by Barry Levy...
I coach a girl's high school basketball team. I told the players at the beginning of the year that coming to practice was equally as important to me as playing in games. The school also had a policy that academic standards had to be met in order to be eligible to compete in games.
One of my players had academic problems and told me that the reason that she stopped coming to practice was because of the academic problems. I told her that I could use her in practices, and while she couldn't play in games, her participation in practices would help the team get better, help her get better for next year and show a commitment that is far beyond what most other people would do.
The season ended, she had come to practices, had come to games to cheer and when we have our awards banquet she will be honored as a letterman for the year. Sometimes students aren't prepared to deal with school and commitments of athletics and the time involved, but punishing a student beyond not playing in games would seem to have compounded the problem, and wouldn't have been true to what I told the players and their parents at the beginning of the season.
I would like to think that the lessons learned will help her better plan her time and realize that there are only 24 hours in the day and that priorities often mean that some things can be done, and some things can't.
Looking back at her year, I think that this is a young lady that will be successful because she met adversity head on, and realized that often lemons are thrown in one's path so that the person can make lemonade.
Reminding you that in life, we all need to balance things and prioritize, or the important things won’t ever get done. And often that implies short term pain for long term gain.