Coaching Part 2
In any position of leadership, even as a coach of a 1st and 2nd grade basketball team, one of the most important aspects of leading is to understand your strengths and weaknesses. And the next step is to hopefully find people to work with whose strengths cover for your weaknesses and vise versa. I was very fortunate this basketball season to coach with the help of a father of one of the players on my team, Coach Morgan, who fit that very description. At the beginning of working together it was a little awkward trying to figure out what our roles should be, but after a couple of practices I could easily spot that he was much better at communicating with and motivating the player in a way that I would probably never be able to do. But this allowed me to focus more on the strengths that I possess, problem solving and strategizing. Our record at the end of the season wasn’t great, 4-3 and lost in the 1st round of the tournament, but what I will say is that I was proud to see the improvement of the individual players, even if that didn’t translate to more team success. Players who couldn’t dribble at the beginning of the season became more comfortable handling the ball, every player by the end of the year had made a basket, and we were even improving at passing and finding the best shot for the team to take. What I take away from this experience is that working with kids, and with adults to a certain extent, is that I need to base my expectations on what is, and not on what I think things should be. In the moment at times I would get frustrated by what I deemed a lack of improvement based on a scale that I had set, instead of appreciating the improvement that was occurring in the moment. Looking back on the season with the clarity that comes with time, I would say that I have learned a great deal more about the process of coaching and teaching from those 1st and 2nd graders than I was able to teach them about basketball.
Coaching Part 1
Part of deciding to come to Indianapolis for my YAV year, was the opportunity to challenge myself intellectually. That was something that I felt was missing from my life for the most part. I have been given that opportunity recently in the form of coaching a 1st and 2nd grade basketball team and leading this team with devotions. Now some of you may be thinking that this doesn’t sound or seem all that complicated, and I made a similar mistake when calibrating my expectation for this season. I have a decent knowledge base of basketball and a theological competency that should allow me to explain elements of the bible to 6 and 7-year-olds. But as I am sure any teacher will tell you that knowledge alone isn’t all that is needed to teach. You have to be able to package that knowledge in a way that is interesting and fun and to not use terms like theological competency. I don’t know that I have found the correct process yet for being the best version of myself as a coach yet, but I will say that I am enjoying the challenge. My team is 2-0 this year and is full of really talented players who don’t play very well yet as a team. My job as a coach is to see if I can change that, and we’ll see whether or not that is something I can do.
This is the blog paige where I will be documenting my experiances over the next year.
What I Will Be Doing This Year
I have been in Indianapolis for two weeks and I have finally settled in and have started working with the sites that I will be with for the next year. I will be splitting my work week between two sites, Tabernacle Presbyterian Church Rec program and
Habitat for Humanity Restore. Tabernacle is a church that started a Rec program 90+ years ago and serves the Indianapolis community in a number of different ways. My main responsibilities while working with them will be to assist the Rec director and assistant
director of the church in making sure that the soccer, football, and basketball programs run smoothly and without incident. This program is not run in service to the congregation specifically and in most part is used by non-church members. It allows the participants
to take part in sports at a much lower cost than most other programs, and it allows those who would otherwise intimidated by the church or uncomfortable taking steps towards God’s community an option that they are more at ease with to be part of a church
in some capacity. It creates fellowship and builds community for people who would otherwise be disconnected.
The Habitat for Humanity Restore is a retail store through which Habitat Indy funds many of it builds. It works similarly to Goodwill in that it collects donations and resells them. It only collects industrial donations though, anything from sinks to light fixtures to chairs. I would be working to collect the donations, identify their value, and assist with selling them. Along with financing the builds that Habitat does, the Restore is also the connection point in many ways to the larger community that Habitat interacts with. The Restore interacts with thousands of people per year and it allows them to find people wo are in need of help, and those who are willing to volunteer.
I hope this gives anyone who was wondering what I will be doing for the next year an idea what my work is going to look like. Until next time, Chance.
Ever since getting to Indianapolis I have been receiving several letters from family and from members of my home church. I have appreciated the letters from everyone, but it has caused something of a ridiculous problem for myself. As someone who has only sent a handful of letters in my life, and has always had assistance from someone with the task, it was something of lengthy process for me to respond to the people who wrote to me. With electronic forms of communication someone sends you a message and you respond quickly and the process is over and done with in a matter of minutes usually. With writing letters you have to purchase paper, envelopes, and stamps (which somehow required two trips to the store for me) you then have to sit down and physically write something with a pen onto a piece of paper, and then figure out where a post office is. Now I am sure many of you reading this are asking yourself how a grown man is struggling so much with a task that has been mastered by many young children across this country. And although that is fair it is much easier and faster to send an email or a text than a letter and so is becoming a lost art for people such as myself. But as I sat down to write the letters I realized that because of the extra work required to accomplish the task, I put more thought and effort into the letters than I ever put into emails or texts. I slowed down and thought about the people who had taken time out of there life to write me a letter and I tried to answer the letters in a meaningful way that felt similar in a number of ways to how it feels when I pray for someone. And this realization brought me to think about the concept of choosing the easy approach or the methodical choice. Both have their place in this world and I certainly don’t intend to stop emailing or texting all together, but taking my time and thinking through what I want to say, and specifically thinking about the person with whom you are communicating with, shouldn’t be a lost art. So my advice, take some time and write somebody a letter it might be worth the time.