Learn to Coach, Learn to Live
I was waiting behind the three-point line when there were five seconds left in a tied game. I caught the ball with four seconds left, and I was open to take the winning shot. However, at the same moment, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a member of my team driving to the hoop after he broke through the defense. I wasn’t sure what to do. Should I try to make the shot and be the hero or should I make a crisp pass to my teammate so he can make the lay-up? In the end, with time running down, I decided to make the pass to my teammate. He made the lay-up as time expired. We won by two.
After the game, my coach came up to me and said, “That was a great pass, Ian. You should be very proud of yourself. Even though most people won’t think of you as the hero of the game, I do. You had the chance to take the shot but you didn’t. You made the choice to pass the ball to a teammate who had a higher percentage shot than you did. Let me tell you, that took a lot of guts.” My coach’s knowledge and motivation helped inspire me to improve my game. I am a better basketball player today because of my coaches. I am a better person today because I see coaches as wise and experienced leaders. There is nothing more invigorating for a coach than seeing his players win.
I personally have been on several varsity teams, and I have learned so much by playing. I can see where my coaches called a perfect play. I began to understand how to correct mistakes how to take advantage of them. That is how one learns to become a coach. There is no ‘me’ in basketball, only ‘we.’ You play as one team instead of playing behind one player.
The most important thing that a coach has to do is gain the trust of his players. A coach must find his team’s weaknesses and correct them. He must find ways to dribble around them. The advantage of being a player and them a coach is that it is possible to take the ideas of one’s old coach and plant them into your own playbook.
Coaches are gurus in athletic gear. Parents are coaches. People who have depth of experience are to be admired and emulated. Someday, I hope to lead in my own ways: one of these ways is as a coach.#
Ian Taubin is a senior at York Prep.