Although I'm sure I come across at times as somewhat sloppy in dress and the condition of my teacher's desk is in disarray, I am a stickler for certain things in teaching and coaching. The best teachers and coaches I had wanted things done a certain way and accepted nothing less than adherence to their standards. I might not have understood or agreed...but I learned. The following is from June 19, 2006.
It happened again. Last December, the outside handle of the driver side door on my Toyota Corolla broke. I can still open the door but it became a two hand exercise instead of a simple lifting of the mechanism. Yesterday morning, as I was getting out of the car to go inside our church building for worship, the inside handle shattered. I couldn't believe it! An outside broken door handle is a pain but when the inside one is disabled, it's dangerous. I can justify driving to school and back with it in that condition, but on the highway, it becomes a hazard. There are two ways to get out now. I can roll down the window and try to pull up the non-functioning outside handle, triggering the latch OR I can crawl over the gearshift and squeeze out the passenger door. Neither is a viable option. In the event of a crash, my beige Corolla could become a deathtrap. I can't risk that. It will have to be fixed before I leave Houston for St. Louis and points west next Tuesday.
We are in the final of our three weeks/six sessions of basketball camp at Westbury Christian School. While Houston has been inundated with torrential downpours causing flooding, camp life remained normal. Today was the first day of shooting camps, one in the morning and one after lunch. In the afternoon, I am in charge of stops, starts, and turns. Groups of youngsters rotate through eleven stations, each three minutes in length. With the help of my wonderful assistants, Kayla Jones and Tara Rodgers, I showed the campers several very basic skills dealing with footwork, undertaught in most programs. We are on a tight schedule. The scoreboard clock is reset immediately after the buzzer goes off and we need every second to adequately cover our skill for the day. Several times, the group rotating to our basket walked from their previous station. When that occurred, I sent them back and made them run. Most of the kids who had to repeat their journey are in middle school. I asked how many were trying out for teams next school year and they invariably were. I tried to impress on them that running instead of walking during tryouts could be the difference between receiving a uniform or getting cut from the squad. They don't realize the importance of what they consider minor details. Four years ago, the best athlete who tried out for my middle school girls team did not make it simply because she was habitually late. She wasn't late the next year. I didn't really understand the value of small things when I was younger. As a coach, I have to and it is my responsibility to pass on to the kids the standards they will be judged by. Jesus, while being the master of the big picture, never downplayed the importance of what the world might consider minutiae. He praised the woman who gave a tiny amount of money. He praised the sharing of a small amount of water. He praised the growth potential of the minuscule mustard seed. Details become big deals under the right circumstances. I googled inside car door handles for 1999 Corollas- $14.95 or only a tiny fraction of the value of the car. But, without that handle which weighs only four or five ounces, my Toyota is going nowhere and neither am I. Suddenly, "getting a handle on the situation" has taken on a whole new meaning!
Applicable quote of the day:
"Success is the sum of details."
Harvey S. Firestone
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org