Yesterday I had the opportunity to sit down with two seniors and do career reflections of two four year players. Four years ago the team I coached was a tremendous group of people that did not win many basketball games. In fact we didn’t win basketball games. We won basketball game. We finished 1 and 21. That group consisted of two freshmen that just played their last game as seniors two weeks ago. Things got better from a win-loss standpoint, but I think it was their attitude and the journey they endured as freshmen that helped contribute. They never stopped working or wanting to be coached. I asked the two of them a few questions this week to help gain some perspective on what they took out of their whole experience. I also asked them for three goals even though they obviously will not be returning. Here’s what they said to a few questions I asked:
Do you think it would be helpful for all players to see their shooting percentages, plus/minuses, etc.? Do you think the numbers might get in people’s heads and cause them to play for stats rather than with passion and fearlessness?
Player 1: I think stats would be good, but maybe don’t show shooting percentage. Turnovers is fine as is plus/minus.
Player 2: Yes! I don’t even think shooting percentage is a big deal because you [coaches] never discourage us away from shooting.
What’s your greatest regret over the past four years?
Player 1: That’s hard. I guess just not playing fearless at times. I was afraid and I wish I had not been as fearful.
Player 2: The assistant coach always talked about putting in the work in the off-season. I was more focused on working on getting better at soccer, but I feel like if I had devoted myself to working harder in the offseason I could have been so much better.
What is your favorite memory of the last four years? Why?
Player 1: The home tournament game junior year. Everyone was there. It was actually probably my favorite memory not just of basketball, but of high school in general.
Player 2: The home tournament game. Our focus and energy was so high for that game. I was so happy to be playing as one of twelve people in front of all those people that there were there to see us.
When you become a basketball coach (at any level), what is the first thing you would take from what we do? What is the first thing you would do differently?
Player 1: I would preach to put the process over results.
Player 2: I would implement the Pyramid. I learned so much beyond basketball by the quotes and the end of practice salute to teammates.
Eighteen years flew by and you are now finished with high school athletics. It’s just one of many things that prove life is finite. When ultimately your life does end, what will be a sentence that summarizes your life?
Player 1: I gave everything I could give in sports, relationships, jobs, etc.
Player 2: I don’t know. I’m still young.