30 years coaching experience/Worked Camps/Clinics on 5 Continents

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Universal Truths in Colombia

Athletes in Action put on its first coaching clinic in Colombia last week and because I have some experience with them, they asked if I would tag along and participate. Arriving, Virginia Military Institute assistant Chris Kreider and I put on a two day basketball clinic of just about everything we knew about the game. Piadad Douglas, in charge of AIA in Colombia, and her team did a great, professional job and Chris and I were fortunate to be a part of it.

But I have been to Asia, Europe twice and all over the United States meeting people and doing basketball camps or clinics. Colombia was different in that the music, language, and food were different than the other places (side has been my experience that the food in foreign countries even hamburgers and chicken tastes so much better than here in the States), but there were some similarities.

People are different culturally, language, dress, food, etc are diverse, however I have found some universals truths. We want to be happy, we want to have families, we want friends, we want health for both ourselves and those we know, we want to be taken care of and we want to take care of others. The differences are noticeable when you visit a different culture, but if you really pay attention, we do want many of the same things.

I have noticed as I travel that those with fewer material things seem to be happier than many Americans. I mean, just look at the national political scene where so many are angry on both sides of the aisle, shootings take place way too often and so many are medicated either by prescription or illegally.

Why is it that a country like the US which has so much seems so unhappy?

Why is it that when I visit countries with fewer things and fewer resources, they seem to be happier than we are? Is it because I have some idealistic notion of wanting to have less and I see in them only what I want? Or is it because there is a truth in "more money, more problems"?

Even the game of basketball. We take it so serious in this country and definitely in this state (guilty as charged) that I am afraid that sometimes we forget the innocence and fun that it brings. We often forget that Division I scholarships are not given away like candy thrown out at a parade and we put so much pressure on our children to excel, too many times having them end up resenting the sport they once loved.

I worked with a middle school aged girls team during the clinic in Cali, Colombia and they soaked in everything I said. They enjoyed doing what I showed and in their joy, I remembered why I love basketball. Not that I had forgotten, I try to remind myself daily how lucky I am, but it was different with them. And it was different in the coaches who stayed around after the clinic or during breaks or followed us to dinner just because they want to be around us and talk basketball or life.

I was only gone for a few days, but it was enough. I was ready to come home. I missed my wife and kids and the comfort of my bed, the comfort of hot water and electricity. I missed the comforts that we take for granted here in this great country and am glad to be back, but I long for a more simple life, I'm just not brave enough to do it, I guess because I am like you; I kind of enjoy being pampered.

The goal now as always is to appreciate it.

Now, I need my kids to get up some shots so they earn those college scholarships...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Seniors 2016, Just 5 Simple Things to Remember

It's the end of the school year and seniors are walking out the door, here's a little advice:

1. Experience is the best teacher and usually the only one you will listen to.

2. Understand that no matter how bad it is, it won't last and you can get through it.

3. Truly appreciate the small things in life, they mean more than most big events which are fleeting and make you feel inadequate unless you're having them consistently.

4. Treat everyone with respect, when you're going up the ladder to success, you just may pass someone who could some day be your boss.

5. The sooner you realize that this life isn't about you and that the more you give back and help, the happier you will be.

And that's about it, remember those five things, oh, except credit cards....stay away from them if possible, they can be evil.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Colossians Remixed:Subverting the Empire

Went to Sojourn Midtown this past Sunday and the sermon was taught over Colossians and this quote was used during that time.

"Whatever you can imagine visible and invisible mountains and atoms; outer space, urban space and cyberspace whether it be the Pentagon, Disneyland, Microsoft or AT and T whether it be the institutionalized  power structures of the state, the academy or the market, all things have been created in him and through him."

"He is their source, their purpose, their goal even in their rebellion, even in their idolatry, he is the sovereign one. Their power and authority is derived at best parasitic at worst."

"In the face of the empire, in the face of the presumptuous claims to sovereignty, in the face of the imperial and idolatrous forces in our lives, Christ is before all things. He is sovereign in life, not the pimped dreams of the global market, not the idolatrous forces of nationalism, not the insatiable desires of a consumerist culture."

Brian J. Walsh and Sylvia C. Keesmaat

Friday, May 20, 2016

Success is...

Where I teach there is an expectation of excellence.

It is on the court, it is on the field, it is in the classroom, it is in the arts department, it exists most everywhere.

But it is not an expectation that is so overwhelming that it smothers you. It is just expected.

And what is great is when that success does occur, it is celebrated by everyone. The students seem genuinely happy for their classmates.

And when that success does not occur here, there is not a feeling of "oh we just ruined the only chance we had to win in the last 20 years", there is a feeling of let's get back to work and make sure it does not happen again, this losing.

And where I teach and coach is a public school, a medium sized public school. It is not overwhelmingly large in student enrollment and it is not a private school where people from all over the area attend.

So where does it come from this expectation of excellence?

I have worked at many different schools, but it is different here. At each of these places there were great kids, great teachers, and great coaches, but the success level was not always as high as here.

I believe it starts in the home.

Mom and dad expect their children to compete, do well, and not blame anything on their lack of success other than they were beaten.

Of course, there are exceptions to this, but I believe culturally, the success has started in the home and has carried over into this building. And that is how it should be.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Anxiety is...

1. Some days not knowing if you want to go on, but scared you will die.

2. Fear of every single thing taken to its extreme.

3. The worry of what others might think of you.

4. Feeling a loss of control.

5. Feeling like you are out of body.

6. Feeling like a heart attack or stroke is coming on.

7. Eating is only thing that can calm you down.

8. Feeling tired or lethargic.

9. Something that can lead to depression.

10. Something that can come on at any point for apparently no reason.

11. Something that can wake you up in the middle of the night.

12. Something that makes you feel no one understands.

13. Something that leads to frustration over the smallest things.

14. Something that can lead to addictions.

15. A blessing that has made me feel more appreciative of those times I don't feel it.

I Have a Blog

I have a blog.

It is fully of my experiences and pictures of what I do.

And I often wonder about my own motives here.

I often wonder about other's perception of my motives here.

Do I do good things because I want to, because I should, because I think it makes me look good?

I have always had problems about how others perceive me, it's a shortcoming that I've dealt with since adolescence.

And I know there are people out there who take what I do and/or share here and make light of it. They think I probably think I am better than others. That I am trying to show how great I am.

I don't and I'm not.

In fact, the mere fact that I try to do good things and then share some of them (not everything makes it here) is to help those that we work with or to show how others can try to do something. I think I've also shared some of my shortcomings, but try to show how you can turn them around if you try. Plus, when I am older or dead and gone, I want it to be something that my kids and then grandchildren can look at and read to see who I was.

I'm really not trying to toot my own horn or attempt to try to be better than others, so when I travel to South America here soon and write about it, it isn't to come off as fake, but genuine. That's all I'm trying to ever be...genuinely authentic.

Because I'm just trying to give back, help my own children appreciate what they have and teach them to give back, and to set some kind of an example of how you can help, you don't have to sit and point and say others should do something.

You can do something.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Monday, May 16, 2016

Well Done

We wanted to raise $500 for Aiden's Legacy and we rasied over $2100!!! And Coach Hoffman went under the clippers!

Friday, May 13, 2016

United States State Department

My cousin is a diplomat for the US State Department. On our recent trip with the seniors, he allowed me to bring a few students for a quick tour of the place.

Thursday, May 12, 2016


Help, Please...

(In Indonesia)
I've been around a little bit.

I've seen some things.

They've helped develop my worldview and my understanding how lucky we have been to have been born in the United States in an upper middle class family.

My children have it better than I did, and I would call nice word is "spoiled".

Because my wife and I have done pretty well with our lives, we are in a position to see the country and sometimes the world more so than most people do.

But lately because of my worldview and my understanding how blessed my family and I are, I have decided to try to do more.

When we travel, I have begun to reach out to organizations to allow us the opportunity to help for one day as much as they will allow.

I know it doesn't sound like much and maybe it isn't, but it is better than doing nothing, and it is allowing me to show my kids how blessed they are.

I want them to appreciate what they have that other's don't.

I want them to understand that sometimes these people may be happier than they are, but don't always have the same opportunities as them.

I want to help others and maybe give back while raising my own children to do the same thing.

If anyone has any kind of contacts that would be willing for a little help sometimes, please feel free to give me contact info. I may or may not be in that area, but if I do I will hit them up.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Silver Creek Basketball 2016 2nd and 3rd Grade Camp in the Books

From Silver Creek's Head Boys' Basketball Coach: Brandon Hoffman

Coach shared this with his email group, would like to share here if you are interested.

 Hope everyone is doing great and gearing up for the end of the school year and beginning of the summer.  We have been hard at it the last couple weeks with all levels of our basketball program.  We have elementary camp, middle school skill development, and high school open gyms all going on throughout the week.

I’m writing everyone to let them know about something we are doing for a member of our SC Basketball Family, Aiden Johnson.  Many of you know who Aiden is, but he is a REMARKABLE young man.  Aiden is a 5th grader at SC who has been in multiple fights with cancer already in his life.  Attached is a poster of all the things that Aiden has overcome through his battle with this terrible illness.  Not only is Aiden a great kid who has endured so much—but more importantly, he is a SURVIVOR.  What makes this boy even more impressive, is his commitment to raising funds to help other children with cancer.  His family has started Aiden’s Legacy.  To summarize their mission:  “Aiden's Legacy is a non-profit organization.  Our mission is to raise awareness of pediatric childhood cancer, raise research dollars for the Addison Jo Blair Cancer Care Center at Kosair Children’s Hospital to collect and distribute Legos to kids with cancer. All funds raised go directly to the care and support of patients and their families at Kosair Children’s Hospital. The team raises funds to support programs, services, research and staffing in an effort to accomplish Aiden’s goal of “helping other kids forget they have cancer.”

Ever since Kindergarten, Aiden has been attempting to attend our camps and youth league.  For the most part the last 5 years his attendance has been marred with battles with various health conditions. For the first time in a couple years, Aiden is able to attend basketball camp starting tomorrow.  We are so excited to have him.

In hopes to help Aiden raise some money, I am challenging all members of our Dragon Basketball Family to help out.  On Friday, Team Aiden is hosting a Kosair’s Community Clip to help reach Aiden’s ultimate goal of $250,000 towards Kosair’s Children’s Hospital.  Starting today through Friday, we are going to make a goal as a SC Boys Basketball to raise $500.  If we are able to reach our goal, I am going to let Aiden shave my head at the end of basketball camp on Friday afternoon.  I think/hope it can be attained---I can’t imagine how big the smile Aiden will have when he gets to take clippers to me. I am super excited.

If you are willing to donate to the cause, there are different ways to do it.  You can contact me directly through email or phone (502-494-2378) and we can work out how to get me the $.  We will also have a donation tab (later in day) on our SC Basketball Website: to where you can do it online.

Please consider helping out.  No donation is too small, anything is better than nothing.  We have a lot of AWESOME people in our SC Basketball Family and I am confident that we can pull this off.  Please let me know any questions or concerns.

Coach Hoffman

The Original Lincoln Memorial

This is located in the neighborhood east of the Capitol.

Not very politically correct.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I Want to Take This Time to Say "Sorry"

I just want to apologize to Brandon and Maddie, my two kids. My children by DNA and birth.

I love coaching you and I know that I am hard on you sometimes for things you do, but I am also hard on you for things you don't do. Why?  Because I can coach you, I can't often coach other parent's young kids the way I do you, or the way they need to be coached.

So I have to coach their kids through you.

That's right, I will coach some younger kids through my own in a way that I know if I tried with your child, would make you very unhappy. It's not fair to my kids (who are 11 and 8), I get on them harder than anyone else's already, and then I have to get on yours through mine, it makes it hard for them.

Why do I feel the need to do that? Because I have coached long enough to watch and hear the reaction of parents whose younger kids get coached. They are inflamed over the behavior of a coach towards their child even though the child is behaving in a way they as a parent would never tolerate.

I often wonder if anyone notices that I do this? I believe that people are so blinded that they just see me getting on my kids and probably thinking I am too hard on them. When in actuality, I have lost my patience with the behavior of their child.

Here I offer my apologies Brandon and Madison. Society will not allow me to coach younger kids today the way I was coached or even the way I coach you.

I love you guys very much and appreciate all the time and effort you put into your sports. I also appreciate that 90% or more of the time when I get on you about something, you do what a good athlete does, you listen and try to be better.

And you even understand through our conversations what I am doing by coaching through you. I know you don't always understand or like it, but you understand generally and you accept it.

That makes you pretty awesome kids.

So I want to apologize for doing this, and yet, maybe not because I believe it is making you even tougher for real life. And really, isn't that what youth sports are for?

Friday, May 6, 2016

I Know You've Heard This, but Take a Listen...Just Under 3 minutes Worth

Click HERE!

Billy Graham says it best in the above video..."No human love is comparable to divine love."

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Tension Inside

As a player in the sports I played (basketball and baseball), I never got emotional. Okay, I did when I was in the 6th grade and early in practices of my 7th grade year, but when I got older and played at a higher level, I never lost my control. Some of it is my dad and the tough lessons he taught me, but I never got so upset that I would yell or lose my cool. I wouldn't pout, I'd just play harder.

But as a coach, I can't always seem to keep myself controlled.

When I played, as soon as the jump ball went up or I threw the first pitch in a game, the tension inside of me went away. I was busy attempting to win the game. I was competing.

But as a coach, as soon as that first sports moment occurs, it doesn't seem like the tension disappears. In fact, it may get worse and the only way I can get it out is to be more emotional than I am normally. Not able to run and jump and throw and block players out, the only release I have for that tension is to move and yell. The yelling can be at my team, or it can be at the officials (I really try not to do that, my teams usually do more than enough to fail that any call or non-call can do).

Why that does is make me behave in a manner in which I rarely do in "real life"?

It makes me question if I should continue coaching at any level. I've been told that with my personality I believe that there is a way I think how things should go and if they don't, I just can't seem to handle it.

Which causes me to lose my cool.

Which causes me to act in a way I shouldn't.

Which causes me to embarrass myself or my family.

I don't know what to do, to be honest. I love sports, I love to compete and I love attempting to set a positive example, but that does not always happen.

With the birth of my children and the growth in my faith, I have improved. I do realize that there are more important things in life than sports. My children helped me to fully grasp that.

I used to put my whole identity in coaching and whether my teams won or not. My faith in Jesus Christ helped me to understand I am more than a coach who wins or loses.

But I still fail...a lot. A lot more than I want to. So much so that it does make me feel bad when I don't live up to my standard.

But I will continue to coach at some level and I will continue fighting the internal tension that seems to reside in me.

So I apologize right now to future teams I coach, future officials I will offend, future fans that I make mad, to my own children and my wife and family because I will continue to not live up to the standard that I have for myself.

But I'm gonna keep trying.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Silver Creek seniors participated in a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier while on Senior Trip.

It was awesome to be there and watch.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Guilty as Charged

No matter how far you set the bar for your behavior, you will often not reach it.

1. Realize it.

2. Admit it.

3. Fix it.

4. Show it.

5. Repeat if necessary.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Uggghhh Elementary Basketball Camps!!!

We are about to begin our basketball camps here at Silver Creek. When summer stuff became more prevalent in the state, many coaches decided to get their camps with little kids finished before the summer stuff began. It was a way of doing one less thing in an already full summer.

Basketball camps are a necessity. You can get across so much at these camps with the younger players that you cannot get across at any other time. And I am not just talking basketball. We can get across working hard, competing, being a good person, etc.

But before they start, I get a so 'not looking forward to it' mindset.

But then the camps start.

And the kids are excited.

And they want to learn and they play hard and they smile because they haven't seen you since last fall.

Then I remember why I like doing these things.

Before the camp starts, it is all about my emotions and what I want to do, but after the camps begin, I remember that it isn't about me.

It is about putting smiles on kid's faces and enjoying the game that I love.

Being in the Right Place

I support life.

From conception to death.

I am against abortion.

I am against capital punishment.

I am against adoption being too costly.

I am against unnecessary wars.

I believe that all life is precious.

If that makes me a lunatic, then call me crazy.

I believe that everyone has choices to make and that those choices come before conception. I believe that anyone can save their lives and that prison is a viable and justified punishment (we know that we have executed innocent people in the US with new technology).

I believe that adoption should be easier and cheaper than it is. I believe that war should be the final option, but often, and unfortunately, defining an unnecessary war happens with time.

Jesus says in John 15:18 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first." I keep in mind that by quoting scripture, it makes me radical in many eyes, but it is through my faith that I have come to my opinion on life.

Russell Moore said in a speech the other night that if both sides of the political spectrum are flinging arrows at you, you are probably in the right place as a believer.

Well...I feel them quite often by both co-workers and people at my church, so I must be in the right place.

Monday, May 2, 2016

According to William Lane Craig

There five main things that science cannot prove and they are as follows:

  1. Logical and mathematical truths cannot be proven by science.  Science presupposes logic and math; to try to prove them by science would be arguing in a circle.
  2. Metaphysical truths such as that there are other minds other than my own or that the external world is real or that the past wasn’t created five minutes ago with the appearance of age.
  3. Ethical beliefs about statements of value are not accessible by the scientific method.  You can’t show by science whether the Nazi scientists did anything in the camps that is evil as opposed to the scientists in western democracies.
  4. Aesthetic judgments cannot be accessed by the scientific method because the beautiful, like the good, cannot be scientifically proven.
  5. Science itself.  Science cannot be justified by the scientific method.  Science is permeated by improvable assumptions.  For example, in the special theory of relativity, the whole theory hinges on the assumption that the speed of light is constant in a one-way direction from point A to point B, it must be assumed.