Recently I watched the girls I coached as junior highers now play a varsity basketball game. It was fun to be back in the gym and a joy to see how they have improved, but as they walked off the court after another loss I wanted to talk to them. Simply share some thoughts in the locker room like I did four years ago.
That didn't happen, but as the night came to an end my thoughts kept rolling. As my husband drifted off to sleep, the coach in me kept thinking....I wish I could tell them -
"Have some fun out there!!" It looks (this is just my observation) like they are going through the motions and not enjoying themselves like you should when you play a game.
"Don't play with fear." The girls appeared to be a bit hesitant at times and looked like they were trying not to lose instead of playing to win. I wanted to tell them, "you've played for years, you can do this! And even if you make a mistake, shake it off and try again! Quit thinking so much!!!"
"Get after it!!" Just because I want them to have fun that doesn't mean I don't want them to work!! If you want to win and do well you have to put forth effort and give your best! When I played we always had the saying, "If basketball were easy, everyone would play!!" It's not and they don't, so play with pride when you put the jersey on!!
"Play as a TEAM!!" Basketball is a game with 5 players for a reason, help each other out, work together and cheer each other on! When your teammates succeed, so will your team!
And finally, "Enjoy the Moment!!" I realize all of the girls are not the basketball fanatic that I was back in the day, but I have to believe someday they'll miss it and I don't want them to look back with regrets! When the season is done there is no going back and for the seniors, there is no next year.
Time kept ticking away and I realized this is no longer my team, I have to let it go and get some sleep...my little starting 5 would be waking soon! They did and as the day began, the game became a memory.
There was laundry to do, kids to feed, fights to break up, children to be taught and on and on. By mid-morning I found myself a bit stressed, a bit more ungrateful and on the edge of entering survival mode.
It was then God whispered to my heart, "Why don't you listen to the words you wanted to share with your basketball girls?" I thought what? My playing days are done!! But then I let my little speech replay in my mind and realized He was right! These words aren't just for basketball, but a Mom playing the game of life and a Christian walking the road of faith.
Friend, today it doesn't matter if you've ever picked up a basketball, these words above are for you and me!
Let's quit going through the motions as we walk in faith, no play in basketball is ever the same and neither is any day in life or situation we encounter. Be intentional with the time we have and make a difference by trusting the One who brought us to the event we are walking through!
Let's put the fear aside and play to win in the only game that really matters - life!! Remember no matter what situation you are facing - with God all things are possible and in Christ you can do all things!! (Matt. 19:26 and Phil. 4:13)
Though God can do all things, let's not forget that He has equipped us to do them - meaning we have to work! This will require discipline, time and effort, but the rewards it will bring are worth it!!!
Play as a team - as I "listened" to myself, memories of earlier this year came back - after our little Jesse was born I felt as though I had a new starting 5, my little Team Beran! But the other morning I realized I'd been feeling like it was more of a them against me rather than a united team effort! No matter who you are working with - basketball teammates, a ministry group or your family remember Together Everyone Achieves More!!
And last but not listen, perhaps the most important piece of advice, "Enjoy the Moment!!" These words hit hard - it's been nearly 20 years since I sported the Wildcat jersey and I still find myself missing that from time to time, but it hit me that someday instead of talking about a game I'll say, "It's been 20 years since Jesse was a baby and all the kids were home." Wow, that puts things in perspective! I don't want to merely survive this season, I want to enjoy it and I pray you do too!!
Well, I'm not sure if I'll get to tell the girls what I wanted to, but I'm so thankful God told me what He had to say!!!