Week 4

November 3rd, 2012 | Uncategorized

“Vision without action is just a dream. Action without vision just passes time. Vision with action can change your world.”

These are the words painted on the wall that the kids of Clonmel, Tipperary read every time they step into their gym to play basketball. This past week, myself, Ryan, and the Belfast scholars made a trip to Clonmel where we spent a couple days coaching a group of about 25 kids, ranging from ages 8-16. All of these kids showed an eagerness to learn from each of us, which made teaching them so much more enjoyable. We spent all day Thursday and Friday running through drills with them, emphasizing the fundamentals and the importance of repetition and practice. I was so amazed at how much they enjoy playing the game. From 10am-4:30pm, all they did was play basketball, and at the end of the day, they just wanted to keep playing! This kind of passion and love for the game is always great to see in young players, especially here

 in Ireland where the sport isn’t as popular. 

In addition to teaching them basketball skills, we also spent time getting to know them, and we each told them our personal stories of how we got to where we are now. The common theme throughout all of our stories was the importance of hard work and practice. We weren’t always the best players on the teams we played on, but each of us put in the time and practice every day so that we could eventually receive a scholarship to play in college. I feel grateful that I was able to share my personal experiences with the kids and I hope they are each aware of the possibilities basketball can give them if they allow it. I was fortunate enough to go to a great college and now I am spending a year in Ireland, all because of basketball. If these kids continue to practice hard every day, similar opportunities could arise for them that could end up changing their lives. 

A lot of the kids we worked with in Clonmel have a passion for basketball and I could see that they truly enjoy playing the game. They all chose to be there; they didn’t have anyone forcing them into the gym to practice the entire day. They gave it 100% the whole time they were in the gym. I think these kids have the work ethic and mentality that’s needed to improve their game, I just hope they are now aware of the opportunities basketball could hold for them. They have the action part down, and hopefully after spending time with the scholars, they now have a vision of where they want basketball to take them. With a vision and action, basketball could change their lives one day! 

I want to thank Liam and all the young players of Clonmel for welcoming us into their lives and allowing us to spend a couple of days with them. It was a great time and I hope we get to visit again soon! 

Also, my thoughts and prayers are with everyone back home who were affected by Hurricane Sandy.


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