The Next Few Weeks…

The phone will not be getting parked in the basket right when I walk in the door. In fact, I will be bringing the phone with me to the supper table.

The iPad & laptop do need to be open, because I’m collecting data.

There’s a small window of an opportunity here. All else is secondary. I am responsible to the people I serve, and I must carry-on with this sense of imbalance in order to put the people I’m serving in the best position as possible.

A heinous sinus infection is just a few hours away (the third one this season).

Thank you’s are hollow to the one’s I love. My family has all sacrificed more than I will ever know, and all I can do is write this post to let them know I am grateful.

When Church ends on Sunday, film begins just moments later, guys come in for extra reps, ice baths, and to talk the game.

With less than two weeks left in the high school basketball season, we all take it to the next level. A friend from my youth said it best, “The game don’t love you back, people do.” As a high school basketball coach, I wonder what I have done to earn so much love from the people around me-  they continue to let me engage in what I love.

For the next few weeks…4:45am is not early enough of a rise and 10pm is no longer a bed-time. The no food after 8 o’clock is on hiatus in order to fuel up for filming sessions. Us, them, teams we may not even end up playing. As I left the parking lot at 9:24pm last night, and got in my car, I was struck by an incredible feeling, there is no substitution for feeling prepared. Getting back from a scouting trip, seeing a horrendous game in which a one win team in mid-February squeaked out their second win against the team we face tonight- I felt prepared. I knew my house would be asleep when I walked in. I saw the tired look on my wife as I left her classroom just before entering practice. I kissed my daughters as I left their daycare and told them I would see them in the morning.

This unsustainable short-term burst is being undertaken right now by many basketball coaches across the country. It’s the game we love, and we want our players to play one game longer.

This space, the competitive landscape, it does have a price. We pay the price. Coaches, teachers, building leaders, District administrators, school board members, custodians, cooks, bus drivers; we all pay the price at one point or another. When our project is put up for grabs, we pay the price. We do it because we want the people we have been trusted to serve to have the best experience possible. We prepare because no kick in the gut exist quite like the pain of heading into a game unprepared. Now, substitute the word “game” in the last sentence for lesson, professional development, board meeting, performance, meal, or trip in bad weather. A basketball game in late February is open to the public, our preparation or lack thereof, it is put on display in front of everyone. But the teacher who reads the writing with an open heart, and then modifies next weeks activity or lesson, that’s done behind closed doors. The administrator who has gone to great lengths to communicate with each board member about an impending difficult situation. The custodian who runs the Zamboni down the hall to bring the extra shine. The cook who adds a bit of unmandated spice to bring the flavor of the corn to taste more like corn. These actions are being done every day. In fact, the small window that exists over the next few weeks, all of our work as coaches and athletes, when that work lines up just right, we have the ability to provide the people who take care of us with an experience and a memory.

Does ego push the phone and the iPad? Sure. Does fear of failure? Absolutely. But so does opportunity. We have an opportunity to give back. When we win, our community wins. When we put it all on the line, we build something worth making a sacrifice for.

“Winning is nice, but losing is misery.” 
Pat Riley

“A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more.”

This post is dedicated to the wives, husbands, and children of those who give of themselves in order to give to others.

About Michael

Do Work!
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