This is why I coach…

They embraced my philosophy of cohesive execution, collective effort, sharing the ball, true team spirit, and playing for each other.

One of my good friends who played Division I basketball recently told me, “You always remember all of your coaches, even the bad ones.”  Time will tell, as one of the ways I serve in the community is coaching youth basketball.

My coaching in this league began seven years ago when I went to sign-up my son and was confronted with the reality the league needed a coach. Like many youth leagues around the country, they survive through parents’ participation.

That was the beginning and now I love it. Funny thing is that when I was just coaching my son and daughter, I didn’t own that it really mattered to me.  But now, I have gone two seasons without a child in the league and can acknowledge that I really dig it.

Over time I have come to appreciate the status in my community as a coach. Every now and then, I’ll be in the streets and a parent or former player comes up and shows me love. It is cool to see them grow up and even watch some become important players on their high school teams.

This season, I coached two teams – one was 14 and younger (middle school age) and the other 18 and under (high school age).

Wow has this season been a doozy!

Two opposite ends of the spectrum.  One team finished with the season with a record of 1-10.  We closed the season on an eight game losing streak. The older team finished 10-2. We were the number one seed in the playoffs and won the league tournament.

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It was the best of times and it has been the worst of times.  LOL

My younger team, the majority of them were fairly new to the game. This year was focused on skill improvement and developing a feel for the game. By the end of the season each had grown as a basketball player.

My older team was different.  Most of them I have coached before. A couple have been on my squad four consecutive seasons.  They were a balanced basketball team with leadership, shooters, rebounders, shot blockers, point guards, and played the game the right way.

They were also a team of basketball players. This was unlike all of my previous teams. Typically, I get at least one player that has little basketball experience. That is not a bad thing, as I enjoy teaching what I know.

Both teams were very coachable bunches and their seasons were successful. They embraced my philosophy of cohesive execution, collective effort, sharing the ball, true team spirit, and playing for each other.

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It was not about win and losses, but about them getting better and making a difference in the young men’s lives. It was about me being another caring adult that they can count on for guidance and support in their lives.

Once they play for me, they will always be one of my players.

One of my players posted a picture of our team on his social media with this caption, “This right here is my family. We work together,we bleed for each other, and we sweat for each other.”

This is why I coach. ‘Nuff said!

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