For years, one of the main focuses of my coaching is based on motivating athletes to improve their mental game and heart. Only the most determined players accomplish legendary success. That type of determination is a mixture of love for the game and the ability to understand its many components. It is very rare to meet an athlete with this type of exceptional heart but lucky for me, I’ve been able to work with an entire team of hard working young ladies. That’s right tigers, I’m talking about you. Mercy High School holds a very special place in my heart because of the many incredible people I have met and continued to hold relationships with. They say that “a good coach improves your game, but a great coach improves your life.” Well Coach Kohs is nothing short of a great coach. Past and present players know this. Mercy basketball is sisterhood that not many girls get the chance to be a part of. We share a love for the game a basketball and years of hard work.
This year’s team was everything championship team is made of. They had leadership from 5 incredibly talented seniors who I’d proudly call the “next fab 5” in Mercy history. It has been so hard for me to be away from this group of girls this year because I’ve been coaching them since during the summer they first started at Mercy. I’ve watched them grow from middle school basketball campers to high school seniors playing for the gold. A huge thank you to Sport Changes Life for giving me permission to go home to attend the game. I got to sit on the bench and support my girls up close!
I mean it when I say that I am so unbelievably proud of each of these girls. They have persevered through some really tough times and are now ranked number 1 in the state of Connecticut. But aside from their impressive talent is a team full of athletes with the biggest hearts I’ve come across in years. I had the incredible opportunity to be on the bench with the team at Mohegan Sun during their championship game. The game had good along with bad moments but not one girl ever hung her head. Giving up just wasn’t an option. I saw the determination in their eyes. They battled, they played their hearts out, they won.
To the next Fab 5, congratulations! You did it! I’m looking forward to supporting you in the next step of your journey: college. Chappyyyy, you have a very bright future at UNH. Keep working hard and enjoy! Samara, my girl is headed to Albertus Magnus! I wish you nothing but the best and know you’ll accomplish great things. Jess! Headed to UMass Dartmouth is an exciting new step towards a successful future. You have such an incredible work ethic and I admire that! Bella Bella! Phenomenal year. I remember watching you shoot hoops in your driveway when I was a sophomore in high school now you’re headed to Stonehill! Job well done. And my Meggles! I LOVE watching you play. You’ve developed into such a great person both on and off the court. Incredible career at Mercy and the best is yet to come.
Watching this year’s team win the championship reminded me exactly of why I love coaching. This was the first group of girls I had the chance to work with and I fell in love with it. You girls are why I applied to be a Victory Scholar and what inspired me to coaching youth half way across the world. That gold medal around our neck means more than #1, it symbolises years of hard work, dedication, perseverance, and heart. So congratulations to my girls, Coach Kohs, Coach Tony, Coach Maria, and all the loving and supportive family members of the Mercy Basketball team! Like I said from day one, this was your year to shine.
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”