This really great guy, Bill Getris said this. And it’s so freakishly true. He was a basketball coach at Salinas high and he was known for very eloquent phrases.
They say people who have the most ‘struggles’ are the ones that are the strongest. Maybe that’s true. I hope that’s true.
Being a basketball coach, or probably any mentor-type person, is really fun. It’s so exciting. But with all the success and all the ah-ha! moments comes the moments where things just don’t add up. Or don’t come together right.
It’s easy to feel like you’re in control of everything as a coach. Then when tough things happen, it’s easy to blame yourself. Maybe not ‘blame’, but it’s easy to feel like you could have changed it.
People can get seriously injured. Basketball is really physical. I get very worried and lose sleep when my girls are injured. An injury can effect you for your entire life. My girls are 17 years old. They have so much life left to live.
It hurts me to know that in a moment, not even a moment… a millisecond, someone’s life can be altered forever. All it takes is being hit the wrong way or falling. Not paying perfect attention at the wrong time.
I can’t control injuries.
I love how basketball becomes such a positive thing for so many of the girls. I know those 120 minutes every afternoon are some of the best minutes they have during high school. It’s what basketball was for me. It’s where life made sense. All the chicken
shit poo fell away and what was left was me. It was like no matter how out of breath I was, I could finally breathe.
Basketball should be a safe place for these girls. I want to MAKE it a safe place.
I can’t make something that for someone.
The four walls of the gym create this alternate reality. It should be that once you walk through the foyer and past the double doors. You’re suddenly in this place where you trust 14 other people implicitly. In an instant, someone who you cant stand becomes your ally.
But what people don’t see… when this doesn’t happen… the four walls, those four simple un-decorated tope-colored walls become suffocating. It feels like drowning. Those 120 minute become Hell. No one gets it unless they’ve lived it.
I’ve lived it.
I hurt for her.
There is only so much you can do as a coach. I can’t make those 120 minutes perfect for all 15 girls. And like it or not, we do carry our lives, our choices, our ‘drama’ into the gym with us.
I can’t control people’s choices.
Maybe I care too much? Maybe I can’t leave what happens in the gym ‘in the gym’? But I ache today. I’ve cried black-mascara tears today. Life feels like chaos today.
I can’t control everything. I can’t make chicken salad out of chicken poo. Chicken salad is perfection and life isn’t.
Tomorrow is a new day. And I’ll keep caring, probably too much.