By Chip Sodemann
Week one is in the books! Tryouts are over and teams are set. On the varsity level we kept 10 players (7 sophomores and 3 freshmen). Last week I talked about building a culture and the vision I have for this program. How do we build that culture? The starting point, I believe is to build an atmosphere in which is special. I want to create and environment in which kids LOVE to come to practice; where they LOVE to compete and where they feel a sense a PRIDE every time they put on our jersey.
Every season brings on different challenges depending on the makeup of the team. With the youth and inexperience of our program right now, I left no stone unturned. We taught them everything from how to enter the gym and warm up to how to pick a teammate up after he dives on the floor to how to pass, shoot and dribble from the most fundamental of levels. We even taught our players the words to our school fight song and we say them at the end of each practice.
This was a week of setting expectations for what it means to play hard, what it means to communicate to each other and what it means to be a part of something bigger than yourself. And oh ya, we tried to have a little fun too! I cannot put my finger on one particular trait or quality that makes a good team or program, but I do know that success comes from a collection of little things done well. Helping a teammate up off the floor or standing up when they get subbed out of the game is a little thing that makes a big difference and these are the bricks that a solid foundation is built upon. Oskie.
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