Ever experience that hesitation to try something because you feel so totally incompetent at it? Who hasn’t? How about even when it’s something that truly seems like it would be extremely rewarding and/or fun? Again, who hasn’t? How about exploring coaching kids as a case study?

Steven Jenkins, an Account Manager with AC Technical Services, who describes himself as “a kid in an old man’s body,” knows that feeling well, and deals with it all time. Fifteen years ago he started coaching a kid’s basketball team at Weddington United Methodist in suburban Charlotte, NC so he could spend more time with his own kids. Well, that worked… but today his kids have outgrown the league and he’s still involved. And not at coaching, but running the entire league for 550 or so “other people’s kids.”

Seriously? Devoting tons of free time to help other people’s kids?

Simply put, yes. Listening to Steve describe the rewards of expending (a lot of!) personal effort to help kids express themselves through sports, understand their limitations, work hard and achieve a sense of enjoying life more fully makes it all worth it

And think about this… Running a basketball league vs. “just” coaching involves all sorts of “miscellaneous” things like marketing, software, recruiting and training coaches & referees, dealing with the occasional overzealous parent, etc. Are any of us really up to that kind of task?

If we were still in the past, I’d say no, but fortunately that’s where an organization like Upward Sports based in Spartanburg, SC comes in. They’ve put together a “cookbook,” for lack of a better term, that covers everything. From how to run a basketball practice to dealing with a parent screaming at a referee. EVERYTHING. (BTW, I love their technique for handling the latter. “You obviously have a LOT of knowledge about this game. We’re desperately short of knowledgeable refs. Here’s a whistle. Can you ref the next game?”)

If you’re a newbie to coaching kids or any role in a kid’s sport league, check out Upward Sports.

Finally, if you’ve ever thought about getting involved in a kid’s sports league, listen to Steve’s quick story about James. You need the context, but know that the punch line is “He’ll carry his head just a bit higher.”


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