We’ve been playing terrible basketball in our first four games. I pride myself and our teams on playing good, solid defense. We’ve not done that, allow teams to score around 35 points per game. In the last three years, I’ve been blessed to have good shooters, fearless girls. This year, we are fearFUL, scoring less than 10 points per game. No, this year has been a struggle. Not only has it been a struggle in basketball, but it’s been a struggle in attitude. Girls not listening, girls being disrespectful to each other, girls who simply don’t know how to be a team. My administrator asked me where is the attitude coming from? My reply, they don’t know HOW to win. Being crushed, game after game, it wears you out, and you get the pessimistic attitude of “oh we are going to get clobbered again”. I’m trying to change that, but there are many negative leaders in the way.
Last night, we got our first win. While we didn’t play well, we did enough things right to pull out the victory. We made some great passes, we looked for open girls, we shot the basketball (something we’ve not been doing), but best of all, we played with heart and passion. As we continue with our season, I’ve told the girls, playing time will go to the girls who aren’t always the best, but who are always out there, being scrappy, being fearless, and playing like it was the last time they’ll be on the court. If I can get that team to show up, no, we won’t win all of our games (you have to make a jump shot to do that), but we will be competitive, and in the end, that’s all I want.
Now, a disclaimer, there’s a LOAD of sarcasm up there. Please, if you are a first-time reader, don’t mistake this for me not caring. I love the game and want my girls to be ready for junior varsity or varsity basketball, where ever they fall next season. I want them to be successful and I want them to be good people. This is my way of venting because there is talent, but it’s been overshadowed by the negative take on things. I absolutely love doing this as it’s one of those positives in my life. I think I’m a decent coach, but good or not, I try to make those connections to let my girls know I care. To me, that’s more important than the wins and losses (the wins and losses are a really close second!😂).
Now, I get home to celebrate with my family and do some checking online. A family we know has had some major difficulties with their college daughter and her anxiety/depression. The parents just don’t know how to deal with it, and the daughter really doesn’t either. Last night, my friend told me how the daughter had a meltdown and how every just didn’t know what to do. They got mad at each other and everyone ended up in different rooms.
Honestly, I’m sure we are dealing with anxiety and depression issues here at school, and I know I’m not trained to help as best as I could. The whole idea we have sixth graders on medications to help with these is shocking to me. How can we teach kids, expect them to be engaged when they are worried about what Johnny is thinking or if the buzz in the pocket is Jill saying something terrible on social media? And me, as a “regular” teacher, I have no clue on how calm that mind. It’s humbling to realize that you don’t know all the answers, especially in a venue where you are supposed to be the expert.
Anyway, as I close, give those loved ones a hug. Listen to understand their feelings, then communicate to be understood as well. It’s easy to get frustrated and angry. Try to find common ground to build on because in the end, if we can communicate, we will win more games AND be able to work through the anxiety/depression problems we are facing in our world.
We can do it. The question is, will we?