I have had the privilege to teach basketball since 1994 when I did my first camp in a city park near Hollywood FL and about 60 kids showed up for this no name coach. I recognized then what a captive audience I had and what an opportunity to speak into their lives to things that really matter. Since then, we have helped hundreds of kids and adults learn and improve in basketball. I enjoy skill development, especially breaking down a particular idea or skill and making it easier to understand and execute. Seeing someone “get it” is a real joy.
I’ve always understood that basketball is just the platform to something bigger. I tell parents, “thank you for letting me invest in your child’s life” because that is what I believe I am really doing. Over the years, God has opened many doors through instructing the game. I’ve seen sessions stop for prayer because it was needed at that time, had parents open up to me about deep pains they are going through, planted spiritual seeds, shared my own testimony, and untold other things that no doubt proved God was doing something only He could get credit for.
Beyond that, I teach life lessons such as: there is no substitute for hard work, be a person of your word, be on time, if you really want something- go work hard, the only way to be ready for an opportunity is prepare/practice every day, success builds confidence, if you don’t believe in you, who does, unselfishness is a good quality, overcome obstacles-don’t be one, discipline yourself, make sacrifices for yourself and others, manage your time, don’t say one thing and do the opposite, listen to the guidance of your parents, don’t get to high on success or too low on defeat, shut off your phone, find something and go be really good at it, never quit, never give in- find a way, be a leader, speak up, say thank you and please, get tough, forget about it-move on, trust the process, find a way to impact the situation, hard work pays off, attitude and effort is really all you can control. All of these are lessons clients will take with them in life however high they may soar in basketball.
In life there will always be ups and downs, success and failure, and endless challenges. I realize that I am just one player in the big game, here for a short time, but am blessed to be able to do what I do right now, mostly because I get to witness God working in my life and others. Basketball isn’t life, but it sure can teach a lot about it.
David is a father, husband, business owner, and ministry leader. He is Founder and Director of a Hope 2 Offer, an Iowa non-profit and The Orange Planet, a central Iowa based basketball instruction company started in 2008.