Friday, April 07, 2017

The Princess Factor

Hayden and Piper and family moved to Atlanta shortly after this was penned but they were in Houston and came by to see me this week! This is from June 23, 2013.Basketball camps ended Friday. Ninety hours of fun/instruction came to a conclusion at 3:45 PM, CST, June 21, 2013. If you add in the total time we were there, it's 120+ hours. Truthfully, the hours flew and this might be the most fun I've ever spent in camps. The young lady I'm coaching in the photo is one of my favorite campers ever, Victoria. Right behind Victoria is yet another favorite, Emily, the girl in the bright gold shorts. And visible right behind Victoria's back is still another favorite camper, the very diminutive Ruby. All three girls had three awesome weeks of camp this muggy June. Here's one detail I left out; this picture was taken five years ago. These  young ladies coached with me this summer at our WCS basketball camps. All three have been in our very successful high school girls program which has been in the top ten national rankings two of the past six years. Emily just graduated last month, Victoria will be a senior in August, and Ruby will enter her junior year. How time flies!

One thing I love about our camps is the traditions which have been passed down, some for twenty years, from Greg Glenn to Russell Carr to Trey Austin. Staples like word of the day, roasted watermelon, and cookie day are as much  of the allure as basketball. This was my fifteenth year as part of our six session program and for the past twelve years, I've only coached the girls' teams at our co-ed camp. The mornings are more fun. We have younger kids in the AM, some as young as five. Several years ago, and I can't remember quite how it started, we began a new tradition known as Musical Triple Threat which combines the best aspects of Musical Chairs with triple threat, the basic basketball offensive stance. I sing loudly while the kids run around and when I stop, they have to get into their triple threat stances. It's great fun. This year, my little girls' team began singing the song of the day with me before the actual contest. The song was different each day of camp, from Call Me Maybe to Stop In The Name Of Love, from Hey Jude to All You Need Is Love to We Are The World. Hayden was the lead singer but had backup help from her sister, Piper, as well as Vanessa and this past week's addition to the quartet, Emily. Probably my favorites were I Will Always Love You and our swan song on Friday, This Girl Is On Fire. I always act emotional and start crying when the girls sing but Hayden gives me a hug and it's all better.You have to love little kids.

Twenty years ago, I read a great book about a high school girls' basketball team with an odd title, In These Girls, Hope Is A Muscle. The book followed the real life Amherst (Massachusetts) High squad for a year, ending with their state title. In one chapter, it spoke of a player who worked at a basketball camp and she called each of the campers goddesses. For example, one little girl with braces was Goddess of Shackled Teeth. I liked that connection she made. Last week, one of our little ones mentioned being a princess so as we did our form running and footwork drills, I challenged them to tell me what they were princesses of that day. Here are some of the answers which came from, in alphabetical order, Emily-Hayden-Piper-Vanessa, in the third week of WCS basketball camp, morning session:
Princess of Footwork

Princess of Beat Lebron James (a shooting game)
Princess of Thursday and Friday

Princess of Singing
Princess of Hockey Stops
(a way we change directions)

Princess of Layups
Princess of Basketball
Princess of Kool Pops
(our morning snack)

Princess of Karaoke (an agility drill)
Princess of Triple Threat
Princess of Free Throws
and my personal favorite, courtesy of Piper,
Princess of All Basketball Princesses
Now, all of this may strike you as being extremely silly but it isn't to little girls. They all want to be a princess and this lets them choose their own kingdom. I think I'll add this to my coaching repertoire' with the little ones next summer. Princess of the Day- it has a ring!

In his sermon tonight, our pulpit minister, Dave Yasko, mentioned how he is so pleased that in our congregation, we don't have the problem of elevating one ministry above another or one Christian and his/her talent above another. No two of us are identically gifted or identically drawn to the same works in the kingdom. But we should never be idle, no matter what our talent/talents may be; a ministry requires commitment and action. According to 1 Peter 2:9, believers are a royal priesthood! If I'm not mistaken, royalty demands princesses and princes. You see, I originally looked at the past three weeks as simply basketball camps but that was shortsighted on my part. In reality, four little girls were displaying for me a way of thinking that is just ahead of its time! That's what princesses do.

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Gereta said...

Enjoyed your post. Most of the girls you mentioned are some of mine.

Gereta said...

Enjoyed your post. Most of the girls you mentioned are some of mine.