It’s Basketball….And I’m Scared! by Patriarch Dan Pantos

I’ve been an armchair coach for most of my life. I’ve yelled at coaches through the tv, thinking I know more than they do about their play calling, but now…not so much! You see, my wife signed me up to be the head coach of my daughter’s basketball team. I was hesitant to take this on; however, there is this one factor involved in my decision making process. No…it wasn’t my wife (although she signed me up without checking with me first), but my daughter. Kaia can get me to agree to do things that I would never ever ever say ‘yes,’ to! So, I agreed to take this coaching thing on! All of eight of them! All 8-9 year old girls! A couple of them have never dribbled a basketball, much less be part of a team…and I’m scared! I’ve even made calls to old high school friends who I know have gone through this path before with their own kids.

I travel quite a bit for work, and now I have to schedule meetings around practices through the week and games on Sundays. Therefore; I get a lot of windshield time. Plenty of time to think!!! To think about how to coach girls that are playing for the first time…as a team. Do I focus on the basics of dribbling, passing, setting picks, defensive drills, shooting, team work – that list goes on and on. I’m fortunate that the other dad’s help out, too! I, mean, here’s an opportunity to teach these girls something that may stick with them forever as they pursue their choice of sports. But, where do I start?

As I finish this little blog, we are halfway through the season and have yet to win a game. But these awesome group of girls have continued to give it all they got…every game…every time! Perserverance!!! They will not give up. When they lose….they are somber – for about a minute. Then they get to do their St. Pius X huddle cheer, of which, I can honestly say they are the loudest group of girls in the gym and smiles come out and they come back that week for practice with eagerness to learn something else for the next game.

Have I succeeded? Have I made my daughter proud? Have I made the team proud? Answers I can only hope are positive. As a result of this little trek is the time I get to spend with my daughter! It is so priceless to me because I know someday she’s going to have friends that she’d rather be with and that’s okay. But at least I’m getting to put more quality time in the memory bank of time with my daughter!!!

….as for my son Nikolas….we’re in potty training mode and that will be in a different blog post and a whole different memory bank!

~Patriarch Pantos

***Update*** as our season came to an end prior to this being published, our girls won their first game in the tournament. Yes! Our girls got to taste their first basketball victory as a team and I got to see it with my own eyes. Not only am I a proud dad, but I became a proud coach of these girls!!!!

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