Saturday, April 08, 2017

Basketball And M&M's

In my nineteen years at Westbury Christian School, we have made incredible improvements to the physical plant. The following, from September 6, 2006, is about one of those changes for the better.

Today was the last time my middle school girls' basketball team will practice in our gym for five weeks. We are in the process of installing a new floor (WOOD!) which will cover our current rubber surface. The pallets of materials are already piled up on one end of the building so I am assuming they will start putting it down tomorrow. This is a very nice bunch of young ladies but we are in the very formative stages of learning how to play basketball. This morning we worked on a problem that plagues many young players. I heard a college coach say once that, "Dribbling is like M & M's; a couple are great but too much makes you sick." That is about as accurate an analogy as I can imagine. Dribbling is a very important skill in the game but many kids dribble way too much when they play. In our controlled three-on-three scrimmage this morning, our main rule was it is an automatic turnover if you dribble. We played twenty minutes and guess how many dribbles there were? None. I doubt we could have accomplished the same with boys in the same time frame. Boys play more than girls and often have more bad habits to break. So, how did we play today deprived of the dribble? It was the best practice playing-wise of so far. When you take away something which tends to be a crutch, which dribbling is to most youngsters, you are forced to play the game in the purer form of passing and cutting. We had a very good practice.

We all have crutches in life. There are tendencies we fall back on in times of crisis because they are comfortable. It might be a habit. It could be a person or a destructive relationship. I know little about addictions but it seems that addicts revert to known behavior in times of stress. That's what kids do in basketball. They dribble because they feel like they have to do something and the most logical thing to do is to bounce the round ball. You have to break the habit. It's much easier in a game than it is in life. I can be the discipline with the kids in practice but in the real world, it has to come from within. Hebrews 12:1 instructs us to, "throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles." It's easier to throw it off when we catch it in its early stages BEFORE it starts entangling. That's why I like coaching kids who have never played before. You can sidetrack potential problems in their games in the infancy stages. I guess I'm their basketball parent who tries to mold his children much like a biological parent will guide his/her child. The good thing is, I don't have to save up for their college!

Applicable quote of the day:
"There are a whole bunch of dribbling drills but my complaint with some of them is they aren't connected to the actual skill and situation in a game."
Pete Carril/ Basketball coach at Princeton University

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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Jon said...

Everyone has to miss practice...the floor better be good...haha said...

The Barn (as the Strake kids called it) gets wood? Wow! Stop the presses!

Is the AC far behind? :)