Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lines Of Confusion

Basketball season is long, even in middle school. It's not as long as the high school season which is never ending, adding in camps and summer leagues and AAU. When I was the varsity girls' coach at WCS, we played 41 games. condensed into little more than four months. But even with only 17 games on the calendar this season, our middle school girls practice every school day so we run the risk of experiencing something I never faced when playing in high school or college: BOREDOM. Coaches have basic skills they need to teach but this can be accomplished in a myriad of drills and situations. Most coaches have drills they really like to excess but of course, this can become extremely repetitive. This time of year, I like to introduce a couple of new drills every week or so. Last Thursday, I decided to add one drill called Celtic Passing. It combines passing/catching/cutting/communication/conditioning/layups. But when you do something brand new, you have to have someone to demonstrate it. Before we began our practice, I called over Kaitlin, Kayla, and Shelby, three of our more experienced players, to go over the drill so they could model it for the other kids. To help them understand, I used the tool basketball coaches lean on, the marker board. Illustrated above is the drill. Black represents the players and spots on the floor they will run to after passing. Pink lines indicate where the players run after they pass. Orange lines simulate the movement of the ball around the court. Looks pretty simple, doesn't it? And it is for a coach. But when I asked the girls their reaction, Kaitlin replied with the following:
"Coach, all those lines are confusing."

 I thought it was 1-2-3/A-B-C/do-re-mi to quote the Jackson Five. But I'm not an eighth grade girl, either.

You know, when we put the young ladies on the court and walked through it initially, followed by full speed repetitions, we picked it up quite easily. We even quickly mastered one of the hardest parts of some drills, when you reverse directions and go to the right instead of the left. But looking at the final product simply made no sense to Shelby, Kayla, and Kaitlin. It was to them simply a spider web of basketball theory with no real relation to the sport itself. That is a metaphor, in my mind, of the Christian walk. It has to be taken one step at a time, by faith, with a general knowledge of where we are headed without the clarity that years and decades will provide. I see my life in that diagram. I can looking back comprehend that this step led me to that spot from where I launched out to the next location and I ended up here and who knows where I'll land in the future. We aren't promised 20/20 vision on this adventure but we have the Guide who knows our destination. When I had my Lasik surgery, I immediately realized what I had been missing as objects came into much better focus. My thought is we have those moments of realization as we travel our days on earth but there is always the next trial, the next heartache, the next triumph. We'll absorb the whole mural of our existence some day but for now, it's just one line at a time, from point A to point B. And like Kaitlin said, that can be confusing.

Applicable quote of  the day:
Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood. 

Henry Miller

God bless,
Luke 18:1

E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

No comments: