Coaching the Girls

January 9, 2008

If you’ve known me for a while, you certainly know that I spend a high percentage of my leisure time coaching youth sports. That’s what I love. I got started 4 basketball seasons ago, coaching my youngest son, Alex’s 9-10 year old Bobcats to a 3-7 record. I had no clue what I was doing. I checked out every library book on the subject and spent a small fortune at Barnes and Noble. I was hooked.

 Skip ahead a few years and a few teams and this season I got a call from my friend and Basketball Director Matt Musgrove. “Hey, man, you have to coach an 11-12 year old girls squad.” I don’t think I do. I’m trying to build a new business and I already spend way too much time in the gym as it is. “They don’t have a coach – we’ve asked everyone. C’mon.” OK – I’m an easy target, I know it.

 So I took on the 11-12 year old girls Tennessee Volunteers. I had no clue what to expect. I have two boys and I have always coached boys. I have to admit I was a little apprehensive (scared to death.)

At the first practice, all my defenses were on high alert. One of the fathers asked why practice was scheduled at a particular time and I just about took his head off. Of course, he turned out to be one of the nicest people I know. I was particularly worried because I teach by demonstration and there is a lot of contact in basketball. I am used to grabbing boys and moving them into position and pushing them around, showing them how to use their bodies to move other players, etc. The last thing I wanted was to have a parent think I was groping his little girl.

When I met my team, all my fears melted like snow in April. These are the nicest, sweetest, cutest girls I have ever seen. They listen in a way that the boys don’t. And by that, I mean they listen. They try hard to do what I ask and occasionally they manage to do it.

We have played five games and although we haven’t won a game, they have been five of the best hours of my life. I look forward to every practice and every game and I am already dreading the final buzzer of the last game when i have to send them back into the world.



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