Basketball – preparing our kids for their future (whatever that might be)
I actually wrote this before our teams had won a game… and wanted to share some words of wisdom passed to me by the father of the most valuable player from the best team in the girls’ competition.
The assembly this morning was a lovely way to round out the trip and I will be posting links to the hours and hours of video which I need to upload which will have the goals scored by our boys and girls. Here is the small one I prepared for this mornings presentation.
Thank you to the school for the gifts of appreciation.
Some thoughts on why dedication to basketball is good for kids and why we need to think strategically about this… (a working title)
When filming the girls game, the parents of the highest scoring individual from probably the best girls team were filming alongside me and we had a chance to chat about the differences in the way the kids approach the game, the way coaching is done and the way the game is played. I am talking about the difference between our (Darwin) approach to the game and the way these teams from Asia generally approach these competitions.
Apart from the obvious discipline, amount and quality of the training and competition was one statement the father passed onto me. He said if the girls on his daughter’s team could please that coach, they would be able to please any CEO of a company they would work for.
A profound statement on a number of fronts. Firstly the dedication to sport demonstrated by these students (it is 6am here and the basketballs have been bouncing on the court for 15 minutes already with of the teams shooting hoops and talking through the days play. Not hard training, but committed training. The coach in the case of what counts on the court is the CEO and the players interaction is with the coach. Because the coach is tough on his charges, they can only imagine what the club owner would do to his coach if they don’t perform (and we see that in the big league).
Let’s face it, not all our kids will go on to become NBA champions. As a parent, my initial feelings were that sport was to be enjoyed, provided a level of fitness and taught people to work in teams. The added opportunities like this trip were an added bonus from the international experience and cultural exposure perspective.
What our kids will do is go on to get a job or create a job. They may work for someone or run a business in which case their customers are their boss.
Learning basketball plays and following them as a team, training at 6am, listening to, respecting and following the coaches direction are things that will win games, but if followed by the team members and enforced by the coach will build the discipline, respect, resilience and offer the rewards that will not only make them match ready, but work-life ready.
I had been looking at the basketball experience as just a basketball experience and honestly what is played in Darwin is more a social gathering of young people than a disciplined educational and skill enhancement process. Now having seen that combination of discipline, resilience and respect in the other basketball teams, I see not only good basketballers, but potential leaders and people I would hire into a business.
Now before anyone starts wringing their hands or worrying, our teams have never been exposed to this and have experienced 3 matches. We have our players as young as 11 and 12 playing against 16 year olds. I am extremely thankful that Joe and all teammates have had this opportunity to be here and see, hear and experience this from not a teacher, a coach or a parent – but up close and personal from people their own age.
Are they rising to the challenge? Absolutely. Has any harm been done? Definitely not. Are they still having a great time? Just watch the videos. Do they still have a long way to go? Yes. Is it worth it? Heck Yeah!!!
The nature of Essington is to provide a variety of experiences beyond sitting in the classroom dealing with the 3RRRs…. How we as parents assist in the interpretation of those experiences in the context of our child’s future life depends on whether we see through the simple value of the activity to its application in future life or the solid foundation it creates for the future.
So, although some may not draw the connection between bouncing a ball on a court and becoming a CEO, I was lucky enough to receive and see that for myself yesterday and it has helped me simplify that into 6 words that could represent The Essington Cannons’ Basketball Code
- Passion (with purpose)
- Curiosity (with intent)
Thank you to the Dad who made me think about why basketball has an importance that extends beyond the sport itself.