Today’s blog is written by Cyprus Fellow Sean Wright about the start of the new season and being back on the court coaching the children.
This week marks the beginning of the 2016-2017 season here at PPI-CY. Practices are finally starting back up, which means my job just got much more fun! Being out on the court is where I am my most natural. Teaching this game of basketball which has done so much for me in my life to the next generation always brings a smile to my face. I have my work cut out for me this year, because after two practices this week at The English School of Kyrenia, I’ve learned that if I don’t bring crazy energy each day, these kids are going to eat me up!!!
Their attitude is contagious. No matter how I feel on the drive to practice, once I get on that court and see the fire burning in the kids’ eyes to have fun, I am right there with them. There are different skill levels among the children, but that doesn’t effect how hard they try. I’ve always been taught from my coaches over the years that you can learn the skills necessary to play the game and have fun, but you can’t teach effort. These kids must have learned this same philosophy because each one of them is a ball of energy the whole time and give great effort.
We kept practice very basic to begin with since it is the first week, starting with learning how to do a layup. Some of the kids got the technique right away, and some of them had a harder time with it. This is when I love being a coach, in these specific moments. Being able to correct some of the kids who were having a hard time with the footwork, then watching them doing it right the next turn brings so much joy to this job. Seeing the smile on their faces after they know they did it correctly is so gratifying. Now there were still some who couldn’t get it right by the end of the 1st session and were frustrated, but I assured them it’s only the first week and in no time they will be a layup machine!
At the end, we had a little competition where if they made four layups as a group, I would do 20 pushups. However, if they didn’t make the four layups, they would do five pushups. They lost, so I offered them double or nothing. If they lost again, they would do 10 pushups, but if they won, they wouldn’t do any. They ended up with three, so I gave them the chance to let one person go again. They chose someone who made it before, and they thought they were going to win when all the sudden I came out of nowhere to block the layup. The look on these kids faces were priceless. Obviously I didn’t make them do the pushups, I’m not that mean. They got me back by putting bunny ears on my head for the selfie to the right. We’re going to have some fun this year!!!!