Sunday, March 26, 2017

Becoming Ballers

Now that we live in Indiana and are Hoosiers, I felt the need to introduce the boys to the game of basketball. They had very little experience with it to this point. Watching them dribble was.....painful.

I signed them up for an Upwards Basketball program at a nearby church. The Upwards program strives to teach not only the athletic portion of the game, but also focuses on the spiritual, social, and mental sides also. There are devotional times at each practice and game where they share a Bible verse and important virtue/character. And the coaches recognize different awards at each game (effort, offense, defense, sportsmanship, Christ-likeness). All kids get equal playing time and they don't start keeping score until the oldest age bracket (3rd/4th grade).

Overall, I was EXTREMELY impressed with the coaches, the church staff, and the referees we interacted with. (And yes, I just sent an email to the director telling him all of that). They really see it as a ministry and are so good at what they are doing.

Our boys improved quite a bit. I'll admit they were some of the weaker skilled ones on their teams. They were both on the younger side of their division (1st/2nd grades were together and 3rd/4th grades). But they both improved SOOOO much by the end of the season. Tate even scored 4 baskets in their last game. I'm not even sure if he touched the ball in the first game as he spent most of his offensive time just running around, completely oblivious to who had the ball and where, just trying to juke the kid that was guarding him.

Some of the phrases you may have heard me shouting from the spectator spot:

"Where's your man? Find your man!!!!"

"You're on offense now!!! Stop guarding your man!"

"Get your hands out of your pockets!"

"Put your water bottle down!" (lest he have it up to his mouth the ENTIRE time he was on the bench....not drinking...just chewing on it). 

"Where's the ball? Find the ball!"

"Don't back away from the ball!"


"He's on your team! Don't take the ball from him!"