todd
to make more decisions

before I was cut loose to a university

because that's really the way it was.

I would prefer that
you would not tell me

that I'm stopping his confidence

because I'm actually
giving him confidence.

This is what has to be done
for him to go out there.

If you could transport yourself back
in time to that moment in the film we saw

where Justus and Josh
got in the fight in their car

- Right.
- and Justus was sitting there

and you could walk up
and set next to him

- Yeah.
- what do you think you might say to him?

I don't think I would say anything
it would be more of a hug

because I've been in a spot like that

and no words can really do it
when you're hurting like he is.

And a hug wouldn't...

I don't know if it would cure all
but it would...

it would be the only thing
I'd have to offer.

''It was difficult, like knowing
that he wasn't really like a dad.''

Coach, coach, coach
no dad really, just all coach

personal trainer everywhere I go

everything I do has to be perfect
or I'm going to be a failure.

The relationship with my father
is pretty bad right now.

I've talked to him maybe like three times

and that's just asking
to get some of my stuff back

but he won't even
respond to me for that.

''They know they need
to get ranked now.''

''They need to be out there in that
culture that determines who you are.''

Instead of me
pointing out what they did

just to shrink a little and let them
just be in their bigness

and whether it's win, fail
you know, no matter what it is

but let them just be who they are.

''We are working towards
playing in the US Girl's Junior''

and hopefully we'll try to qualify
for the US Women's Amateur.

''I think the way I come across
can be a little different.''

''It really hard to get out
of bad habits. It's so much is.''

But I'm still trying to do that
and as she gets older

as they get older, I think that's
going to definitely change for me.

''I couldn't be more proud of a son, man.''

''The love and the pride
that this is all about''

''has surpassed the basketball itself.''

Full validation for all 30,000 hours work.

There are times you're
asking yourself are you crazy?

Do I really need to do what I'm doing
is what I ask myself.

It brings tears to my eyes the destruction
and the power that parents hold.

- Let me see something.
- ''I've learned that...''

''a lot of kids don't respond well''

''if you yell at them
and make them feel really bad.''

''I resent my dad as of right now.
I guess our story's an example''

''I mean, I moved away from my dad
when I had the chance.''

I mean, I'm sure parents
aren't going to want that.

I mean, every parent wants
a relationship with their kid, but...

You can see the full feature length version
of the film Trophy Kids on HBO Go.

You don't want to miss that.

We'll see you next time
on State of Play.

Thank you.