Saturday, November 7, 2015

Basketball Season Again

     Basketball season is among us once again.  A time of year we spend picking up kids from practice, spending countless hours at games and getting home late week nights, living on concession stand food, and dealing with victory and defeat. For a Basketball coach's wife it's the time of year we gain numerous kids in addition to our own, sport our favorite coach's team colors, share our husband with many other women , and men , lol. Our children share their dad with many other kids even when they need him at home. Our coach spends countless hours in the gym and at games and his time at home watching game films, going over plays, talking on the phone about games past and games to come.  Not to mention hubby and wife time is spent with me standing in as a ball player as he goes through plays :) It is a form of foreplay so to speak haha. I cannot tell you how many nights I have spent standing in as my coach's post player, etc. Trust me when I say those hours have been spent way more than sit down family dinners or date nights! Date nights are game nights.
     Love him or hate him, one would be absolutely flabbergasted to know what all my coach knows about the sport. He has studied it and still studies it as I studied nursing, or one studies accounting, medical, or management.  He is not only a coach, but an ear to listen to his players, a father figure for those without, just as he was for my oldest, a social worker, a nurse, but most of all a hardcore, nose to the grindstone basketball coach! He expects the most out of his team and expects the whole unit to work as one. He is tough and very passionate about his work. I do not like a plethora of things about being married to a coach, I'm not the best coach's wife by far, but the one thing that I do love, admire, and respect is his love for the game. I've seen it time and time again players that adore him, look up to him, and even hate him. Every child that I know that mentioned not liking my coach always by season's end, and in two instances, the players decided once my coach was done coaching them that they loved and respected him. I've sat and witnessed him help children from past teams get scholarships and continue to assist them any way he can. I've seen countless tweets to his buddy Jamal Crawford of the Clippers asking questions about my coach and Jamal answering truthfully that my coach was an inspiration and mentor to him! Wimp Sanderson calls him occasionally to say hello. That says a lot about what type of player and team mate he was to coach Sanderson. I admire his dedication to his passion.  But most of all I respect and admire how he followed his lifelong and childhood dreams.  To me, that's what makes him so knowledgeable is he had times he wasn't played much, his times he improved, and he worked at all spare hours, all year around to improve, and then he had the times he experienced the excitement, but also the pressure, of being the star.  The highly recruited all American High school basketball elite! I have a file folder full of recruitment letters from every college I could think of.  You seriously cannot imagine, I couldn't, until you see them for yourself!  I questioned him on the subject of WHY? Why of all these schools did he choose LITTLE ROCK ARKANSAS?? He was very direct and passionate about telling me he always wanted to play for Wimp.  So he has played rec ball, junior high ball, varsity ball, college ball, and played pro ball over seas.  So this is what makes him an awesome, yet very tough, coach! He has been there and done that in every possible situation. Since he could walk he was on the court following one of the best coaches.  His father HL. So many do not always understand or agree but trust me, I've seen it time and time again, once the team buys in and does what he asks, they WIN! It takes a couple of years usually to succeed to the level he would like to when you take over a new program, but mark my word he will win! He will produce college ball players! Most importantly those kids learn, "hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." His favorite quote! 
     Just this week I had a child that he coached that left MSHS after he did and played for Winfield. This child plays at Shelton State along with 2 of his other former players.   I commented on Facebook, on a post that Ryan's mother posted how proud she was of her son. How excited she was to watch him play ball at Shelton this season.  This child was friends with my son, he is one of the many boys, between both of my sons' friends that call me Mum, and I commented on her post.  "I am so proud I know you are!" She replies to my comment "thank you your husband had very much to do with Ryan's basketball success!"  Warms my heart! My proudest moment was in the past we had a troubled child on a team. He didn't care about school or anything much, stayed in trouble.  My coach never gave up on him and told him he cared for him deeply and about his well being and knew he had potential! That child loves my coach still and that child stayed in school, played his heart out all season!! 
    My coach loves the game, loves the kids, admires the parents for pushing their kids and not allowing them to quit, and I believe, it's his calling.  Never in my life, prior to meeting my coach, who also coached one of my boys, and cut one of my boys, would have just as many books on basketball as I had through basics and nursing school! There's a method to his madness and him and his team will succeed and reach goals set! Wait and see 😏 
    In the meantime I will be here to hear the stories you never will, share his concerns and excitement, comfort him in defeat, and see the tears for any of his players pain! 
     Now let's play some basketball! Go hard or go home! Go Bulldogs!!!! I'm pulling for my favorite coach forever and always :)