Any guesses what these numbers mean? Give up?
It was the score of last night’s basketball game. We scored the 2.
On the drive back from the game I was listening to the radio and one of my favorite songs came on and I couldn’t help but chuckle because of how appropriate the title was for that very moment.
“All Time Low”
Yes – this would in fact be a “low” point of my high school basketball coaching career.
Our girls varsity team has played three games and have lost every one by a combined score of 199-21. I am honestly still letting that sink in even as I type these words. It has been a very unique journey to say the least as to how we arrived here. We lost our head coach about a month before the season began. We thought we had his replacement and then he pulled out last minute. So the AD (who has no basketball coaching experience) and me (who has no experience coaching girls) are charged with leading a team of girls (roughly 90% of whom have never played the game) to take on some of the best teams in the state of Tennessee (a state known for its women’s basketball).
Lord have mercy.
But a pretty amazing thing is happening to me and I have no real explanation other than it’s my program at work. I’m not taking it that hard. At all really.
During warm-ups before our game last night I was watching the opposing team go through their routine almost flawlessly. I imagined that many of these girls had been playing the game most of their life. They all came from pretty affluent homes. Their parents were in the stands, their coach looking on doing her best CEO impression – power suit and all.
Then I glanced over at our girls.
I couldn’t help but smile. They stumbled, dropped passes, missed layups and basically looked like fish out of water. Most of their parents were not in the stands and several of them are poor immigrants with a very different life story than the girls on the other side of the court. I thanked God that he has put me in the lives of the latter. I thanked Him I think because I realized that they quite possibly need me in their lives way more than that other team. I thanked Him because I see that our girls are just as worthy to be on a team as those other girls. They are God’s children and deserve every bit of love, affection, mentoring and encouragement as any team in this state. The fact that we are quite possibly the worst team in the state has absolutely no bearing on who these girls really are.
This is truly a miracle for me – and I do not overstate that. I am fully at peace coaching the team that God has put before me. I look forward to the rest of the journey with these girls and it is because of this fact that I can whole-heartedly say that today I am at an all time high.