Maybe it’s just me, but time seems to be a bit weird over the past few years. At this time last year my daughter was finishing up her first season of rec league basketball. She was on a pretty stacked team, with coaches that we knew from softball and a lot of girls with previous experience at the sport. With a full roster of fifteen girls she started some games, came off the bench for others. Anytime she got tired there were plenty of substitutes, a major advantage over some of the smaller teams. She played great defense, furthered her reputation as a kid that never stopped hustling and probably scored six points the entire season. Some of the games were close but they went undefeated and won the season ending tournament. Stuck to the bottom of her first real trophy is a sticky note explaining how it was earned.
She also played the entire season like this, which makes it seem like much longer ago than a year. I work at a hospital and everyone that enters is still mandated to wear a mask but somehow it seems like much longer ago that this was the norm. It’s weird, right?
To say that this year was different seems a bit of an understatement. There were new people in administrative positions that were appreciated but perhaps overwhelmed. Instead of the two teams our town fielded last year this season yielded three, including one that seemed a bit of an afterthought. Most weeks we were lucky to have six girls available, meaning one substitute for the entire game. Only a few of those had ever played before. Some weeks coaching consisted mainly of reminding them which basket they were supposed to be shooting at.
It should have been a disaster and at times it was. There were practices cancelled because of lack of participants and games forfeited because of communication breakdowns. There was a sternly worded e-mail sent about how my kid’s development in the sport was being held back. There were a lot more losses than wins and to be transparent, one of those was a one point loss when my daughter scored two for the other side.
Somehow, despite all of this, there was also a lot of fun had. On off days she asks to go to the courts at the park to play. We’ve watched a few Uconn women games and will probably check out a Connecticut Sun WNBA game this summer. She went from being just another player on a team to one of the most important players on a team, something that wasn’t beneficial to their record but was great for her self esteem. She’s in better physical shape than she’s probably ever been in.
It almost led to a story book ending. Regular season wins and losses determine seeding and who gets a first round bye but I’m pretty sure that every team in the league participates in the season ending tournament. They got crushed in the championship game but the fact that they were able to go on a run and make it that far is a pretty remarkable feat that I don’t think she fully appreciates.
Before long softball season will start and we’ll have moved on to the next thing. She skipped last year to focus more on soccer so I don’t know how that will go but one thing I will take away from year two of basketball is that there is more than one way to measure the success of a season.
Previously Published on thirstydaddy.com and is republished on Medium.
internal images courtesy of author
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