13 August 2012

Basketball coaching

I watched the men's final game at the Olympics late last night. It was on from about 11 pm until the Americans came through with 7 to spare for Gold medal honors. It was anyone's game throughout the contest, as 11 points was the maximum spread. And that not until the 4th quarter.

All through the game I kept shouting at the television, for Coach Krzyzewski to hear, "Get those boys moving!" I saw so much standing around, it looked like a Grade 8 Junior High School dance with boys on one side, staring at the other side of the hall.

To be fair, the "Dream Team" didn't really need much coaching. They are superstars, each of them, from LeBron James and Kobe Bryant to James Harden and Anthony Davis, who played the last minute or so. But what I noticed was that when they did play as a team, and moved a bit, even without the ball, they were unstoppable. Most of the game, they stood flatfooted, and it was a one-on-one game of 3 pointers or driving layups for the USA, while the Spanish moved the ball around in a normal 'team' effort. I think that's why they were so close after all. Pau Gasol got layup after layup, driving without the ball, while the Yanks stood watching.

I'm not disappointed in the result, but only in the (lack of) action. Who didn't love the alley-oop to James, but those US pass/assist/buckets were few and far between. We ended with 13 assists, and to be fair, most of those were just passes to open 3-balls. Spain had 22 assists, and looked better. But we shot well enough, especially from the outside, and squeaked by.


I noted something similar when watching Coach Hugh McCutcheon not coaching the US women in their loss to Brazil in the finals of women's indoor volleyball. No playbook; no pad; just a bit of 'go get 'em, ladies,' 'get the next side out' and "USA!" Teams, no matter how well made up, need a coach.

Why am I telling you this? Because my wife was tired of hearing me coaching during the games. And this is possibly something you might want to work on in your life and when it's time to coach, go ahead and do so.

After all, God doesn't just send us a playbook, tell us to read it, cheer us from afar, and hope we do all right. He made a new covenant (Jeremiah 31) and put it in our heart, so we can do it in his strength. He is with us, to the end. Even now.

1 comment:

Emmanuel said...

I didn't know you were such an avid basketball fan. Who is your favorite NBA team? Do you think that this dream team the original?