7 Observations From The CYC Hoops Playoffs

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1. Kids Can Play – We were so impressed with the caliber of play in our playoffs. There are some talented players on our courts. Kids played hard from beginning to end. We know some players are coming from other games, in various sports. Amazing how much energy they have. We hope every player had fun, regardless of the outcome of their game.

2. Coaches Can Coach – Our CYC parents are good coaches. Our players have been taught the right way to play. Many coaches are encouraging their players to do their best and play as a team. Fundamentals, like protecting the ball, boxing out, using the clock, are taught to our kids at all levels.
One coach, sensing his players were a little nervous to start, called an early timeout. He joked with the kids, got them to laugh a little, and then encouraged them to go out and just have fun. We want the kids to have fun playing CYC sports.

3. Our Districts Put On a Show – The St Charles and South County districts hosted the playoffs this season. Their volunteers worked the score tables, played music, announced starting line-ups, played the National Anthem, and made sure everyone was welcome to their gym. They put in a lot of time and effort for two weekends of basketball for our kids. Volunteers are so important to our organization. Thanks for making the playoff experience special for our athletes.

4. Kudos to the Zebras - For some, it may be difficult to compliment the referees, but our crew deserves the praise. CYC playoff games can be very stressful. Our officials worked hard each game. Officiating basketball is not easy. Our referees put up with a lot, but they are all devoted to the game and to making things run smoothly. We are proud of the group of officials who work the CYC playoffs. We appreciate their hard work and patience.

5. Fans in The Stands – Parents, relatives, classmates, neighbors; all came out to cheer for their teams. The bigger crowds give the game a different feel. It can energize the players and inspire them to greater effort. Some of you brought signs, pom-pom’s, and stood up and danced during timeouts. The athletes appreciate you being there for them at the big game. Years from now, kids always remember parents at their games, supporting their efforts.

6. We Have Some Issues – We still have some things to work on as players, coaches and fans:
• Players need to learn how to deal with adversity. Things don’t always go your way. They need to learn the proper way to handle these situations. That’s up to parents and coaches.
• Part of the reason the kids can’t handle adversity is because their parents and coaches are modeling inappropriate responses to calls that don’t go their way or shots that don’t fall. We need to show kids the right way.
• We need to learn how to be responsible for our own actions. If the team loses; if you have an off game; if you foul out, it’s often because of something you have done or have not done. Sometimes your shots aren’t falling that day; sometimes you foul out because you played too aggressively or didn’t adjust to a tightly called game; sometimes you lose because the other team was better that day. Always look in the mirror before you point your finger.

7. Basketball is The Most Emotional Sport – I know some soccer fans will disagree, but basketball is the most emotionally charged game in CYC sports. Intense action on a small court, split-second calls, fans and coaches close to the action. The emotion can be the best and the worst the sport has to offer. There were plenty of tears and joyful smiles this past weekend.

After one of the 8th grade final games, I observed the losing coach speak with his team in a huddle. Here is what he said. “I know we didn’t get the outcome we had hoped for today. I wish I could change that. You kids deserved better. Here’s what I know. I have coached you guys since third grade. We have had a lot of fun together, and all of you have blessed me in ways you will never know. Years from now, you will all look back at this game, and you’ll say to yourself, ‘We made it to the finals. That was pretty cool’. It was pretty cool, guys. Thanks for letting me be a part of the fun.”

Hugs for everyone, some tears, back at it next season.