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Kids Can Learn Alot From Listening to Their Coach

I love talking about topical life events. It’s easy to talk about what you know best, and normally that is yourself. I told you a few weeks back that I was coaching the JV2 team at Foxcroft Academy. We started back in November with all the other teams and I knew after the first practice, this was going to be a process. By process, I mean a lot of work, but I was ready to give it my all.

Over the last nine weeks, my life has been consumed by basketball (outside to going to Florida at Christmas….I want that weather back). I’ve watched it, read it, taught it, and thought it. I’ve asked coaches that I know all kinds of questions, and all of them have been so gracious in giving me advice and answers. Whether it was asking about practice drills, or how to break a 1-3-1 zone, there hasn’t been one coach who blew me off. I think that speaks volumes about the Maine basketball coaching community.

Now back to my team. We started off 0-5. We struggled, but we were in three of those games, losing two of them by one and three points. We’ve missed free throws, haven’t been ready for the ball, have had defensive breakdowns, turned it over during very inopertune times, and haven;t effectivly boxed out our opponents. I was a but discouraged, but I talked to someone I respect and they said, “you know what, if you didn’t have this program, you’d have kids that wouldn’t play, or see very limited time on a higher level team. The fact they are out there might be a win.”

He was right. I’ve had no problem with effort this year. From players 1-10, they leave it on the floor. They do hustle, they care about one another, they lift up each other, and they listen to a ton of my “bit louder than normal” voice from the sidelines. They run in practice, they do try to the best of their ability, even with a limited, but growing basketball IQ. So maybe that is a win.

Oh, we also won our first game on Friday night. I now realize what it really means to be happy for someone else on a basketball court. I’m glad I won’t of “0-for” the season, but the kids are who I’m really happy for. I told them a while ago that when we do finally pick up a victory to remember the feeling, ‘cause it feels good to win. One of the kids on the bench on the closing seconds looked at me and said, “Hey Coach, you’re right… does feel good”. That brought a smile to my face, because you know what? For one fleeting moment in time, the listened. Today’s a new day, but darn, that felt good and you can’t take that away.

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