This year we're doing UPWARD basketball.  Honestly I thought we would never do upward because I had heard that they don't keep score and everyone wins.  That is ludicrous to me and I think it's more damaging to children to play sports that way.  The Ivey's will play city leagues and the kids will learn what it means to win and lose.


Then last year we did just that.  Unfortunately for us we got a coach who on the first day told us he loved to coach football and they were making him do basketball.  Great first day speech coach!  He ended up being a super nice guy and was great with the kids, but practices were sporadic and last-minute changes happened a lot and if you know me I hate things that aren't scheduled!  I want to know that every Tuesday we'll have practice and not just whenever he feels like it.


Anyhow … last year of course the kids had fun but every game and practice I was boiling on the inside.  My kids weren't learning anything.  There was one kid on the team that refused to follow rules & basically thought he was Michael Jordan's protegé and just played street ball the whole time.  Lovely for my sweet little kids who had never played ball before.  My kids learned nothing.  At the end of the year Amos still didn't have a clue what defense was and for all he knew he just was supposed to run around the court with his hands in the air whether he was on offense of defense.


Fast forward to now and even though I said it would never happen, today we signed up for UPWARD ball.  A girl friend and mine were talking about sports and she said that her husband wanted to coach and I said I wanted to coach too and so we both signed our boys up for Upward and hopefully they'll put us together as coaches.  We went to the try out today and to my surprise yes they keep score.  Great that was a relief.  Now I can concentrate on winning.  (just kidding guys!)


They had to shoot from different places and dribble for 30 seconds and then they write all this down and that's how the make the teams.  I didn't get it at first, but now I see why.  They don't want any teams to be stacked, and so I kinda liked that.


I gave Cayden a good pep talk before we went in about running fast and concentrating and basically just to be really good!  Ha.  First he went to the shooting area and they would time him for 30 seconds and see how many baskets he could make.  Timer started and he started shooting.  His last shot went in the air and the lady called time and sure enough he made it!  Five baskets.  Good for him.  Then I see the coach tell the lady FOUR for him.  What?  No!  He clearly made five.  The ball was in the air when she called time.  I was contemplating bringing this to his attention, because my baby made five and not four and now everyone thinks he only made four and I know he made five.  Um, do you think I like to win?!?!

Just to give you a peace I didn't tell the coach.  I'm not that loony!  I just convinced myself that the truth would show itself on the court.  (I'm such a competitive mom)  Then when he moved to the next area where he had to shuffle I tried to get his attention to show him how to do it really well and move his feet quickly and he wouldn't even look at me.  I was trying to get him valuable information and he was ignoring me.  If he only knew how much I cared about him.  No other parents were desperately trying to get their kids attention to show them how to do the correct defensive stance before the timer started.  Maybe we weren't supposed to be coaching from the sidelines and Cayden knew this so he in fact was saving me from looking like an idiot.  He wouldn't look at me.  I could have helped him.  He'll learn!

As we walked out I told him that he did great and let him know that I was gonna be one of his coaches.  He nearly stopped in his tracks and looked at me and said “Mom do you know ANYTHING about basketball?”.  Um excuse me mister but before you came along I actually got paid to coach basketball and truly coaching middle school girls and 1st/2nd grade boys can't be much different!


So, here's to a great year of basketball!  Hoping that Cayden learns a lot and grows to really love the sport.  Also hoping that I control myself and remember I'm coaching 8 year olds and not high school girls.  I love coaching and am so excited about this next year!


Jamie Ivey