Wahluke Eagles

This blog describes the joys of coaching an AAU basketball team from Mattawa, WA. Our team and town is roughly 90% Mexican. The blog celebrates and describes life in a central Washington town through the eyes of the players and their coaches.

Location: Mattawa, Washington, United States

I work as a School Psychologist in the Wahluke School District. When I am not coaching I enjoy fishing, reading, and riding my bike.

25 September, 2006

School is back in session

The Wahluke Eagles have been working hard getting ready for the first game on 21 October. Last summer we held open try-outs and several players joined the team and then bit by bit all of the left but Jose (My Bad). Juan and I heard from the boys that the players didn't like the practices.

Juan and I work the team. We don't care about skills but about effort. We don't care where the boys are now but rather where they want to go. Last year we recruited Cristian (Me Duele) to the team. When he began he fell down a lot and got the ball stolen. Now less than a year later he is one of our starting forwards due to his work ethic and effort.

Sometimes as the season grinds on, Juan and I get tired. Part of it is our fault because we have no off season. But then when the players have a good practice and execute well and when a new player steals the ball from a veteran or makes a good shot, Juan and I get our reward and it renews our energy.

As luck would have it, today was also my birthday. Some teachers made me a cake and cupcakes and I made cookies so after short practice we had a party in Juan's room. Juan led the boys in Happy Birthday and then they ate, joked around, and went outside on the grass to wrestle.

After I drove some of them home, I went back to school to drop off a plate. Juan was in his room working. We looked at the mess in his room and commented these kids have it pretty good. As the peers play the same video games and watch the reruns of the same cartoons, these kids get to work with their friends, develop their skills, and spend time having fun. And when they work together, improve, and are kind to each other, Juan and I have it pretty good as well.