Thursday, January 17, 2013

Confidence on the Court

So proud of Caleb.  Here is his latest masterpiece!

Cooper joined a basketball team filled with kindergarten boys and girls.  Saturday was his first game.  

From a folding chair on the side of the court, I watched the game.  Eight little players darted around the court engaging in something that only slightly resembled basketball.  Dribbling was sparse.  Successful baskets seemed few and far between.  Offense and defense appeared to be foreign concepts.

Cooper snagged the ball several times and ran (literally dribbling) down to his goal.  At first, he attempted to make a few baskets.  Each shot fell flat.  Airball after airball.  Cooper began to notice a teammate's play.  This particular boy seemed to be the only one with even a hint of athletic ability and the good fortune to make a few successful baskets.

That's when Cooper became the master of the assist.  Everyone time he ran (remember..literally ran) the ball down the goal, Cooper passed the ball to his athletic teammate.  This little boy then catapulted the ball into the basket, many times successfully.

As I watched Cooper's play, I began to question his performance.  I wondered if Cooper was being a savvy player or a fearful one.  I'm certainly glad that Cooper found a way to maximize team points by utilizing the athletic talents of a teammate, but at the same time I don't want Cooper to always feel like his success depend on another's success.  I'd like Cooper to have confidence in Cooper.  I want Cooper to know he can be the leader too and not always the follower.

After the game, I commended Cooper on his excellent team work, but then encouraged him to work on his own shot.  I told him not be afraid of missed baskets.  Success comes with practice.  The assistance of teammates can aid his efforts, but shouldn't replace his own work.  I reminded him, I'm always cheering for "Team Cooper."


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