How Will I Enrich My Community

I am supposed to turn from adolescent into a functional member of society. That is a tall task for a person who is anything but another robot. I am not the fastest talker or smartest thinker, and I do not always know the right things to say, but I challenge you to find a guy with a better attitude.

Regurgitating cliches is not exactly my style, but if I look at a half empty glass I will take it to the faucet and fill it to the rim. Over the summer I helped coach a seventh and eighth grade boy’s basketball camp. Every coach was assigned a team at the beginning of the week and to be honest, my team was not The Dream Team… but I saw potential. Day one was messy. Their fundamentals were unbearable as well as their attitudes. To be successful I knew I would have to boost their confidence, so when I went one on one I would let them take me to the rack. Now I am not the best player, but it is hard to lose when you are two feet taller than your opponent. In theory my plan seemed fool proof. That is until game time arrived. The first two teams handled us with ease and my boys were devastated. They would tell me, “These guys are way too big for us.” I tried to keep their championship hopes alive, but it seemed nearly impossible.
The next day was time for plan B. The one thing my coaches always told me was, “Practice makes perfect.” So that is what we did. Pass, dribble, shoot, defend, and rebound; we practiced at every opportunity. By becoming better individually we would become a better team. The next two days the team improved exponentially. Our record improved to three and three before the final day, the beginning of tournament play.
We were not the perfect team, but our newfound perseverance and work ethic led us to narrowly win the first two games and get us into the championship. Now was a true test for our team. On paper we didn’t match up with our opponent at all. They were taller, faster, and stronger. It was a tight battle until the final whistle, but unfortunately in the end we had lost the championship.
I was expecting my team to once again be devastated, but they were not. Although we had lost the game and were obviously disappointed, every single player on the team was proud of what they had accomplished. These young boys likely will not make it to the NBA because of me, but they learned valuable life lessons that they can use to succeed in society. What I learned is that even though I am not a fast talking, smart thinking robot… I will find a way make my mark.

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