Today I was assigned to coach both the under 8’s and under 10’s boys and girls, teaching some basic skills with them. Going in, I was not in the best of mood’s and was certain that is was going to be a tough couple of hours to get through, especially with the attention span little kids tend to have.
When I got there though, it was the exact opposite feeling that I got. Being able to just take a step back and watch all these little kids run around having a great time with their friends put a smile on my face. It brought me back to the days when I was that age and would go to all different camps and clinics throughout the year with all my friends. The times when playing basketball was just about the fun and the enjoyment, and not about ‘me’ or individual stats.
Watching little kids play today reminded me what basketball really is about; the selflessness, the ability to share the ball, the joy they get NOT when they score but when their TEAM scores. Younger kids represent everything that is right about basketball and the reasons that make it a great game. As kids get older they start to become more selfish. It becomes more about them more than anything else. They care more about how many points or rebounds they had; rather than if their team won. Younger kids just enjoy the game and play because it is fun to them, never letting things like stats or their ego get in the way of that.
The game of basketball has taken me all over the world. It has taught me more life lessons then I can account for. It has allowed me to meet some of my best friends that I have in my life to this day. This has been possible because I quickly came to realize it was never about ‘me’. I never because I wanted to score points or impress people. I played because it is like no other feeling to be part of something bigger then yourself.
So today I was thankful to have had the privilege to coach those kids, because they reminded me what an amazing game basketball really is. They reminded me how much love I have for the game and how grateful I am to be able to try to help others experience this starting from a young age, where basketball is still ‘pure’.