You’ve all heard the saying “it takes a village to raise a child?” Well, who is in your village?
After a disappointing loss this weekend, my son’s basketball coach had a ‘tough talk’ with the team. He was inspiring, full of conviction and straight to the point. The lessons he continues to teach my son make me glad he is a part of my village.
The premise of his speech was this:
1. We didn’t execute
Coach explained that he practices them hard to prepare them for ‘Gametime’. He talked about how you can’t take shortcuts during practice because once you get on the court and are forced to play at ‘game speed’ you won’t be prepared. If you are cheating in practice you are only cheating yourself. Execution in the game should be a reflection of how hard you have worked in practice.
Wow! What a great life lesson! Everything our kids are doing today is in preparation for their adult lives…practice. The habits they learn today will follow them throughout their lives to include compassion, work ethic and discipline.
2. We played with fear
He went on to tell the team a personal story of a time when he played college ball and knew and understood fear. He explained that if a player is truly passionate about the game then they SHOULD have a sense of fear when they step onto the court. But playing through fear is courage. He told them that they have been trained well and how he had done everything except step into their bodies and play for them. In the game of basketball a smaller percentage of a player’s success is based on what the coach teaches than the effort of the player. Being aggressive and having an expectation of success is something that can’t be taught, it is something the player has to possess.
Whew! That is intense and so true! As parents/ coaches/ mentors, we can teach our kids and set expectations but ultimately it is up to our kids to play the game. Throughout their lives they will have successes for us to celebrate and failures where we’ll be their to encourage. But rather than shielding our kids from challenges in their lives that may be a little scary (like a new school, for example) we can teach them to live a life of courage.
3. Sometimes I’m tough
He explained to the team that sometimes he is hard on them during practice and while coaching the game. Coach told them that he does this because he is trying to awaken the giant that lives inside each of them that is capable and trained for greatness. He doesn’t want them walking off the court knowing that they didn’t give it their all. He is tough because he wants them to be their personal best.
Ok… my son has been on a team where they never won a game and the coach kept talking about ‘as long as they’re having fun’. Then he joined THIS team where a win is preferable and a loss is fine as long as the team played the way they were taught, gave it their best and showed improvement. However, practices are tough the week after a loss that resulted from lack of execution, discipline, or heart. I much prefer the lesson taught from the latter and I am excited that my son’s coach can see the giant that lives within my boy!
In life, losing isn’t fun. As adults, we don’t have a coach watching our every move to make sure that we do the things we are supposed to. We must be self-disciplined to push ourselves to perform at our personal best. As parents we are the most important coaches in our kid’s lives. We are life coaches molding the smaller percent of the players they will become. We are the voice that whispers in their ears when they are grown to guide them to live their lives at their personal best.
4. We are capable of being the best!
Coach went on to tell them that he is excited to be coaching this group of boys. He is excited about their improvement since the beginning of the season and knows that with more practice their team will be dominating the court. Now we prepare for next season!
I loved that coach ended on a note of encouragement and future goals. Each day that goes by provides a lesson to take with us into tomorrow. We are here to be our children’s encouragers for the next season of their lives.
It takes a village to raise a child. So I ask you… who is in your village?
To find out more about Coach Terrence or to take part in his upcoming Spring Break Camp visit his site www.SanAntonioYouthBasketball.com