FIRE-UP FRIDAY – I thought it was 24, but the number is now up to 26. This is the total group of talented, tough and aggressive boys we have joining our spring development program, ages 12U-15U. This unplanned, informal and unofficial partnership (as of yet) happened after our knowing a good coach for a few years and hearing how he was short on gym space. He also said he has been stretched thin “coaching-wise” and needs some support there as well. We said bring the boys in and let’s work together with the resources we have – gym space, qualified coaches, and positive kids who want to learn and improve.
Weeks later, we know almost all of the players and we’ve closed the door. No more walk-ins. No more bringing friends of friends. We have the kids we want to develop, and we love the attitudes and effort they are bringing to every workout.
We have a joint training clinic tomorrow afternoon and more on Sunday. It was tempting to put this new group into our games on Sunday, but I felt it was better for the boys to soak up all the good habits, mechanics and teaching points we have been reiterating. It would be selfish to have them play in games. It’s better for the kids (who are booked with games in May-June) to train them for two hours with our list of coaching points for the weekend. On Sunday, I am coaching seven games to assess all of our spring trainees while our coaches are spread across four gyms teaching, sharing and motivating all weekend. It’s going to be a great weekend for everyone.
My last posting on the youth and high school culture was discouraging. It’s good to focus on the fact that our program truly believes in working toward the pursuit of excellence regardless of who we are teaching or what the scoreboard says. Instead of criticizing the parents and coaches who don’t get what that effort means, there’s no better time than all the time to celebrate and thank all those who do.
Maureen Holohan a former college and pro basketball player and award-winning writer and author. Currently she is the director and founder of momotion.com, the largest youth basketball program in Manhattan. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.