Lessons from one coach & eighteen 5th grade girls

This is a guest blog by my friend Barry Owen.  Barry is the dad of one of my daughter’s teammates on a 5th grade girls basketball team.  The following is from Barry’s weekly newsletter – it’s about what we adults can possibly learn from a group of 11 year old girls and a great coach.  (You can learn more about Barrry and his business at paretorealtyllc.com)
When we put out the call for players for our 5th grade Girls Basketball team this season, we were overwhelmed by the response. Due to a few of the League coaches “retiring,” there were many “orphaned” players, and the word got out that we had a great coach.
All of our players from last season returned . . . and when they heard their friends talking about losing their coach, they invited them to join our team. When the dust settled, we had 18 players . . . and so we took them all and fielded 2 complete teams.
From day 1, EVERY player attended EVERY practice (unless sick or out of town) . . . and EVERY player showed up at EVERY game with a BIG smile and good, positive energy for the game.
Parents and Grandparents also showed up. Invariably, our fan section outnumbered our opponent’s 2:1.
We won lots of games and lost some. Our coach David Marmalejo always kept things in perspective . . . our players were there to learn the game and have fun . . . and as long as they were doing those 2 things, the winning and losing part would take care of itself . . . and it did.
This was a winning season of epic proportions. These 5th grade girls learned to love the game of basketball, and they learned a lot about teamwork and good sportsmanship.
The final game was this past Saturday. ALL 18 of our players showed up EARLY and ready to play.
Unfortunately, our opposing team had missed a memo adjusting the game time and did not have enough players – so – we all acknowledged that we were all there for these young athletes to play basketball, so we loaned them 6 of our players. In the course of the game, our players who were playing on the opposing team scored most of their points . . . and the final score was a points loss for us . . . and a HUGE WIN for everyone in terms of lessons learned about good sportsmanship.
This was the BEST ending of a season EVER.
I could write for days about all of the lessons I learned from these girls on and off the court . . . and I wonder . . . How would the world change if we adults paid more attention to the thoughts and actions of our CHILDREN?
They “GET” more than we often give them credit for.
Some folks attribute the gelling of this team to good parenting and good coaching, and I acknowledge those things help . . . but it’s REALLY good kids who made this happen.

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