One of the first and most valuable lessons a young athlete learns is that it takes work to get better. There’s no cheating the game: no work, no shine. It’s a lesson that I carry with me every day. And I think it rings true for accomplishing just about anything that is important in life.
It hurts to lose, make mistakes, be embarrassed, or feel that let your team down. But good things can grow from bad outcomes.
A good coach or mentor will find something positive in any situation. Sometimes it might only be that it’s OK to just let some things go — to forget about it and move forward.
As a parent, there are few things that I want more for my children than for them to be happy, resilient, and confident, with a healthy belief in their potential and possibility.
Basketball does this, and the traits it develops are transferable into other areas of our lives.
But basketball is also a team sport.
I’ve spent most of my life as a member of teams. It’s been a blessing to wake up and work with people who share a common passion and goals. I’ve never taken it for granted. Nothing beats the camaraderie and fraternity of teams — the laughter, arguing, teasing, and shouting. The sharing of weddings, news about the births of our children, the passing of loved ones. The venting, crying, and critiquing. Winning and losing together. Holding each other accountable.
It’s not just that I enjoy being part of a team. I realized not long ago that teams are all I know. I function best within one. Teams provide connection, a place of belonging, and shared experiences and memories. Over time, my teams have become like second families.
It’s a gift to be able to provide these types of experiences to our kids. When you consider how common teams are in the workplace, how can you not conclude that youth sports are a great way for to prepare our kids for the future? Teams are their future. I’m a firm believer in it.
Which reminds me why I’m so excited about our plans for 2020.
Our new newsletter is also the product of a team collaboration. From those who convinced me to reflect and share my experiences in this way, to the writers, designers and contributors who make it possible. It’s been a team effort the whole way through.
I couldn’t do any of the things I do without my team 🙏🏿.
To those who have been with me on this journey: thank you.