I’m on a roll today to watch out! 🙂

I heard this once after a basketball game: “They are just middle school basketball players. What difference does it make?”

Are you kidding me?? 

I love these kids: these hormonal, hyper, over stimulated, tech addicted, singing too loud for their own voices, players.  I love their quirks, their attitudes, the way they laugh at totally inappropriate times, how they are constantly in each others’ personal space bubbles (they come up to me and poke near me saying “popped your bubble”), and how their friend group shifts from day to day.

Don’t tell me they don’t want to make a difference when I have kids wanting ankles taped, websites on what they can do to do better, and advice on all range of subjects.

Don’t tell me they are “just middle schoolers” when some of the conversations I hear on the bus will just break your heart.  These kids are some of the toughest, most resilient people on the planet.  For some, their childhood ended years ago, and this is their time to be a kid themselves.

They want to do well.  They want to win.  They need positive relationships, positive role models, people who will believe in them, not doubt them.

In my previous (rather grumpy) post, I talked about how I rarely want to hang up my whistle.  Why would I? Each year, I get these awesome kids to guide, just for a short period of time.  I know my time with them means very little on the grade scheme of things, but yet, if what I say or do can help one of those girls make a good decision down the road, I’ve done what I need to do.

They aren’t just players – they are strong, they are proud, and they need us to be at our best.

Somedays, it’s hard, but I can’t help leaving practices with a smile on my face because of some dorky thing that’s been said or done.  When that day comes where I can’t find the humor, the reason to stick with them from now until they graduate (and in some cases beyond), then I will hang up that whistle.

Don’t marginalize them, they deserve better then that.