Hustle Kid!

Every coach has had this kid—and his family.

You spend all week teaching him how to position his feet on defense. You explain to him that keeping himself between his opponent and the basket is the most important thing.  Then, you put him in the game and he runs up and down the court, looking energetic and athletic—and flies into the stands trying to knock down a pass he never had a chance at, while the guy he was guarding goes in for a layup.

“Good hustle, Johnny!” his dad applauds from the stands, and you groan inside, knowing your teaching has gone out the window.

Then at the end of the year, when you are giving awards like MVP, Most Rebounds, and Best Defender, Johnny’s mom nonchalantly suggests, “You know, maybe you should have an award for Most Hustle.”

Yeah, because the kids I’m giving awards to who are actually good at the sport didn’t hustle?

Then there’s the other kid who shows up to every single practice. He’s never late, is unfailingly polite, and listens to everything.  He really wants to be a good basketball player.

But he’s not. In fact, everything he does is bad for the team. He hasn’t a clue, and neither do his parents. But you like having him around. He’s good company.

And at the end of the season, he holds his participation trophy above his head so Mommy and Daddy can take a picture, satisfied with his award for showing up.

Read it all…

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