Last weekend I helped coach the under 13 girls team and the under 11 mixed team in the community games. This was the majority of the players first time ever playing an organized game of basketball, so although we did not get the result we wanted, the kids learned a lot about the game, and most importantly had fun. On Friday I coached the under 13 girls, which was entirely comprised of the girls from the Girls School in Maynooth, which I had coached at for almost two months. During my time at the school I taught the girls how to dribble, pass, shoot, and some of the fundamental principles of the game of basketball. The girls clearly enjoyed the game, and this was reinforced when Jim Walsh began to organize the community games, and over fifteen girls from the Girls School showed interest in participating. We practiced every Wednesday for about a month, and the girls really began to understand the game. During the actual game this past Friday, the girls were competitive and did their best. After the game the girls even asked if there would be more practice and if they could play another game. Hearing their enthusiasm and seeing their love for the game was more important than the score on the scoreboard. They were all very new to basketball, so their skills will only improve, but finding that authentic love for the game is sometimes hard to find. I am so proud of the girls for how hard they worked, and I really hope that this is only the start to their basketball careers.
On Saturday I coached three games for the u11 team. The commotion was very good, but the Maynooth team battled every game. There were thirteen players on the team, and all of the players contributed in a very positive way. There were several players that scored, and seeing the faces of some of the players when they scored their first basket was truly priceless. They learned a lot about the game, but they also learned the meaning of being a good teammate. Although some players could only play one to two quarters, they supported their teammates on the floor. So many coaches talk about how they would pick a good teammate over a more talented player every day. Also, learning how to be a good teammate at a young age is not only important for sports, but for life because you are not always going to be the most talented person, but your work ethic and attitude is what can help take you far in life. I was honored to coach the u13 and u11 teams; I am so proud of them and I cannot wait to see their love for the game grow even more.