New Castle News


December 5, 2013

Tim Kolodziej: Yes, you ARE ready for high school basketball to start — here's why

NEW CASTLE — Tip off.

High school basketball 2013-14.

It’s on.

Friday night lights. At a gym near you.

You ready to go? You ready to lead your teammates?

Imagine yourself in the locker room.

You can hear the music playing.

The crowd chanting.

Your coach is giving you last-minute instructions.

Getcha popcorn ready.

Yep, it’s on.

Are you?

I mean, is your mind right?

Are you prepared to play to the whistle?

Ballin’ out until it blows.

Are you focused?

Are you loose?

Are you ready?

You better be.

It’s on.

Over the course of the next three months or so, you will hear plenty of “We are ...” cheers in the stands.

But before the referee tosses the ball into the air tomorrow night, let me share a couple of “You are ...” thoughts.

Close your eyes and meditate on them before bed tonight.

Clip this column and carry it with you during school tomorrow.

Let it sink in. Really sink in.


•You are ... Fit.

Think about all of those “gassers,” or “17s” or “suicides” or “lines” or whatever your district calls them.

Yes, you can go all out for a couple of minutes at a time.

You are fit.

•You are ... Confident.

Think about all of those shots you got up over the summer and in the fall. We’re not talking “takes,” either. We’re talking makes.

Yes, you can knock down the open jumper.

You are confident.

•You are ... Tough.

Think about all those early mornings you sacrificed another hour of sleep for a workout. Think about how you forgot the soreness in your legs. Think about how you dived on the floor, battled for rebounds and fought through picks during the summer league.

Yes, you can be a “50-50” player this season.

You are tough.

•You are ... Skilled.

One-ball drills. Two-ball drills. Think about the sweat pouring off your body as you dropped your hips and not your head. Think about all those cones you maneuvered through. Think about only your finger pads and calluses touching the ball.

Yes, you’ve got mad handles because you’ve performed thousands of reps — crossovers, C dribbles, between the legs.

You are skilled.

•You are ... Excited.

Think about the high-fives, the fist-bumps, the three-point plays, taking charges, sailing into the stands for a loose ball.

Don’t believe the lies. Even though your nerves are vibrating non-stop right now, you AREN’T nervous. You just can’t wait to set foot on the floor.

You are EXCITED. There’s a huge difference.

And, let me repeat, you are ...





You are ready.

Yes, you.


Now go play like it.

(To follow Tim Kolodziej on Twitter, CLICK HERE.)

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Yauger.jpg Yauger’s Mercer County trial on hold

    A pending criminal trial for the former Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV executive director has been continued again in Mercer County.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yauger.jpg Yauger now facing federal charge

    With Mercer County court proceedings pending this week, Cecelia Yauger faces federal prosecution for alleged business credit card misuse.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg New Castle board adopts budget despite uncertainty

    The New Castle school board adopted its 2014-15 budget Monday but may have to re-open it next week. The $5.4 million budget, introduced in May, has no tax increase and will not tap into the fund balance. Taxes remain at 17.72 mills.

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todora.jpg Board, staff bids farewell to superintendent

    Dr. Mary Todora will retire Monday from the Neshannock school district. “I remember eight and a half years ago when Dr. John Dietz (then-board president) called to tell me I got the job. I was thrilled,” Todora said at her final board meeting.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rich.jpg Vo-tech administrators get bonuses, no raises

    Lawrence County Career and Technical Center administrators will get one-time bonuses instead of raises next year. The joint operating committee approved one-year agreements that would freeze the salaries of director Leonard A. Rich and the principal, head custodian, cafeteria supervisor and computer technician.

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • FrankAloi.jpg Frank Aloi: 50 years of school spirit in Ellwood City

    Frank Aloi is a true Wolverine. Aloi, who turned 73 Friday, spent the past half-century affiliated with the Ellwood City school district and its sports teams.

    June 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • FrankAloi.JPG Frank Aloi Retiring: Ellwood superintendent leaving amid budget woes

    Frank Aloi is retiring next month as Ellwood City’s superintendent of schools. Aloi, a 50-year district employee and its superintendent for nearly 12, submitted his retirement notice to the board during an executive session prior to Thursday’s meeting. His last day is July 16.

    June 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg District mulls building sale options

    The New Castle school district is considering selling its three recently closed buildings through a sealed bid process.

    June 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Perfect.jpg Your Education: Shenango grad never missed a day

    They say nobody’s perfect. But for 13 years, Jenna DiGiammarino certainly was. When Jenna left last night’s commencement ceremonies at Shenango High School, she did so not only with a diploma in hand, but also with a flawless record of attendance dating back to Day One of kindergarten.

    June 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • 03.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Three New Castle schools close today for good

    Today is bittersweet for New Castle Area School District elementary students and teachers. Three buildings packed with history as longtime learning institutions are closing their doors for good.

    June 5, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

The Steelers opened training camp this weekend. How do you see them faring this season?

Super Bowl
Division champs
Wild card team
Missing playoffs for a third straight year
     View Results