Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Court Rules

Little guy played in his "playoffs" yesterday for basketball.  This season has been AWESOME... he has grown exponentially.  It's been a pretty interesting journey.

We put Coop in basketball when he was 5.  I had picked this league that was geared toward good sportsmanship - a rec league.  It was centered around God and doing the right thing.  It was a nightmare.

The coach we were assigned to was a nice enough guy but he didn't have an assistant.  I jumped at the chance.  Hubs has always been able to coach football so I wanted to give my little guy a tad bit of my wisdom (I played bball in Middle School so obviously I'm an expert).  I love basketball so I thought it would be fun and a great way to spend time together.

The coach assigned me to the religious portion of the practice each night.  Circle time.  Review your practice and insert some Christianity.  He picked the wrong person!  I am a virtually unchurched girl, although I did go through Confirmation classes and get Baptised at 30.  I wore my poor Pastor out... he loved debating the virtues of tithing with me!

By the fifth practice, he called 10 minutes before start time to tell me he couldn't be there and I would need to lead practice.  This continued.  I had no help.  It was awful - I was frustrated and I'm sure the parents were as well.  We did the best we could and stumbled through the season.

Second season we switched leagues to another rec league in our city.  We liked the format - the games were on Saturdays at local elementary schools.  We LOVED our coach.  It was a great year.

When we went to sign up the third year, we were told by that league that we couldn't have the same coach.  They switched it every year.  WTH?  Are you serious?  But we like that coach and the kids played well together.  What about teaching continuity and long term team work?  Guess that's not important.  So we left the league and followed our coach to a "competitive league".

Yep, competitive.  We did okay year 3 but year 4, we died on the vine.  Lost every game.  No biggie if you are actually learning something, but I'm not sure our little guy was learning anymore.  That happens over time.

So this year (year 5), we went back to said 2nd year league.  Assigned a coach we didn't know.  Working with kids on our team that we didn't know (except for 1 other from our school).  Low and behold... Coop thrived.  He worked his TAIL off.  He had the best season he has ever had in this sport.  

We started the season slow... losing the first two games.  Coop never got down, never held his head to the ground.  He worked harder at every practice and stretched his abilities.  He played basketball every single day after school working on his footing, his shots, his boxing out with a neighbor in 7th grade.  He pushed himself.

We ended our season in 2nd place in the league with a 7 and 3 record.  The kids worked so incredibly well together.  In the second half of our games (when we were allowed to press) the kids looked like Mizzou - rushing around the court like college players, passing with confidence, taking difficult shots.  It was awesome to watch!

Our first playoff game was yesterday and for the first time in the entire season... Coop fouled out with 4.8 seconds left in the game.  It was painful to watch.  He had lost count of his fouls and tried to draw a foul in the last few seconds not realizing it was his fifth.  He sat on the bench and the tears flowed.  

I love my son's determination and dedication.  He applies 100% to everything he attempts.  He never, ever quits.  

We may have lost our game yesterday but I know this for certain - Coop grew more as a basketball player this season than ever before.  We will most certainly rejoin this league again next year and even when he does get a new coach, the entire league has now seen what he can bring to the table.  I am certain he will end in a great spot again.

Way to go, little guy!  Momma loves!

Coop and our point guard, Mason

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