Friday, May 21, 2010


How do I choose?

Standing on the sidelines, Coach Rick Williams was caught between the proverbial rock and hard place. He had nailed down nine spots on his select travel basketball team, but that one remaining spot was giving him more trouble than the previous nine combined. On one hand, he could take Luke, a kid who was clearly not at the level of all of the other players on that team but in terms of basketball IQ and potential "player-coach" material, he was unmatched. Rick could totally see him turning into a big-time coach someday; he just knew what to say to fire up his teammates and explain what had to be done. However, as a basketball player, he could not translate all that knowledge into on court performance.

On the other side, he could take Jake. As much as Luke knew the right thing to say, Jake knew what to say to turn off his teammates. His high school coach had told Rick that the one day that Jake missed practice all year was the most relaxing and positive practice of the year. If this team was about personality, there was no way he would have a place on it. However, basketball involves talent, and boy did Jake ever have that. At a very lean six foot five and 36 inch vertical, physical talent alone could get Jake on to anything he had ever tried out for. He had never played football before his freshman year of high school, but when he walked onto the field to try out, he made varsity.

So, how do you choose? Does it really matter how "coachable" a kid is? Maybe he just needs the right type of coach. Rick wanted to think that he was the right type of coach for everyone, but he knew that wasn't true. Now the choice was his; how could he ever decide?
Photo by DRB62


  1. As a former Coach, I've been in similar situations where you need to make the "tough" decisions. For my part, I've almost always gone with heart over talent. Your win-loss column may suffer but the total life experience and sense of community engendered is profound. But as for that, you are just as likely to win with the correct on court strategy and leadership; whereas superstars fade and give up to readily and tend to be poor sports and bad team players.

  2. Sorry I took forever to reply. :) I agree with you; I've never been a fan of the superstar.