So Thursday, I get a phone call from one of the park director’s henchmen. He tells me to come in. I ask: why and he says that he didn’t know but that the park director told him to call me and he will be in from 10 to 2 so be here in between then. I am freaking out, thinking that I am getting fired from a volunteer job. I didn’t but I did get another kid on my team. You are probably thinking “Why do you have to come in just to get a new kid on your team.” The reason is because I need to get the paperwork with his contact info (regular number, parent’s names, kid’s school he goes to, emergency contact info, past teams he has played for at the park, and a little more).
So we had practice today. Turns out my new kid is best friend’s with another kid on my team. I didn’t even get to meet the new kid’s parents because he carpooled with my player. This kid is such good friends with my player that he even came to the game. Sounds like a kid who wants to play.
At the beginning of practice, I asked my parents who were there and my team why they thought we lost. Answers that I got were:
– foul trouble
– poor free throw shooting
– relying on one player
Thankfully they did not say “bad coaching” but I am sure that some were probably thinking that. Too bad I don’t.
I did not focus on foul trouble because I like my team to play physical because that is how it is when you get older. I did however tell my kids that is was okay to act like the opposing player fouled you.
I told my kids one thing to prevent fouls: never act guilty.
I promised a dodge ball drill and that is what I gave them. Except this is like monkey in the middle as well. I have one kid stand in a designated area and one person throws the ball as hard as they can at them. Yes, they throw a basketball as hard as they can. No aiming at the feet and I want the player to catch the ball. Surprisingly, the parents were okay with this.
Now to work on rebounding and poor free throw shooting, I combined both. I lined the kids up on the free throw line and told them they were doing 2 suicides. If they made a free throw or got a rebound, I would reduce part of their suicide. (Suicides are in 4 different strides so I simply reduced the length of the suicide for a rebound or made free throw.)
I had no answer for relying on one player. That is the way it is in these park leagues. It is how it is for every team. You have Dirk Nowitzki/Chris Bosh/Michael Redd/Deron Williams and his supporting cast.