This is certainly an interesting time. Considering my grandmothers are quick to tell me that they have not seen anything like it, well, it is a very unique and, I dare say, historical situation.
It is a time of suffering for many, so we should be sensitive to that. Grieve with those who grieve. But we should also take some notes and learn from this experience. On a personal level, I have certainly had more opportunity to reflect. As a college coach, I have used the time to re-evaluate my entire program. And as the director of Crispin Basketball, I have done the same. The various additions to this website are an indication of this.
But what about the personal level. As a father, I typically spend (or could spend) most of my evenings and weekends at a youth sports event. If I am not recruiting, I am probably at a game or practice. All that is gone. So in the midst of this lack, what can I learn? Here’s three quick lessons for today.
First, I have learned that I want more days set aside with nothing on the calendar.
I want this for myself and for my family. I will never prefer weeks on end of empty days (like we have now), but I have seen clearly that we as a family need more days like this. But when things get back to normal (whenever that may be), it will require massive amounts of discipline to set aside these days.
Right now, it’s mandatory. But let’s face it, the moment it is voluntary, we can easily fill up every night and weekend with youth sports or youth activates (we have five kids after all!). But is this really what’s best? Is it really what we want? I don’t think so. Some adjustments need to be made.
Second, I have been reminded that a great deal of love and knowledge is shared in the driveway.
Imagination and relationship can be shared in the driveway. As many of you know, we have been putting together some videos for Instagram during this time. More often than not, the video times have led to more one-on-one games. And the one-on-one games have lead to conversations about little areas of improvement and ways to be more creative. The boys have also found apps to use to improve their skills and connect with others. But all this has happened at home!
The dominant message of our youth sports culture today is that unless you run around and do this thing and that thing, you can’t keep up. Your child will fall behind. You need to keep going, keep yourself busy, join the next group.
I think it’s a lie. Naturally, we wouldn’t be in business if I didn’t see benefit to the programs we offer, but there is always a point where enough is enough. The activities themselves shouldn’t be so dominate in our schedules that we can find time for driveway or playground one-on-one! For the driveway and playground is not only a place where knowledge is shared, but where relationships are built. (Incidentally, if we had the playgrounds open, I would argue kids may improve just as much during this time!).
There is more to these things of course. This is not the final word. But this is all worth considering. Time is our more precious commodity and though I, as a parent, am happy to make sacrifices to help my kids improve in the things they love, there is a point of diminishing return. We are wise to pay attention.