Whenever I’m speaking to a large group of children, especially a group of aspiring basketball players, there is typically one question I will hear, after the kids learn that I’ve played pro-ball:
“Hey Coach, what was the best thing about playing professional basketball?”
Before I could answer, another child would try to answer for me with something like, “the money!” I would respond, “No.” “The lifestyle!” Again, I would often reply smiling with a “No.” My answer would be,
“For my entire life it has been and will always be about the relationships.”
Being able to meet people from the different countries where I played and the ability to develop lifetime relationships with them is what I cherish the most.
LIFE Lesson Learned
One lesson team sports teach you is the opportunity to learn how to work well with others in times of adversity. This is a lesson that our students will take with them in life, whether in the classroom, work life, or family. I view myself as a very friendly and outgoing person, but if it hadn’t been for sports, I wouldn’t be this CONFIDENT in nurturing and seeking new RELATIONSHIPS. I want my students to epitomize this characteristic.
Every time a new student joins one of our basketball experiences, we have a ritual that occurs. Each veteran leader will walk over to the newcomer and introduce themselves with a strong, firm handshake while looking them in the eye. From my experiences, I have learned that this small gesture carries a very hidden powerful message of camaraderie and inclusion.
Some people say that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. So, I leave you with this – never give up on lifetime friends, but do let go of the ones that are draining you of energy and your positive mindset. At EMA, we plan to encourage our students to develop this characteristic of nurturing and developing relationships while only surrounding themselves with positive and empowering people.
Quote of the Month:
“It’s not what you know, but who you know”