Just Playing

July 16, 2013
By

Some of my fondest memories of coaching are of those athletes that just played the game for the pure joy of being on a team. I kept kids on basketball teams because they were great team members despite their less than stellar talent. Their attitude made the team better and they were great practice players. They were not under stress to perform at a high level because they knew this was their last level of play. They were not going to play in college. I kept one young man because of his home situation. I figured he needed the security the ball team gave him. He could also play well enough that I could use him in the right situations. He is a successful businessman today, and I would like to think this experience had a lot to do with that. He was “something” on this team which he never was at home. I never did cut a track or cross country athlete, because we had room and being part of a team allowed them to be “something” in school. Without this, they would have just been another student lost in the vastness of another high school class roster. On the team they had a uniform that said they were something unique no matter how insignificant their part was. They stood out in their own small way. One young lady on a cross country team would have been a D student at best, but being on the cross country team she always got A’s and B’s. Cross country kids were honor roll students, so she made herself one just to fit in. These student-athletes were just as special as the all-stars and benefitted by the association of a teammate.

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