I seem to fall into a very small group of coaches. While I understand the ultimate goal of basketball is to win, I don’t really care. Yes, it is nice to win and it’s not so nice to lose, but I there’s more to it and I’m trying to pass this on to my girls.
Last night, my girls played horrendously. Yes, we lost (37-2) but it wasn’t the points that mattered to me. By the end of the first quarter, I had moved beyond angry into some surreal realm where I could barely function. Generally, when I’m coaching, I am in constant motion. I stand and pace, yelling encouragement and direction. Last night, however, I sat. And I didn’t speak. At halftime, I followed the girls into the locker room and told them to figure it out on their own because they obviously didn’t remember or care what I had taught them. Then I left the locker room and sat on the bench. Several parents were concerned, but I just sat there.
What was the problem? They argued with each other – even on the court while they were supposed to be playing. They blamed each other – again, on the court and off. They refused to play as a team. I felt humiliated. Not by the score but by my team.
My coaching philosophy is simple. We succeed as a team, we fail as a team. Winning is not success and losing is not failure. Throughout today I have begun to realize that I am mad because I feel like I failed them, like I’m not a good enough coach.
We have two more games in this tournament. I hope we can succeed.