Sep. 07, 2014
The Night Before Tryouts
Tomorrow I embark on a new coaching adventure. I am starting a senior girls basketball team at a school where there has not been one in ages. In fact, I am not sure if they have ever had a senior girls basketball team.
Now don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to it. These players have the potential to create a very good program. Not necessarily this year, but eventually this school could have a top notch basketball team. Honestly, they could be one of the best in the province and it has nothing to do with me.
First, these kids care. They are the type of players you love to coach. They are scrappy. If you let them loose, they could rip a team apart. That said, each time they knock an opponent down, they will extend a hand to help them back up. The type of caring you cannot teach. These kids will be disappointed when they lose, not just because they want to win, but they also want to make their school proud. I have seen this attitude before and it is a pleasure to work with.
They are also athletic and raw. They can jump over or run through you depending on their mood. Rarely do you see this amount of athletic ability in such a small school. In fact, it is rare to see this much ability in a large school, but believe me, it is there. It just has to be harnessed and trained.
Last year I could not convince them to play but our first tryout is tomorrow. Last year they told me they couldn't compete but I am hoping we can this year. Yes we will get our butts whooped a few times but I believe it will be worth it. Team sports help to build something. It's not character; it's something else. I am not sure I can even find the word. In French, you do not say I miss you, instead you say when you are not here a piece of me is missing. When team players don't have a team to exist on, a piece of them is missing. These kids are team players.
Yes it will be hard. I will push them and they will push back. Some might want to quit and some will make my hair turn grey(er). We will get blown out and beaten. Some people might even wonder why we are trying. Some of those wondering will be on the team. But they won't quit. Some might fall to the wayside but the majority will stick around. It won't be about winning, though a couple of wins would be nice. In the end it will be about being a part of something, hopefully something special.
We do a great drill at the end of practice; free throws and running. Here the players need to make five but we run for every miss. Players will learn to lean on each other. They will encourage the worst shooter that they can make it. They will silence the team as the best shooter drains a couple. Then an average shooter will step up and make the shot that ends practice; the hero for the day. That's where it will begin. Check with me in a couple of months and I'll let you know how it ends.