Saturday, December 14, 2019

The Cost to Benefit Analysis of Coaching

As many of you may already know, I recently decided to step away from coaching high school basketball. This has been one of the most difficult decisions that I have had to make in a long time...I don’t think I truly recognized how much I would miss it. I decided to give it up for now for a few different reasons. First and for most I wanted to make sure that I am around as much as I can possibly be around to watch my son Ryder grow up. Coaching high school basketball occupies so much of your time and energy. During the season that can mean early mornings and late nights. During the off season you are doing as much as possible in strength and conditioning as well as skill work to prepare for the next season. Most nights I would come home just exhausted from all the demands, but the truth is that I just love it.

The basketball court has always been a place where I can go regardless of what I am feeling. Everything just starts to make sense when the ball is put into play. Struggle, perseverance, victory, defeat, controlling your emotions and putting them towards something constructive, learning from your mistakes and focusing on the next play are just a few of the many aspects of the game that I just love. I was never a stand out player on the court but I love the game so much and it has continued to teach me more and more about myself and who I am. I have always been a believer that basketball doesn't help us develop character, it simply exposes our character. We see who we really are in times of stress and difficulty. We see the kind of person that we are when we win and when we lose. Then we are able to make the choice to be better or to come up with more excuses as to why we are the way that we are. I’ve always told my athletes, you can’t always control what’s on the scoreboard but two things are always in your control. Your attitude and your effort. Nobody gets to dictate your effort and no one gets to tell you what your attitude should be. Those two things will forever be your choice.

I love investing into these young men and getting to know them. I enjoy developing our relationships and watching them push themselves to grow and succeed. Of course I wanted to win games, but that for me was never the most rewarding part of coaching. I loved watching my athletes grind it out and experience difficulties and becoming stronger because of it. As much as I love doing that, I want to be sure I can experience the same things with Ryder. He may not want to play sports or be an athlete of any kind but I want to be a part of whatever it is that he chooses to be a part of. I’m not going to lie, I hope its a sport lol but if it’s not,, then that will be perfectly fine too. I want to be present when he goes through tough times, I want to be there when he experiences hardship, I want to be the one to push him to be better and helps him up when he falls down. I want to physically and emotionally be there.

I know that as Ryder approaches turning two, he may not always remember the things I do for him but one thing is for sure. He will know that I was there. He will know that I was present. Do I think I’ll ever go back to coaching? Yes, I think so. I love coaching basketball at a high level to much to ignore it. How soon will I consider going back? I’m really not sure. All I know is that if and when I go back, it’s going to have to be a situation where I feel like I can still always put my relationship with God first as well as my family before considering getting back into the gym. I want my son to see me be passionate about what I do and I want him to see me work hard to do the things I love to do. He should see me chasing my dreams as I help him discover his own. But before any of that, I need him to recognize that the choices I make reflect my love for God first and my love for my family next. 

On a side note, if you are a coach out there reading this, I am in no way implying that if you continue to coach that you are not being a good father. That is so far from the truth! I am only sharing from my experience at this point in my life. Everyone should do what they feel is best for themselves and their family. This is just the decision I have made for now.