Westlake students coach little league basketball

When you first volunteer to coach little league basketball, you assume that it will be mostly for fun; that it will be a smooth ride. When my friends and I signed up, we were under the impression we would have older kids – seventh or eighth graders. But what we got was second graders.

Last year, my friends and I decided to help coach in the Westlake Youth Basketball Association, also known as WYBA. When we signed up, we requested to coach middle schoolers, thinking we would be able to connect with them better than we could with younger kids. But when we were assigned second graders, we had no choice but to accept the challenge handed to us.

It didn’t take long for my friends and me to figure out we were not prepared to handle these kids. Five minutes in to our first practice, we knew we were in for a long season. We quickly learned that these kids would respond and learn better with a more father- like figure, not three high school teenagers.

Despite our troubles, we all agreed we wouldn’t give up on our team and we’d work has hard as we could to make them better basketball players. The season was filled with scraped knees and bawling children, but we were able to prevail, morally at least, since we didn’t actually win a game. It took most of the season, but we were eventually able to connect more with the kids and actually get things accomplished in practices.

As the WYBA season kicks back up, my friends and I take our talents to the eighth grade league we had requested last year. As we embark on a new adventure, we hope to have a little more success in communicating with our players, and while winning isn’t everything, we’d like to win at least one game.