Day 5 - Basketball and Oops

Yesterday was a busy day.  Busy enough that I just didn't have enough in me left to work on this post before bed.  I /may/ have fallen asleep on the couch.  So here we are halfway through day six before I have completed day five.  We had six basketball games to tackle yesterday.  So it was all about basketball.  We were lucky that we never had more than two games overlap.  We really enjoy watching our kiddos playing and it seems they all really love to play basketball.  They have had some really fantastic coaches.  I appreciate that these people have become additional teachers in their life.  Coaching sports is such an opportunity to teach perseverance, teamwork, and finding growth in failure.  I saw a quote today that said "Failure isn't the opposite of success, it is part of success."  In a world that ascribes blame to anything other than the individual and that seems to fear that failure destroys self esteem rather than builds it - I value the coach that takes the time to find where things went wrong, doesn't condemn, but points out that those are the opportunities.   If we don't know failure, how can we possibly enjoy success.  The bigger the failure - the greater the growth - the sweeter the success.  In order to reach that success, they have to learn that perseverance - to keep trying, to keep pushing, to keep learning.  When in life would it not serve us well to be persistent in our pursuit of our objectives and goals?  And the fact that these kiddos develop all of this while learning to function on a team.  To learn to allow the strengths of others to make you better, to develop an understanding of your role, and to realize that your effort isn't all about you.  That being a good team member means working hard to get better, not only because you want to get better, but that your team is counting on you to do so.  Learning to be the team member that builds all other teammates up, supports each other through their challenges, and takes their strengths to better their fellow teammates.  I didn't grow up a sports playing kid - but it hasn't taken me any time to realize, with the right type of coaches in their lives, these experiences have the potential to really build my kids into amazing adults.

Here is an example of a coach that totally gets it.  Kind and fair but isn't afraid to be tough on the girls.  Focuses on development over winning.  Teaching the fundamentals knowing that when it all comes together - the winning will come.  E is lucky to have had a long line of rock star coaches. 
Here is Elizabeth doing her job on defense.  #12 - not giving that girl any room to shoot.  Today was a big day.  She sunk her first free throw (during a game, that is) and the other shot was very close.  She had a great day all around. 

This team played four games in a day that would be hard for anyone.  Two of their games were tough.  What I love most about this team of 10 and 11 year old girls is that they don't give up.  They fight - from beginning to end - no matter the score, no matter the ref calls, no matter the physicality of the other team.  They keep their heads and their hearts in the game.  While I definitely credit, Angie, Ryan, and "other" Ryan (their excellent coaches), I really just think that these girls are fighters.  Also - the parents are great fun too.  :)

Hard to get an in focus pic of Ben playing - because he is always moving and fast.  :)   Ben is an expert stealer.  He patiently waits.  When a kid is dribbling right in front of him - you can see him staring that ball down while working out the timing, he gets low and takes it on the bounce.  His Pawee taught him that and apparently, he listened.
 Is there anything cuter than 4 and 5 year old basketball?  That little blond gal in the center - she has basketball figured out.  The rest of them have a wonderful time dribbling and shooting the best they can.  These are the coaches that really deserve a huge medal.  They are allowed on the court with their team - because herding cats is hard from the sidelines.  :)

Brandon is an expert dribbler - demonstrated by his love of dribbling for far too long all around the court.  His shooting would be perfect - if the basket was about 2 feet lower.  Need to build some arm muscles.  :)  But that is what great about this age - as long as they have fun, the rest will come.
But today's post is from one the few moments of fun that we had at home.  I am super lucky that a few of my kiddos are like their father and seemed to be born with the love of cleaning.  Weird, I know.  Brandon begged and begged to be able to sweep the deck and downstairs patio.  Talk about an easy YES!  Here he is standing at the door showing me the disassembled broom, thinking he had broken it.  I was so glad I had my camera sitting right next to me.  It isn't the most perfect picture with its angle and focus - but I still chose it because I LOVE his little sweet face - as it so clearly says, "Oops."
Plus - seems good to have a pic titled "Oops" of what is likely the first of many late submissions.  :)