Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Jake's Thought for the Week

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides.
1 Peter: 4-10-12

I usually take each week to share with all of you something motivating or at least reflective as we head into another week. This week I would like to use the thought for the week to just review the goals and direction for the Attack program as we move into the rest of the summer and beyond.

In one of my first 'thoughts for the week' this year I talked about doing everything with the end in mind. I discussed how we should live our lives always with the end in mind and looking for the ways that God will use each of us to make an impact on the world.

It is equally important that as a program we remember that myself and all of the coaches are going to coach with the end in mind. Now, the end is not quite as dramatic as defining our lives, but instead it reflects the way we are going to coach, teach, and train your child. We are always going to do it with the big picture in mind; that picture will not come into focus until your child leaves our program prior to their senior year in high school, ready to write the next chapter of their lives.

As I reflect on the above statements I assume some of you may ask the question of what exactly does this mean. It could mean many different things for many different people and could be defined differently depending on your child. It could mean a full-ride scholarship to a premiere Division I University or it could simply mean that the lessons, the adversity, the highs and lows, and expectations that they experienced while participating in the Attack program will help to carry them in their endeavors after high school.

How do you know if we are going in the right direction you may ask? Each week we get together at various times as a coaching staff to discuss each individual player and their particular situation, and then we ask the question are they getting better? Are they getting better in regards to their basketball skills? Do we see them growing as leaders? How are they interacting with their teammates? Do we feel they are growing in the ability to focus for long periods of time? How do they handle adversity? In some situations are we getting reports that they are doing better in school? Are we helping them move in the direction of what we perceive to be their basketball goals? What new things can we do this week that might speed up some area of development?

These are just some of the questions we ask and discuss on a weekly basis. If we feel there is a gradual increase in improvement in one or more areas then we feel comfortable with the current situation your child has been placed in. If we feel the individual is not handling or not improving in one of the areas discussed then we will find creative ways or sometimes odd ways to make sure we see improvements going into the future.

As we move forward we will continue to work hard at helping your child improve and we will strive to win a lot of games and championships, but please remember we will first do everything with the end in mind. It may not always make immediate sense and we may even make some mistakes during the process as we learn along with all of the kids. However, I am confident with the process. It takes time to not only become an excellent basketball player, but to also become a successful individual that understands what it means to stay focused on a goal and how to handle the turbulent ride it often takes to reach that goal.

Lastly, please feel free to always be comfortable in talking with me about your particular child’s situation and how we feel they are improving. I am always very approachable as long as we are discussing your particular child’s situation. The things I always try to avoid are discussions involving other players on the team and or the coaching situation we have in place for your child. During the weekend tournaments I attempt to stay fairly isolated from the parents and encourage all of our coaches to do the same because our job is to focus on your child with no emotions standing in the way of the decision we have to make on a weekly and monthly basis. Please know that we truly appreciate all of you very much and care deeply about every family in the program, but we do try to stay away from dining with families, socializing in lobby, etc.., not because we want to feel unapproachable but rather we work hard at doing our best to stay focused on helping your son/daughter reach their goals. I cannot say enough how thankful we all are to the families that sacrifice so much for their children to participate in our program.
I hope this helps everyone as it often helps me to be reminded of the goals and vision for the program. Like I often tell the kids; if you choose to pursue a goal in athletics understand that it is not a sprint or even a marathon but a journey that will stay with you forever.

Go Attack,
Jake Sullivan

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