It's my favorite season of the year! No, I don't mean the holidays, I mean basketball season! Did I mention that I was coaching a 2nd grade basketball team for Scout and Taco? I've coached many teams over the years, probably a dozen at least, but I have never coached kids this young. It's been quite an experience.
Yesterday was our second game. In our league we aren't allowed practices except on game day. We practice for 30 minutes and then we play another team for 30 minutes. That makes it difficult to teach very many real skills when most of these kids can barely dribble.
We did work on passing for a while...then Scout tossed a nice chest pass right to her partner. Unfortunately, he wasn't watching and it hit him right in the numbers. For a minute I was sure he was going to cry, but he sucked it up and we kept on.
After a few more drills we took the floor against the other team. They were clearly superior in every way. Our league doesn't keep score, but it was impossible to miss the fact that they scored nearly every time down the floor and we didn't score at all.
At half time I tried to give a little pep talk. The kids were discouraged and a few of them didn't even want to play anymore, including Scout. I buckled under the pressure and let her sit. About 30 seconds into the third quarter, One of our players with much height but no experience made a pass. Unfortunately, her intended target was less than a foot away. Needless to say, the ball hit him right in the face.
I think if it were me I might have started crying, but as I stepped onto the floor and the officials blew the whistle, he said, "I'm OK, I'm OK!" and he reached for the ball. "Do you want to come out?" I questioned, looking for any signs of blood. He pinched his nose. "No!" he said emphatically and he was down the floor before I could pull him out.
The official came over to me, "Is he OK?" he asked. I shrugged my shoulders. "He said he wants to play," I responded and the game continued. It was a bit of a turning point for us. I won't say that we were stellar, but our very first shot came in the 4th quarter when Taco threw one high and it fell straight through the basket.
And that's why I coach basketball.