Friday, February 02, 2018

Love Of The Game

Lizeth is a junior now and a soccer player but this story defines her perfectly. It is from January 17, 2014.
We lost a heart breaker yesterday. Well the other school might not classify it as a heart breaker but they won. After playing as well as we have played in several years the first half and racing to a seven point lead at the mid point, we lost in overtime and it was hard on the girls and that's OK. We have played very few close games and it's a new frontier for us. We ended the game, a three point loss, with three starters fouled out and our leading scorer on the bench with an injury. But it was a terrific learning experience for all the kids who all played and contributed  and I told them how proud of them I was. We are in a tournament tomorrow in which we could play six (6!) games in one day so the girls rebounded nicely. In fact during our morning practice time today, we took a field trip next door where the host school is located so our kids would know where to show up at 8:10 tomorrow morning. It will be a blast!

Back to our yesterday's game. I was talking to the girls at halftime and I looked up and Lizeth had big tears welled up in her eyes. I'm not sure if anybody else noticed it or not. She said she was OK and I let it go. After the game, Lizeth, Sydney, and Madison rode back to WCS with me, a short drive as our opponent's gym is only blocks away. As the other two unloaded our gear, I asked Lizeth what brought on the halftime tears. She told me, "I had three fouls and I had to sit and I just want to play basketball." Listen, as a coach, that was about the perfect answer. In an age of whining and complaining about anything and everything, Lizeth's statement was a breath of fresh air. To be honest, when she came to us last year as a sixth grader, she was tiny and I didn't think she would ever be much of an on court contributor. (Lizeth was always a contributor in the most important way- her teammates absolutely love her.) One year later, she's still diminutive but we struggle to compete with the other team if she isn't on the floor. And I always know she has no agenda- she just loves to play basketball.

We watched the clip linked below in all my classes this week. Please take 2:42 and do the same. Maybe it will remind you about the good things in sports and kids and the human race. Please note when Jonathan gives his reasoning for what he did:
"I was always taught to treat others the way I want to be treated."

That just happened to be in the quiz we took that day from one of Jesus' best known teachings. And Jonathan's thoughtfulness gave Mitchell Marcus his lifetime moment doing what Lizeth wants to do- to just play basketball. I could not have preached a better sermon.
Please copy and paste and watch- you won't be sorry!

Applicable quote of the day:
"Somewhere behind the athlete you've become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back... play for her."
Mia Hamm

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at


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