September 7th, 2015 | Uncategorized
I woke up early on Saturday morning to plan out my first day of coaching the younger girls in the Waterford Wildcats program, or as I like to think of them, the Wildkittens. Jazmen Boone (Boonie) and I were to have three sessions of one hour each, with girls around eight to thirteen years of age. We tried to plan out the drills so that they would challenge each age group yet still allow them to have fun. Even after all the years I have been playing basketball, I have never really stopped to think about the time and effort that my coaches have put into planning each and every practice session I’ve ever had. So, to any of my past coaches who may be reading this, thank you!
Anyway, the youngest group was up first. They were an adorable bunch of eager little Wildkittens. In fact, they were so eager that when I called them into a huddle, they crowded around me so closely that I felt like I was Justin Bieber at a teenybopper concert. Then, when I stepped back to give myself some room to breath, they crowded right up to me again, faces beaming enthusiastically up at me. I couldn’t find it in my heart to tell them about people needing their personal space because of their nearly tangible excitement, so instead I quickly explained the first drill and off they went.
The second and third groups were each a little older than the previous ones. While neither of these groups mobbed Boonie or I in our huddles, they were equally eager to play basketball. We had to split these groups up into stations because there were more of them than the first group, so I ran the shooting station. First, I taught them B.E.E.F., which was not as they thought, a type of meat, but an acronym for the proper shooting technique standing for Balance, Elbow, Eyes, and Follow through. A lot of the oldest girls were already proficient shooters, but many of the younger ones did not have a fundamentally sound shooting form; a number of them still shot with two hands instead of one. I found that sometimes just explaining and demonstrating B.E.E.F. wasn’t enough. For the more tactile learners, I placed the ball in their shooting pocket properly and had them practice the correct shooting form as I watched. There was a definite improvement in most of the girls’ shooting immediately after I helped them, but a lot of them would revert back to their old ways when I later had them play some shooting games. However, as the weeks pass I am confident that Boonie and I will eventually have all the Wildkittens shooting and playing like superstars!
I am already looking forward to next Saturday morning, when I will get to see a sea of shining, excited, beaming young faces looking up at me again, ready to do my favorite thing in the world: play basketball. As a coach, there is nothing more that I could ask for!
Victory Scholar: Katie Fox
Present University: Waterford IT
US League: NEC
Club/Community Partner: Waterford Wildcats
Alma Mater: St. Francis College
Sponsored by: Teamwear Ireland