Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A Christmas Miracle

He knows if your J's bad or good.
          I have been living with my wife and step son for the past 12 months. They have been finding out how I operate and things I do and say. Never having a child of my own I was anxious to think about what activities to get involved in with him because he is not really a sports kind of kid. The little guy has been feeling his way on what to talk to me about and what I will bend on and stand firm. I never pushed basketball on the kid but my passion usually flows throw mostly due to job description.
          Little man, being a little obsessive, keeps asking if he is going to be good at basketball. He asks, "Will I be good if I do this?", "Will I be a great player if I work out or shoot around for a couple of days or how many shots a day will make me good?" I usually just say do as much as you can. Knowing that he can't remove himself from the video game room for 3 to 4 hours I didn't really want to force it on him or stress him out about the insanity with which I worked on my game at times.
Recently I took a hiatus from coaching full time to finish a master's degree and I had time to go out back a few days and show him what I learned from my Dad and older brother and millions of other coaches over 35 years. 
          The hardest thing for most kids in his generation is figuring out it takes practice, work, and
repetition to become average. He has been shooting off and on out back. I will ask him every now and then if he got his shots. He still asks how many it takes to be successful. I used to say numbers like 50 to 100 shots, and shock and awe would be written on his face.
Talkin' 'bout practice.
          I came home one Monday night after working late. My beautiful wife was in her chair and my stepson was on the couch. The house was silent, and nothing was stirring not even a mouse. I sat down and looked at them when my wife told me my stepson had some news. After 2.2 million thoughts went through my head, mostly negative, my stepson says, "I shot 100 shots today."
          I was happy but it didn't hit me what the significance was until the next day while I was teaching Character Education the next morning. I was teaching about our generation, and hard work. Jimmy Valvano was the topic that morning, and I always get emotional when I talk about +The V Foundation for Cancer Research. I mentioned to my kids what happened with the little hooper the night before, and before I could finish what my stepson told me, I got a little misty. I paused for a few seconds and walked out in the hall. 
          I knew I did already, in fact there are two great ones, but it occurred to me a little more deeply...I have a son.

"He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree."

- Roy L. Smith