Welp, my first time coaching youth basketball has come to a close. It was a short season and I wish that I got to spend more time developing these young players’ skills, but I did what I could. Coaching the mini me was fun; I was able to watch her grow, not only as an athlete but as a person as well. Her confidence is up and she’s becoming slightly more aggressive while playing. It’s going to be interesting to see how things evolve as she continues to play.
When the season first started, I didn’t know how I was going to do. I had a lot of self-doubt because playing a sport and coaching a sport are 2 different things. Coaching youth sports adds another level of difficulty. Would I challenge the kids mentally and physically too much? Would they learn anything? Would I have the crazy parents in the stands, yelling and screaming? Would the kids have fun? I didnt know, but I had to figure that out but do so in a short amount of time.
The season started off quickly. We were only allowed 2 practices before our first 2 scrimmages. We had kids who had never played organized basketball before and I have a handful that have played maybe 1-2 seasons. I had 1 kid whose talent was far ahead of others. So I had to find a teaching balance to not bore the talented kid but also teach fundamentals to the others. I had 2 hours of practice to do so. It went… OK.
We split the first 2 scrimmages, 1 win, 1 loss. Some of the kids were upset that we lost but I tried to explain to them that losing is part of sports. There will always be a winner and a loser at the end of a basketball game. So I had to try to use that as fuel and motivation to the start of the regular season.
The regular season started off with us playing the first 2 games against the same 2 teams we scrimmaged. We won the first game. The 2nd game was against the team that beat us in the scrimmage game. Everyone was ready. It was a close game. Our defense held this heavily talented team to their lowest point total, but in the end, we lost by 2 points. It was a great game and I was proud of my kids for playing a hard fought game. We had 3 games left. We bounced back by winning 2 of the 3 by blowing the other teams away and one of the teams had to forfeit. We finished a great season with a 4-1 record, which isn’t too bad.
We had a small end of season celebration to let the kids know I appreciate and acknowledged the hard work they put in in such a short amount of time. I couldn’t have asked for a better first season coaching because it gave the kids a taste of everything sports is supposed to give you: winning, losing, hard work, teamwork, sweat, determination, trust, and so much more.
Overall, I think my first season of coaching went pretty well. The kids had fun which was the most important thing for me, but they also learned about the game of basketball. I think I’ll coach again if the mini wants to run it back (which she does). I think I’ll be a little tougher next time.