It's all about perspective. I think I'm getting older, but my students tell me, no you're not, that bus has already made it to the station and you're in the front seat fitted with a drool bucket and a pair of Depends. All that aside, with age comes wisdom and reflection. Well at least I can be reflective?! So let me reflect.
About five years ago I retired from coaching. I finally had time to go home and take a nap after school so I would be wide awake for the 4:30 supper hour. Time to order my trifocals and make sure the blinkers in my car were in working order so I could drive for miles and leave my turning signals on. I was ready for retirement! Then, three years ago Coach Bailey told me he was back into coaching as therefore so was I. Who was I to argue?
Roughly two years ago, Coach Bailey informs me that it as time to take all my vast knowledge of basketball, all the offenses I ran back in the day, basically everything I knew about basketball and toss it out the window. We were going to run something called The System. Those first few weeks of practice, Coach Bengen and I would toss a coin after practice to try to figure out who was going to tell Coach Bailey he was officially, certifiably, without question NUTS!
I distinctly remember when I was in high school coming down the floor leading a one on four fast break. I'm into shooting range and nobody picks me up so I pull the trigger and swosh, nothing but net. The crowd goes crazy as did Coach Clifton. He pulled me out and had me on the bench so fast that my shadow made three more trips up and down the floor until it finally found me on the bench. It was hard to focus on what Coach was saying because of the color of his face and the spray of spit hitting me in the face as he discussed his feelings regarding my shot selection. He seemed to think that the next time that situation presented itself, it would be a good idea to wait until a couple of my buddies made it down the floor to rebound on the off chance I missed. I decided the timing was all wrong to bring to Coach's attention at that particular time that three of my other four teammates would place 5th, 6th and 7th in a four man race.
Thirty five years later, one of the Rebel gals has a 1 on 4 fast break and decides not to take the wide open twenty foot shot. Coach Bailey comes unglued because she did NOT take the shot! Welcome to The System. It is organized chaos. Once I decided it was maybe best I just listen to Coach and stay out of the way, I started having one of the best coaching experiences I have had since way back in the day! Say what you will about the system, it is a LOT of fun!
I really can't thank Coaches Bailey and Gillespie enough for bringing the System to G-R. In two years we set a national scoring record and lead the state in points scored per game. Everybody plays and typically you could not slap the smiles off the faces of the girls because they were having so much fun. I think Coach Bailey needs to be commended for having the guts to do what makes a lot of people scratch their heads. Coach Gillespie, what can I say. If you don't know the guy or haven't had the chance to talk to him, you need to make a point of it if you ever see him. He is one of the most unique, fun loving guys I have ever met.
Well hey, I am just about done rambling here but I need to mention one more group of people. I have been doing this coaching thing for about thirty years now and I have to tell you that this group of seniors is a group I won't soon forget. Brittney, Emily Stoakes, Emily Dinsdale, Paige, Addi, and Jenna are pretty neat kids. They are quality people both on and off the floor. When I'm around these kids you would have a hard time slapping the smile off of my face because they are just fun to be around. My wife tells me there are two things nobody should ever see during the winter, a hibernating grizzly bear and my legs. Evidently many of the seniors feel the same way and think my chicken legs are worth mentioning. In addition they seem to be easily entertained because they thought seeing a basketball hit me in the face was hilarious. All that aside, I really had a blast. I know Coach Bailey feels the same way about these kids.
The seniors are not the only cog of this fast moving wheel we call The System. Emily Snidermiester, Erin Wentzien, Britt Keller, Taylor Flamme, Rachel Bown and Nicole Adair were just as important to The System as the seniors. These guys are going to make for a great returning nucleus for the 2012-2013 campaign. The only problem may stem from lightheadedness when Snidermeister sucks all the air out of the gym because she NEVER STOPS TALKING nor does she stop giving me a hard time!
Okay, well my student teacher finishes up this Friday so I won't be burdening any of you with anymore of my ramblings for A LONG TIME. Thanks Rebel gals and coaches for letting me be a part of something special. I had a great time!