MOONLIGHT ILLUMINATIONS: The correlation between coaching and parenting

My summer as a basketball coach

The Moonlight Hoops basketball league is a true Learning As I Go situation. Over the past several days I’ve been posting about my experiences, with some relevant photos, some are of my team, some are of other teams.

Lorenzo, center, in ball cap, is the real coach of the team. He wants to be a coach and he's going good experience in the league. Despite what you see here, the guys really don't listen to him, either. (Random people sometimes stray onto the court, like the woman on the left. Just part of the character of Moonlight Hoops.)

Lorenzo, center, in ball cap, is the real coach of the team. He wants to be a coach and he’s going good experience in the league. Despite what you see here, the guys really don’t listen to him, either. (Random people sometimes stray onto the court, like the woman on the left. Just part of the character of Moonlight Hoops.)

Coaching in name is mostly what I’m doing, and I’m becoming ok with that. I have an assistant coach, Lorenzo. I just appeared on the first night and told me he was my assistant. I don’t even know his last name. I know that he wants to coach but I don’t think he’s really realized that he’s not seeing the whole court. I probably spend more time coaching him, hoping what I tell him gets relayed to the team. He has a lot of friends. In fact, our team has a lot of friends, so many so that there’s never room on the bench for the team.

Offense and defense in the league are haphazard. Most plays begin as a fast break. Their definition of a point guard is the player who runs the ball from one end of the court to the basket on the other end. And they all want to be the point guard.

Offense and defense in the league are haphazard. Most plays begin as a fast break. Their definition of a point guard is the player who runs the ball from one end of the court to the basket on the other end. And they all want to be the point guard.

I had wondered how many of the guys in this league are on the city’s high school teams. I haven’t done the research, but I suspect it’s very few. This is organized street ball — most of these kids don’t want the discipline of a team, they all want to be the hot shot star. They don’t get that stars usually aren’t winners without a winning team.

Jaylan is only 12 so the guys on the team don't pass it to him very much. But he never gives up. I love this kid.

Jaylan is only 12 so the guys on the team don’t pass it to him very much. But he never gives up. I love this kid.

That makes me wonder where the parenting is. There are very few parents at the games. Jaylan’s mom is always there, and I can see the difference between him and other kids in the league. I think he’s a kid who wants to use his talent on the court to get him somewhere in life. Again, I haven’t done the research, just my observations.

Coaching, teaching, parenting — they’re pretty much the same job, aren’t they, just with different levels of responsibility for and to the children. My participation in two of these — coaching and teaching — might be somewhat of a desire to fulfill the third one. I’m seeing a possible correlation between the parenting these kids get and their ability or willingness to be coached. (Again, I haven’t done the research, that could be someone’s master’s thesis.) But I can tell you that Jaylan is one of the most coachable kids on the team, and his mom is there for every game.

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