The boys basketball tournament at Robert Bateman Secondary demonstrated how skilled and competitive boys and coaches are at that level. With only one exception, I was impressed with the attitude of players and coaches. The one exception was a coach who, in the opinion of many spectators, appeared to be more intent on winning than on developing his players. Early in the game his team was ahead by 6 points and he called a time out to scold them. Throughout the game he was loud and disrespectful in his instructions and comments to his team.
Unfortunately, his thinking and attitude were reflected in rough play by the team.
I have long believed coaching young players in any sport is an opportunity to prepare them for adult life. They are developing attitudes and values they will rely on in adversity and also in success. Sports can teach discipline, commitment, respect for others, staying strong in times of disappointment, and much more.
I mentioned the negative approach of this coach to a longtime, highly successful coach of Abbotsford softball teams. He told me that at the beginning of each year he had a chat with the parents of his players. His primary message to them was don’t be critical when players make a mistake. They are young. Encourage them. His teams won numerous medals. This coach wanted to help his players develop a sound foundation for all of life.
My grandson played in the basket ball tournament this weekend. I am pleased that his coach is an encourager. At his age, positive mentoring is more important than winning.