Put on your game face!

This week my son got to participate in a two-day basketball clinic called Battle In The Bluffs. He’s never played on a team, probably doesn’t even know the rules of the game, but every day at recess and after school he’s out there on the court shooting baskets. Talk about life lessons? These two days were chock full of them!

For starters, for my son to jump into this clinic not knowing much about basketball was a brave and admirable choice. It reminded me of what Jane Yolen says about how we can get better as writers: “Sit butt in chair.” It’s the same lesson for basketball or anything else in life. Get out on the court and play. Learn as you go. Get better every day. But if you don’t try, you’ll never get better.

The lessons from this clinic didn’t stop there, though. Let’s talk about the founder and one of the coaches, Ian Thomas-Minor. Ian says this clinic is about basketball but everything the children do out there, from the warm-ups, to how they keep track of their Gatorade cap, to how they play are all lessons for life. How true! If you’ve never been on a team (which I hadn’t until I was a mom and joined a softball team!) it’s a very empowering experience, particularly if you have a stand-out coach.

Here’s a buffet of lessons I overheard out there on the court today from Ian and the other amazing coaches:

1. Eat your breakfast to start the day out with strength and nourishment.

2. Stay hydrated.

3. Be mindful of your stuff.

4. Clap it up when your teammate stumbles. Encourage each other.

5. Don’t skimp on the warm-ups. Treat your body and mind with respect.

6. Play fair.

7. Be kind.

8. If you’re down or mad, put on your game face and show everyone you can’t be beaten down.

9. Talk to each other.

10. Whether you’re 3′ or 6′ tall, you can play the game.

Life Lesson #8: It’s what you do with what’s on the inside that sets you apart and makes you succeed.

So pump up the music! Children are the future. They can be legendary if given the love, encouragement, opportunity, and positivity we all crave.

And YOU! Take care of yourself and look on the inside to see all the goodness and talent in you, especially in the face of rejection from an agent, editor, co-worker, or stranger. Rise up and put on your game face!

See how Zorro quickly figures it all out in Carter Goodrich’s delightful book. All Zorro needs is one person (or dog, in this case!) to believe in him…



Click on image to see Carter Goodrich’s website and books


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