Monday, September 21, 2009

Never Lose Sight of When It Was Magic...

I know I just posted yesterday (see below), but I decided I had to post again today.

I was working my elementary open gym tonight and started thinking about my basketball experiences at that age. And just like that my first ever REAL BASKET, in a REAL GAME came flooding back to me.

It was the last game of the season, I was in kindergarden playing YMCA ball in Virginia (MN). It was actually at the old Eveleth (MN) YMCA with the dark, dingy gym. Anyway, it was my last game, hadn't scored yet but had tried many times. I just couldn't put it up there. It was toward the end of the game and a teammate threw a pass my way, I was right under the basket, on the right side, in perfect position. I caught the ball and heaved it up there with all my might, and by the grace of God the thing went in! I still can't believe it did. But of all the parts of the memory that came back to me, the most vivid part was the pure, magical joy I felt seeing that ball go through. Didn't make another basket the rest of the game, and finished with only one basket, but that one basket may have been the happiest basket I ever made. It was a rare moment when the game was pure and good, when nothing else mattered but the fact I made that basket.

The reason I told this story was not to show how great of a basketball player I was/am (because let's be honest, I'm not!), it wasn't simply to share a story about myself, it is because the story reminded me of a time in my life when there was no pressure to win or perform, when basketball was completely pure. I urge you (coach or player/fan) to revisit those lost memories of when basketball was simple and pure, remind yourself of that time. And also, as a coach, to remind your teams of that time in their lives, to remind your team that at the end of the day basketball is a great and pure game.

1 comment:

GeekCyclist said...

The last sophomore we kept last year we kept based on grades and character - the pickings were slim. As a young kid he broke his arm twice and is physically unable to move it into the classic shooting position, so his shooting is terrible.

He went the whole season and didn't make a basket, despite our running plays just for him.

At one of our summer camps we ran our transition set and got him a wide open look from just behind the 3-pt line. He heaved, maybe even with his eyes closed...

The video of that made basket, and the ensuing eruption of joy from him and his teammates is one of my most prized possessions.