Coaching this semester has continued to be a great time. We’re working with kids from some great schools and clubs here in Galway. Sometimes when you only see a certain class of kids once a week, you can sometimes wonder how much of an impact what you’re doing might be having on them – but all it takes a few words from one of them or a teacher to know it is paying off. It’s a great feeling when a kid comes running up to you when you first arrive to say, “Look what I can do!” and then show you some skill from a previous week that they have been working at on their own.
We held a Mystics camp for our club and some of the kids from the school we coach at went. The next week, their teacher told me about how the two boys were telling her all about the camp and how much they liked it. Little things like this are all you really need to know you’re having a positive impact. Another time, a little girl was so excited to tell me about how she had her own basketball and how there was a basketball hoop near her house that her dad would take her to to go shoot together. When she was telling me that it made me so happy, it reminded me of me and my dad when I was younger.
There’s something really nice about working with the primary school kids. Its different than when you work with a club, because obviously not all of the kids are basketball players when you’re with an entire classroom. Its so nice, though, to see how happy they get when its time for basketball and how excited they are to see you, regardless of whether or not they actually play basketball.
It has also been nice working with kids from different clubs in Galway. This gives us more of a chance to focus on skill development. It’s nice to see how they improve each time we see them, and how invested some of them get. As basketball is still an underdeveloped sport here that’s growing in popularity, its great to see and work with kids that really love playing the game and want to get better.