Thursday, February 01, 2007

Basketball Practice

I am coaching my 10 year old son’s basketball team and we have a mix of talent levels on our team. About half of our players have never really played before. One in particular, I will call him Jimmy, seems to be in left field. It looks like he just doesn’t want to be there. He doesn’t pay attention and it appears like he is having no fun at all.

His mom just called me. She explained that Jimmy has ADHD. She also said that he talked his parents into letting him play football a little over a year ago. Against their better judgment, they let him play. It turned out to be a sad disaster.

Because Jimmy was not focusing on the football field, his teammates all made fun of him and called him names. Then the coaches did. His coaches would grab a hold of his facemask and scream at him and tell him how worthless he was. She went on to say that since that time, he has totally withdrawn from life – no friends, his schoolwork has suffered and he constantly feels that everyone hates him and that he is not worth anything.

My heart absolutely ached!

She said their therapist mandated that he get back into life and said he needed to play a sport so they hesitantly signed him up for basketball, very fearful of what might happen next. She said they were praying hard for him to end up on the right team. She then went on to say she felt that Jimmy was on the right team and that she was very thankful for that.

While Jimmy has never spoken at a practice or a game, she said all he does is talk about how excited he is about basketball and our team. Wow.

I hung up the phone and had tears running down my cheeks. I felt as if God just gave me the most incredible gift I have ever received. At that moment I realized how incredibly important every conversation is, every action is - at work, at home…and especially to a 10 year old boy who is playing basketball.

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