Basketball practice last night made me so glad not to have to endure it myself.

I think coaching must be a really tough job. Finding the right balance between encouraging the early-learners and pushing the competent is an art. I don’t think this coach has mastered it, but I think he’s trying to find it and that alone is worth commending. But still…I don’t know whether it was a drill or a scrimmage or what but for some endless eternity, they were all on the floor, all looking like they were playing, while pretty much three kids passed the ball to each other, took a shot, took it out, and started over. The other six mingled. At relatively high-speed.

And then a drill…oh, I cringed for one poor kid. He’s tall, advantage him, but seemed totally lost. It wasn’t just that he didn’t know how to play, he struggled to follow the coach’s instructions. He was never in the right place at the right time, never quite getting the next step. And I could tell that he knew it and hated it. He looked so miserable.

Practice ended well, though. Rory made a free throw basket–a beautiful, graceful shot that dropped so smoothly through the net that it was as if it was meant to be there. He surprised the coach, pleased his teammates, and delighted himself. And that moment of happiness will give us at least another two practices. I hope.