My niece played her first season of basketball. She’s in the the 5th grade. She came off the bench. She didn’t get many minutes. She never scored any points. However, she had fun. She enjoys the game of basketball.
She had her moments when she didn’t know what to do. She didn’t understand why sometimes she only played less than 1 minute. I told her not to worry about playing time but to focus and learn about how to play the game, the rules of the game and playing on a team.
Some things I enjoyed during her first season of basketball: Her looking over at me in the stands during warm up after attempting her layups. Her coming over to the bleachers before heading to the bench to get her bottle of Gatorade or water. Then saying “Thank you, Auntie.” Her facial expression when her coach told her to check-in for the very first time. When she started jumping for rebounds, after I worked with her on jumping. Her first free throw attempt during a game. Her reaction while watching video of herself playing basketball. Her running faster during games because she saw how slow she was running while watching the video of herself. And sitting in the stands answering basketball questions from her little sister, who is in the 1st grade and will be starting her first season of basketball in a couple of weeks.
As a fourth grader, the basketball coach would not let my niece try out for the team. She was hurt. It hurt me that he rejected her like that. It was something that she really wanted to do. I told her not to worry about it. I would work with her over the next few months so she could play basketball the following year. She attended training sessions with me weekly and she made the team as a fifth grader. Throughout the season, I would ask her what she thought of basketball. Her response, “It’s fun!”
Decide What You Want
I didn’t know my niece had an interest in basketball until she told me the coach would not let her come out for the team as a fourth grader.
Create a Plan
I’m proud of my niece for having a positive attitude about working with me, when the coach rejected her.
Work the Plan
Every time I was in the gym training, which was weekly. She was there at the workout.
Because of her dedication, she made the 5th/6th grade team. She was a rookie to the sport and team. When she had moments of frustration or confusion, I was there to keep her on track to remain positive and to continue to learn.
I’m looking forward to working with her this spring to build on her basketball experience.