Friday, December 09, 2005

I Love This Game

The pressure was on. There were 11 seconds on the clock and we had the ball. "Time Out," coach yelled. When the team came in to the huddle we were saying the same thing. "We are up by two, don't shoot. Don't shoot. We are not looking for the shot." For most teams this would've been a given, but with this group of girls, it was not. They were notoriuos for doing everything, we didn't tell them to do or the opposite of what we did. I was praying. The point guard especially seemed to be playing on her own team sometimes and now the ball and consequently the game was in her hands. Oh Lord. They began swinging the ball and every time it passed I got a little nervous. The ball was back in her hands, she dribbled and dribbled. The girl was all on her. She stepped backcourt. It was Jim Hill's ball. Jim Hill called the time-out this time, but we already knew what they were saying. "Get the ball to #23." We were saying," Anybody, everybody, don't let 23 get free. Stay on that girl. All the way on that girl." Now 23 was (still is) Jim Hill's shooter. The girl was good. all otuside the three point line. She could kill us all by herself. We couldn't lose this game, we had fought to hard.
The clock started to run. Jim Hill passed the ball, 23 ws trying to get open. They set a pick for her. Someone else picked her up 6 seconds left. Another pick, someone else picks her up 3 seconds, she gets the ball and shoots. She misses but they rebound and put up a lay-up. we're going into overtime.
We were stressing that we have worked too hard to lose now. Teamwork on 3. The huddle breaks. Coach looks at me. I smile. We can do this. Jim Hill starts out with a lay-up and we answer. this goes on for about 2 minutes until we miss one and they are up by 4. 1:36 on the clock. We swing the ball and get a lay-up down by 2 now. Jim Hill turns the ball over and we get it back. We get fouled on the drive and the ball goes in. 3 shots. She goes to the line with us up by two. 37 seconds left on the clock. She makes the first., but there is a violation on us. No basket. We've still got two more. She sinks them both and we're up by four. Jim Hill calls time-out. When the girls come to the huddle, coach looks at me. Give em your slogan, it worked last time. I say, "There is no such thing as a 4 point shot. If it comes down to it , let them shoot, just don't foul." Jim Hill gets the ball in under their goal. They swing it to 23, she sets up and we back off just enough to give her room. She seems shocked and hesitiates. There are 6 seconds left. She shoots and misses and we recover the rebound. Provine wins.
At the door of the locker room, The point guard looks at me and says, "Coach, we listened." Then she gives me the sweatiest hug I've had in a long time. "I know, it's about time"

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Reflections on first semester of teaching

Since this is not my first semester of teaching, I must reflect on this year vs last year. This time last year, I was tired, mad, upset and hurt. I was already on burnout stage. I was beginning to wonder if I could handle the burnout. I was praying for Christmas to come so that I could get a much needed break.
This year is so much different. Although, the situation hasn't changed much I've learned to cope better. My classroom is much better, because I've learned new ways to keep my students engaged and excited. They are eager to learn and come in every day asking what they get to do today. It is great. Even my principal is coming around. He has learned that I work hard and is giving me more and more of a leadership role in the school. It is exciting to know that he is putting more trust in me.
Basketball is my new outlet. I love coaching and after a long day's work when it has been a rough day, coaching is a great relaxation. The enjoyment of getting a group of kids to believe in themselves and win is the most exhilarating feeling I've had in a long time.
This first semester has had its ups and downs. I've changed classrooms twice and subjects once. I've gotten a whole new group of students and the class still isn't settled yet. I'm still breaking them in, but it's not as bad as I first thought.
All in all, this has been a great first semester.