Wednesday, October 31, 2012
The "Hoosiers" version of Christian Watford's shot vs. UK has to give you cold chills...even if you are an IU fan. It uses the music from ESPN's voted most popular sports movie ever....Hoosiers.
Tom Crean took over the IU basketball job because he said "It's Indiana". He worked for 4 years to make the program relevant again and last year he did so. This shot by Watford over the #1 ranked team in the country...at the buzzer...put the exclamation point on the fact that IU is back again as a relevant program.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Today, senior student Kate gave her testimony to 30 attendees of our weekly FCA meetings. Kate did a wonderful job in stepping out of her comfort zone and expressing where she had been, what happened to change her, and how she is living differently now.
She did a wonderful job of telling students what she still deals with daily in her life, but that she knows there is something better. From the response of the students, I could tell that she encouraged many of them, and I know for sure she did me. She used Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." as her Scripture.
I could not be more proud of Kate today! We need more students at HHS, but in general to step up and share their faith. Today was a great first step!
Never forget, no matter what age you are, you are more than the decisions you have made, you are more than sum of your past mistakes. Enjoy the video by Tenth Avenue North.
Monday, October 29, 2012
I opened up Monday's edition of the News and Tribune and went directly to the sports section (come on...most of us do that). What I saw were two pictures above the fold that represents all of high school athletics. The top picture was the Providence volleyball team celebrating as they are going to the 2A state finals this weekend. The bottom picture was of the Providence girls' soccer team's loss in the class A state championship match and the girls pictured were dejected.
Those two pictures from the same school on the same weekend exemplifies athletics and how emotional sports can be. Anything that you put your heart and soul (cliche, I know, but it is the truth) into will hurt if you don't get the desired result, yet the euphoria of attaining that goal is like something you can't explain unless you have played/coached sports.
Winning at athletics, you learn to win with class (hopefully), and enjoy accomplishment. I had gotten to the point in my 20+ years of coaching that no win was bad. Every single win was a good win. I would take a "bad" win over a "good" loss any day, but I had learned that winning was hard to do, too. Therefore, any win was good (I realize many disagree). I learned to appreciate the time and effort it takes to win. The saying goes "if winning were easy, everybody would be doing it" and it is true. But in any athletic event (ok, most) there has to be a loser also.
Losing in athletics, you may learn more about life. Life is hard. To lose at something you have poured your young life into is hard. But you are forced to go to practice the next day, or play the next game or get up and go to church or school. It is a skill to get up again that must be developed; to fail then continue on with the same effort and desire that you had before the loss is not easy.
Often it isn't the result of an athletic event or even a life event that matters, it is what you do after the result. Do you get back up and continue to work, or do you quit and go through the motions? It is easier to go through the motions in anything and when you do that you don't run the risk of being hurt. Being hurt, well, it hurts....a lot.
Losing hurts, winning is fun. Losing teaches you how to handle adversity, winning teaches you how to be gracious. Losing may make you doubt what you have been doing, winning reinforces what you have been doing. Losing hurts deep down to your core, winning makes everything smell, taste and feel better.
Back in 2003, the boys' basketball team had a sectional championship (which would have been our first ever) snatched from the jaws of victory or at least overtime. The players and especially the coaching staff were dejected, I mean...like the picture of the Providence girls' soccer team Monday dejected, and then I received this quote from assistant coach Robin Embry in an email. It is an excerpt from a Teddy Roosevelt speech:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
Friday, October 26, 2012
We talked Wednesday during IRP (study hall) that just because you are young doesn't mean you are ignorant or can't be a good Christian leader. The students love this scripture until the comma.
They love the part of "don't let anyone look down on you", however, to keep that from happening you must understand that you are to set an example that will be taken seriously. That is the challenge, but isn't that how anything in life is? We rarely get something we want without having to fulfill part of a contract or giving something up.
1 Timothy 4:12 has become the scripture of Henryville F.C.A. and what they will try to live for in setting an example for not only the students here, but also the staff and adults at their respective churches.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Above is the power point presentation that I used at the Providence coaching clinic. The purpose of the presentation was to show that coaches have a strong influence over their players. The question I asked was what would you/we do with it?
I went through examples of athletes who became good men, fathers, and husbands. I described an athlete who went onto the military and that we all probably know players like that, but....
Then I described the actions of many athletes on March 2, 2012 when the EF 4 tornado devastated the Henryville community. There were and are many non-athletes that have done great things and did great things, but you should know about the effect that coaches have on people in real extreme situations.
I am not arrogant enough to either put only players that have played for me because I used players for other coaches in our building, also, but I realize that many of the people who were athletes probably got more from their own parents than us as coaches. But....it had to mean something. Most of the choices I used most will agree upon, some may be controversial. I can only imagine what some of them had been without the guidance of some of our coaches here at HHS.
I then gave the things you can do as a coach to hopefully pass on things that really matter in life besides the winning and losing of an athletic event.
Feel free to watch and agree or disagree as I am sure there will be many who do.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Saturday, October 20, 2012
What an unbelievable season Coach Hawkins and the Charlestown Pirates are having in football this fall. I haven't gotten an opportunity to watch them live this season, but I have paid close attention through the paper and television. The points they have put up on people is impressive (latest 82-0 victory over Mitchell in first game of sectional), but what may be more impressive is how few points the Charlestown defense has given up this year (only 6 points per game). How many games have they had to finish out with a running clock? I can't help to wonder how that will effect them in a close game in the tournament. Most coaches would like to have that problem, I think, to be so good that you can't work on some close game situations. I guess that is what practice is for, to prepare for those situations.
What it has reminded me of is playing my Xbox college football game a few years ago. I didn't know much about playing football, so I worked my way through the "easiest" level. By the time I finished, I was (or should I say IU football was) scoring at will against the top college teams in the nation. IU had gone from being ranked very low, all the way to winning the national championship thanks to my quick learning and taking advantage of weaker teams.
I could score on almost all possessions. I had a great running back, a quarterback who would throw it on the money or run for long yardage and receivers that never dropped the ball. On defense, we blitzed every single play and teams could rarely get a first down. It might not sound like fun to many, but it was to me. Kind of like what the Pirates are doing weekly, it might not seem like fun to many, but I bet it is to them and especially the coaching staff. I think the most fun I had playing my video game was being able to do things on the football field, albeit in a video game, that had never been done (at least in my vicinity). Until this fall and what Charlestown is doing...in real life. The numbers on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball are ridiculous....like my video game. It almost seems unfair what they are doing until I remember that their coaches and players have worked very hard for this opportunity, and it isn't like Charlestown is a 5A or 4A school that will continue to do this forever. Believe it or not, most good teams are dependent on talent, taking that good team to great depends on the work ethic and attitude of the coaching staff and players which has shown to be at a high level this season at the Greater Clark school.
I don't know all of the rumors coming out of Charlestown about this player or that player, and thank goodness for that. What I do know that in the sports world (coaches and fans especially) if there is something going on within the team or with the players, you hear about it. I am sure they are like most high school kids, prone to mistakes and having fun, but I don't hear any drastic stories about anything bad going on. Which makes me feel that not only are these guys putting up great numbers, but they represent Charlestown, for the most part, in a positive manner off the field as well.
I hope I am not wrong on this, but what the Charlestown team and coaching staff is doing on the field will be REMEMBERED for a long time. The opportunity they have now to effect people even more off the field is something that can LAST for a long time.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
In the last two weeks, I have been asked quite a few times if I miss coaching. So I thought I would take some time to answer that question because some of you may be interested, and then again, many of you may not care one bit. The short answer is "no", I do not miss coaching high school basketball. The longer answer is a little more complicated.
What I don't miss right now about coaching is basketball conditioning, rumors of players not playing, Saturday morning camps that I have to run, rumors of players doing poorly in class or out of school, ordering all of the pre-season equipment you would need, rumors of the transfers of everyone at schools on your schedule, and just about everything that deals with pre-season basketball. The non-glamorous parts that are hugely important, people do not see, and are part of the job.
What I do miss about coaching basketball so far is the camraderie you develop with the players, the camraderie of the coaches as we talk about how each of our teams will be terrible this season, the air of excitement that comes with a new season beginning, and people putting expectations on you and your team (oops, wrong paragraph, this should be one up).
Why don't I miss those above things? So much time and effort and stress goes into making sure all of that stuff is done correctly and brings respect to your program because you try to do things in a first class manner. Some of the things mentioned are not in my control which creates frustration because of the evaluation that will accompany coaching teenage boys.
Also, I have had more time to spend with my wife and kids, so far. I have been named the Fellowship of Christian Athletes rep for Southeast Indiana and have enjoyed helping FCA. I have been able to attend a few college football games without worrying about what needs to be done back home and when I need to get back to make sure the gym is covered. I can walk out the door at 3:05 and not feel the burden of an entire community's hopes and desires on the local team. I am able to pick and choose what I do, when I do it and where I do it. I have been able to attend my classes stress free at Louisville Bible College, and not worry that I am missing junior high practices or elementary games.
Finally, I have gotten some great ideas from Silver Creek High School's FCA Huddle Coach Bob Shaw and have tried to implement some of those things at HHS. I have had more time to deal with FCA at HHS and try to "coach" it as if it were varsity boys' basketball. I am able to reach more students at HHS and throughout Southeast Indiana by doing that than I could coaching basketball which is the most important thing to me.
Oh my, so many things that make the decision not to coach make sense to me and reinforce that I did the right thing. That is....until the games start, then we are talking about a whole new (ahem) ballgame.
Friday, October 5, 2012
I am writing this as an unabashed fan of Tim Tebow. Some of the reason is because of his faith, but mostly because of the quality person that he is in helping so many people with his platform. But this has nothing to do with faith and everything to do with the fact he was brought in to play if current New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez struggled. He is....a lot. Sanchez has the worst passing percentage in the NFL, shutout by the 49ers with a team that stands at 2-3 at this point....it's time for a change. If not starting Tebow, play him more. The amount of snaps and the "Wildcat" have been a joke. Either he plays or he is a gimmick.
Tebow deserves more than a few snaps a game. He deserves to play, now...a lot. I don't care what anyone says, but last year he was brought in when the Denver Broncos were struggling at 1-4 and he led them to the playoffs and a playoff victory. Sure, he isn't the greatest passer in the league, but neither is Sanchez. Tebow is a football player, he is a leader, and he is a winner. He has tangibles that often don't show up anywhere but the scoreboard. Those are the type of tangibles that any coach in any sport love in that rare athlete that comes along.
Maybe Tebow gets in, is given a shot, and fails. What have you lost? Nothing. Coach Rex Ryan can try and then face the fans and media and tell them they tried and it failed, too. Either Tebow was brought in for legit reasons or to bring a circus type environment (does NY really need more of that?) to the team for attention.
What is interesting is that the name "Tebow" has become so polarizing. If you say his name, people either like him and listen or roll their eyes and talk about how bad he is as a football player. I can't disagree with what is said negatively about him at times, but they shouldn't be able to disagree with results and Tebow has brought them in bad situations. He was given very little pre season to prepare for the Broncos season last year, he was named started after being 1-4, then ran an offense that had to be continually re-evaluated to play on Tebow's strengths. And he still helped the Broncos right the ship and defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs.
If he was brought in to be back up, play him. If he was brought in for his reputation, personality, and positive media coverage as a gimmick there just may be more wrong in the Jets organization than a quarterback controversy.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
You will have to forgive us, but we endured some of the worst times in the history of the program recently. Last year was a nice surprise back to national prominence, and now the Hoosiers are being taken seriously again.
They are ranked #1 by many publications and all indications show this could be a special season again for the Indiana Hoosiers.