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]]>
My kids and I were having lunch with a good friend and her kids. Throughout the lunch my 6 year old son decided he wanted to make everyone at the table laugh. As a 6 year old boy would do, we heard all kinds of sounds, watched as the food on his plate became mere props for his show and captured not only our attention but the attention of the surrounding patrons.
I must have said ‘Please stop’ a few dozen times only to be greeted by a temporary relief in his production.
Finally lunch was over!! We walked outside and I had the following conversation with my son:
Me: Joel, are you a clown?
Joel: No ma’am.
Me: Do you have floppy shoes and curly red hair?
Joel: No ma’am.
Me: Is it your job to make people laugh?
Joel: No ma’am.
Me: The next time you act that way in public I am going to buy you a large, round, red nose that you will have to wear wherever you go. That way when people see you they will know “Oh! Here comes a clown to make me laugh”… Would you like that?
Joel paused for several seconds. I knew I had him thinking about his behavior and I was glad. Then he responded…
Joel: Will it honk?
There is a special place in heaven reserved for mothers who have raised 6 year old boys.]]>
For example, we were vacationing many years ago with a good friend of mine and her family. One night the resort held a talent show for its guests. My children, then 6 and 8, both wanted to participate. “What a fun idea!” I told them and went to find out where to sign them up. My daughter danced an unchoreographed routine to whatever song they put on. She leapt, twirled, shook and had a blast while the crowd cheered her on. My son then took the mic to do his impersonation of Napolean Dynamite that had the crowd roaring and clapping. Was their talent amazing? No.
Was it entertaining? For a resort talent show, I would say definitely!
More important than the footage I captured on my camcorder that night was what I truly told my kids without words. I told them not to be afraid to try. I encouraged them and clapped louder than anyone else in the audience! The show would have gone on if they hadn’t participated, the only difference is the obvious… they wouldn’t have participated!
They wouldn’t have felt their feet on that stage, the support of the crowd, the smiles from mom and dad. Neither of my kids were discovered on that little island by some big Disney exec and they didn’t land their own pilot series, so really their life wouldn’t have been tremendously altered if they hadn’t participated at all. Or would it have been?
I am happy to say that today my kids aren’t afraid to take chances. They will try out for things without the fear of a ‘no’ because they understand that there may be a ‘yes’ and either way they won’t live their lives wondering ‘what if…’.
I also witnessed another child who wanted to participate in the show that evening. Her mom told her something to the effect of ‘What would you do? You don’t want to embarrass yourself.’ I wanted to say “EMBARRASS YOURSELF! Go ahead and have fun! Wear a funny hat and juggle your dads flip-flops!” I don’t blame the mom. I know that in her mind she was protecting her child from what she saw as a scary situation. We are, after all, a product of what we have been taught. It is in our nature to protect our kids from failure or ridicule.
My daughter recently soared through the air on a bungee (a horrible, scary thing that I would have to be heavily medicated to even consider!). Every part of me wanted to tell her ‘NO!’ and I did tell her that I personally wouldn’t do it, but still watched with the camera and cheered as they pushed my princess off the step over 100 feet above my head. Life experiences…. remember it’s THEIR life to experience and it is our job to cheer and hold the camera.]]>