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.

22 November, 2006

A Grateful Coach

The picture above shows us in a time-out against West Valley
On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we had our first practice since the West Valley game. Juan and I met with boys and showed the a photo of the score from the third quarter that showed us down 23-2.

The purpose was to shake them up a little. Juan and I noticed that some of player get paralyzed with fear before the game begins. They stare at our opponents height, their uniforms, warm-ups, and gear. Then and there they decide that we surely cannot contend against a team like that. We are short, inexperienced, and not ready for the big time.

So borrowing a bit from Hoosiers, I reminded the boys that the hoop is the distance off the court, the arc the same distance, and dimensions of the court just like ours. Juan spoke to them about not giving up and becoming intimidated by our opponents size. And being teachers we tied into reading telling the boys never to judge a book by its cover and never decide the outcome of the game until you do your best on the court.

Later in the practice, the Mattawa league president told us that the coach of West Valley called him about our team. He said that our boys were the best behaved team he has ever seen and that despite the loss, we demonstrated good behavior. So we ended practice early for a party in Juan's classroom with juice, cupcakes, and chips.

I started a team discussion about what our criterion ought to be for adding new players and the boys answers made me proud. They said possible candidates needed to have good grades, be good kids in the classroom, show that they could get along with their teammates, and work hard.

Among the many things I am grateful for this year is the opportunity to work with this group of young men.

The picture above shows the front of our uniform shirt


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