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Sunday, February 16, 2014

"Got To Be Looking Forward"

The great thing about coaching high school is you always see young players coming up with potential. When you watch junior high players, they are always enthusiastic, play with passion, and have so much potential.

I always joke that whenever I go to a Churchill- Lombard game, somebody always says to me, "Coach, you have got to be excited about this group coming up." This year was no exception, I had three people say the exact version of this statement.

And I don't ever hesitate, "Yes, I am excited this group." That is why I am still coaching. It is easy to see the potential of the young players coming up.

Without a doubt, more people talked to me about Molly Watson than any junior high player who has played in Galesburg.
- "She is going to be great."
- "Will she be on the varsity as a freshmen?"
- "She could start for your varsity as an 8th grader."
- "She is the most exciting player you have ever had."
- "You'll go to State with her."

The truth is that had heard people say some of the same things about players before Molly. So while I was excited about Molly's potential, I had heard some of this before, I was more reserved than some others.

Molly fulfilled her potential. She started and dominated starting as a soph. By her senior year, she led our team to an undefeated regular season record and the #1 ranking in Illinois. (and we didn't have 4 classes- that was with all the big schools.)

Molly had talent as an 8th grader but the key was she did not settle. She worked and worked and worked. She did everything we do as a team but she did hours and hours more on her own.

Not everyone has that approach. My first year coaching, I was an assistant in boys basketball. We had a 6'3" guard who was a sophomore. He was so athletic. He could dunk and had great quickness. Some thought he might become the best player in school history. He had that kind of potential. He had a nice 15 foot jumper and was quick going to his right. As a senior, he was not the greatest player in school history. He could still dunk, he was still quick going to his right, and had a nice 15 foot jumper. But sadly he had never developed his left hand so people camped his right hand. And defenders pushed outside 15 feet and he had not developed a longer shot.

Potential is a gift. But potential is not a promise, rather potential is challenge.

There have been girls I have seen on our junior high teams with so much potential. I have been excited to see how they grow as a player. Sadly some junior high girls don't have the drive to fulfill their potential. Fortunately at GHS, we have been blessed with many girls who have worked to fulfill their potential and to even go beyond what others envisioned for them.

This year it was exciting to watch the 8th graders play in the Churchill vs. Lombard game. There are girls who have so much potential. I am excited to see what their goals and their work ethic will be in basketball. I hope some of them have big dreams and a strong drive.

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