i feel like i have SO much to write about that i don’t even know where to start……
let’s start with my pride and joy, my basketball team! as i write this, the season has come to an end (tear) and our end of the party last night wrapped it all up, but if i left it at that, it would not come close to the justification that this season and my girls deserve..
starting this role, i remember being told by one of my ‘bosses’ (a retired Timberwolf) that if i were able to get this group of girls to win ONE game, i would be offered a “multi-million dollar deal”. if that were true, i’d probably have his job, but i obviously am still waiting on that deal (hence, my employment still at UCare). nonetheless, my girls have surpassed even my highest expectations. i knew i had my work cut out for me when the first practice started off with teaching the girls how to dribble, where (and what) out of bounds were and how (and why) we line up for free throws, but i also believed in them from that very first practice.
i don’t want to give you a play by play of every game, but here are a few highlights…
> winning our first game of the season (i think that may have been the first time i showed that i was ‘a little’ competitive). in this game, our smallest girl on the team got a basket and our second smallest girl hit her free throws. who said they couldn’t even get the ball to the hoop? :)
> almost beating an ‘A’ team. yes, i said almost. we went up against a lot of A teams that put themselves in B brackets, but before this game i was told there was no way we were going to beat this team and the best thing i could do is as a coach, is to just get them through. if you think losing to this team by 3 in overtime impossible, then we accomplished the impossible. my girls deserved to win that game, but that’s not always the game of basketball
> taking 3rd place at a Lakeville tournament. not only was this their first ‘title’, but it was 3rd! to see the joy on their faces when we got our 3rd place shirts is a picture will never be a moment i take for granted……
> beating 2 teams in the State tournament that beat us earlier in the year. by beating us, i mean destroying us by about 20 points. do you know how much 20 points is in 5th grade? to give you a hint, we won a game 7-2….. not only did we beat them, but we came from behind and beat them! both halftimes, i remember telling the girls if they wanted to stretch out the season as long as possible we needed to win these games and we needed to believe that we can win.
the last moment was by far one of my proudest moments to date. not only was it a testimony to hard they have worked and how far they have come, but it just goes to show that these girls have heart and fight. they also have a passion for the game of basketball, to learn and grow in the game.
to be honest, i don’t even know what our record was at the end of the season because i didn’t keep track, it didn’t matter. my guess would be that we weren’t even 500, but i can guarantee not many teams accomplished the things that we did.
as i told the girls at our party, they brought me to tears out of both frustration and pride. i feel as though i adopted ten 5th graders as my daughters (or maybe sisters considering I’m only 11 years older than most of them).
growing up, i have always heard my coaches tell me that they learned more from us than what we probably did from them and i always thought that was the stupidest thing ever (weren’t you the one who made us run if we didn’t do what you told us to?). i can honestly say that i now know exactly where they were coming from. they girls have taught me how to be responsible, a leader, positive, and stern. after a long day of working in a call center, the best cure was to come to a practice and see how much these girls depended on me. the greatest thing was that no matter what bill was due the next day, whether i had enough money to put gas in my car or if i was exhausted from working, the girls energized me and taught me that life will go on, but when we all stepped on the court nothing else matter (except maybe what time everyone was going to the pool….). in all seriousness, i would like nothing more that to have the opportunity to coach these girls again.
it is with a full heart and on the verge of tears (both happy and sad), that i wrap up my first season as a head coach.
thank you to everyone who supported me and the girls. thank you to the parents who got the girls to every practice and game regardless of how many crazy activities they had going on. thank you to my assistant coach who was my side kick and confidante, who supported me in every decision and game plan. thank you to my dad for all the advice, long phone calls on the way home talking out plays, drills and obstacles. thank you to my MF who woke up early on weekends to go to games and stayed up late waiting for me with dinner ready when i didn’t get home from practice until 10:15 and thank you to ‘my girls’, let’s hope this isn’t the last time you guys bring me to tears.