Our season came to an end last week with a hard-fought, highly competitive game in our conference tournament. It was the story of our season – a lot of hard-fought, highly competitive games, some of which, like this one, we lost. As we process the season, I am struck by how essential our team huddles at time-outs had become for our young team. We had so much information and so many reminders to dispense. Basketball is such a fast-paced, free-flowing game and players must be able to process information quickly. That’s why reminders from coaches and reminders between teammates take on such an important role in the game.
BASKETBALL – Communicate reminders.
Here are some of the reminders we were dispensing at the end of the year: “Hold your follow-through on your free throw,” “Move in response to the dribbler,” “Fill our trap break spots,” and “Make sure you hit the boards.” Come to think of it, we were saying those things all year! As a coach, you have to teach in practice and then constantly remind your players when they take the floor. That’s the nature of coaching players – you can’t do it for them, but you can do a great job of preparing them and then remind them as they go along. And you know you have a special team when the reminding happens frequently and naturally out on the floor. I was reminded of that as I watched a clip from one of my favorite sources of basketball reminders, the Point Guard College, and from their director, Dena Evans, and her website at Keys to the Gym.
Dena does a terrific job of teaching and her reminders to point guards are really great reminders for anyone who wants to be a better player and coach.
LIFE – Parenting equals reminding.
In my real life, I’m a parent and guess what? I do a lot of reminding. It’s not that I don’t trust my kids, I just know how many things are out there ready to test them, trap them, teach them, tempt them, and trick them. When I was in school, I liked reminders before I took tests and I think it helps my kids have a better chance of dealing with things. After all, that’s what I really want, to train them to handle whatever they’ll face. And when they don’t know exactly what to do, those reminders will help them make wise decisions. We have kids at three levels – college, high school and middle school. Some of the reminders never change: “Remember to say thank you,” “Don’t forget to brush your teeth,” and “Make sure you eat breakfast.” Others seem obvious, but are pretty important like “Don’t ever get into a car with someone who’s been drinking,” “Be careful what information you give out online,” “Don’t text while you drive”, and “don’t burn the house down” (I actually have to say that every time I leave my son at home – so far, it’s been working).
Some have huge life implications like “If he/she is not into Jesus, they’re not into you” or “In any social situation, remember whose you are.” I guess, I feel that you can never have too many reminders! And when my kids don’t get them from me I also try to give them other great resources to be reminded about the important issues in life. One I’ve recommended to my oldest son, Life 201 from Relevant Magazine, is a contemporary source of great reminders for handling the social issues facing teens and young adults like relationships, sex, careers, and entertainment. Since I deal with that age group a lot, I encourage you to check it out!
FAITH – The ultimate reminders.
God’s word, the Bible, is a book of reminders. These reminders, especially in the Old Testament, were laws and guidelines for God’s chosen people, but they also serve as important reminders for us today, so important that God tells us to remind our children, like a good coach who reminds his players, on a daily basis:
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deut. 6:6-7)
But just as important, God’s word provides an endless supply of reminders about the loving, merciful, forgiving nature of God. Those reminders serve as a lifeline of hope as we deal with the pains and frustrations of this world. Remember, you can find hope and comfort in God’s Word for whatever difficulty you face! Here are three reminders God has been giving me in recent days, and as a good coach, I want to remind you that:
1. God never gives up on you. Hebrews 13:5 says ” . . .Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” God is with you no matter what you do.
3. God Wins. Jesus reminds us in John 16:33 “. . . In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” No matter what happens to you, no matter what trouble you have, in the end, God wins!