10 Things I Learned Watching My Daughter Play This Basketball Season

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  1. My kid cares about winning: She doesn’t obsess over winning but she’ll try her hardest to contribute to success. She knows participant trophies are irrelevant.
  2. She is a gracious loser: As much as she cares about winning, she can walk away from a loss head high. As long as she tried her best, she gets it. There are winners and losers.
  3. Same effort in practice as in games: Ball is ball. She loves to play and to compete. There may be more laughs and goofs at practice, but she tries to win every drill and plays tough during scrimmages.
  4. She enjoys and supports her teammates: She smiles so hard her cheeks sometime ache. The pure joy is evident and is contagious.
  5. She allows herself to learn nuance: To get good, she learned the basics. To get better, she studied subtitles.
  6. She will not allow you to score: Nope. You will be beaten to your spot, your angles will be compromised, you will not be able to dribble around her. You are fully checked.
  7. She is tougher than nails: Tough and strong. Surprisingly. Neither pain nor exertion prevent a maximum defensive effort. She takes a lick and she dishes them out. She has never self-called a foul.
  8. She prepares like a pro: She understands conceptual continuity. Same bag, same sneaks, same shorts, same socks, same routines. She has a practice uniform, she has a game uniform. iPod and headphones en route to each.
  9. She is coach-able: She hears, she listens, she adjusts, she absorbs. Doesn’t need to be instructed twice. She coaches herself. She respects refs.
  10. She does it for herself: Basketball was her idea. I didn’t even consider it. Last year’s team went 0-8. She came back because she likes to play. This year, they were 7-1.
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