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May 30, 2013

Tim Kolodziej: A very important message from your child’s coach

NEW CASTLE — With the spring sports schedule winding to a close, I had a thought: What would a coach say if he could send a note to each of his parents to place a period on the end of a season — and look ahead to what the future holds?

Here’s what I would write. I am a basketball coach, so I use basketball terminology throughout. Feel free to insert your own child’s sports and language where suitable.

I know I don’t speak for ALL coaches in this letter. But I do speak for MOST.

******

It’s just a game.

It really is.

A very simple game, at that. Put the ball through a hoop. Stop the other team from doing the same.

That’s it.

If your team does it more times than the other, you win.

But it really isn’t that simple. Anyone who has ever played or coached the great game of basketball has discovered layer upon layer that seemingly has no beginning or no end.

Yet in reality, each season has three distinct elements at its core.

At some point, we all play one of these roles.

THE COACH

He or she has plenty of layers in the job:

•Teacher

•Leader

•Mentor

•Motivator

•Disciplinarian

•Strategist

•Counselor

•Comforter

•Organizer

•Team builder

•Communicator

I don’t know how coaches do it.

THE PLAYER

Then you have the most important people on the floor. Those who are asked to carry out a game plan to the best of their ability. The kids.

They hustle. They sweat. They dive for loose balls, and box out, and fill lanes, and make the right pass.

They take charges, talk on defense, deflect passes, block shots, get knocked down … and then get back up.

They may or may not appear to be listening to what their coaches say — but they hear it. Sometimes with their ears. Sometimes with their eyes.

They seize the moment. They accept the challenge. They want the ball.

I don’t know how players do it.

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