Our Winter Spring’s basketball program is not deep in talent. We have a core of players that have invested themselves in the game and achieved demonstrable improvement. The core, as it were, is comprised of a fluid number of players spanning all grades, and I would be surprised if the current core produces a single division one player. We spend a significant amount of time playing against each other, and this is problematic.
Our best varsity players run through open gym, dribbling themselves into oblivion and attacking a basket defended by JV post players. Our JV post players rebound and score against…..JV post players. JV players that will have to handle the ball and make decisions during the season are allowed to run the floor as accessories to seasoned varsity players. Throw in a handful of guys running around that won’t be in the program by Halloween, and the whole set up stinks of complacency. The scale of our improvement and the reality of our competition is skewed.
This past weekend my son’s FC America U-14 team traveled to Pennsylvania for a soccer tournament. This team rolled through the Disney Pre-season Classic, and played the other top U-14 team in Orlando to a draw a few weeks ago. The field in Pennsylvania featured several nationally-ranked teams. FC America went 1-2 losing their first game on a disputed penalty and their third on a set piece goal. Their was disappointment in defeat, but also knowledge that they could play with any team in the country. They matched the reality of their competition, and the scale of their improvement yet to be made is tangible in the small details that turn a match.
Improvement of the sort that leads to big things is uncomfortable, but it is voluntary. If you are not challenged, go find a challenge. If you are challenged, rise to meet it. It is your decision.
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