Elevate Your Game

Show Them Why They Should Play You!

by Shawn Jones on Apr 22, 2024

I have a young athlete who has some great, raw abilities.  She could really shoot the ball well as a Freshman.  She had extensive back surgery as a Sophomore to correct Scoliosis and missed most of the year.  Now as a Junior she is back to full speed, but not back to shooting it proficiently.  She has been frustrated.  I have been frustrated.  We both know she has the ability.

I have been patient.  I have been forgiving.  It is SO hard watching her go 0-3, 0-4, 0-5… knowing that my leaving her out there while trying to believe in her isn’t necessarily the best thing for the team.  She knew it.  Her frustration began to turn to visible emotions.  She quit doing the little things that I always say will keep a player on the floor— great defense, great passing, effort to loose balls, etc. I began to use her less and less.  She began to pout.  I use that term carefully, but that’s exactly what it was.  She was pouting.  She knew she hadn’t performed, but didn’t want to accept the reality that I had to put the team’s needs above her or my feelings.  I benched her.

I waited all weekend for a text or phone call to hear that she was quitting.  I knew she was more than upset about not playing a single second.  I didn’t really even hold it against her.  Instead, I got a text from my assistant Sunday night.  It said she was wanting him to let her in the gym so she could work.  Over the next three days she came in early and stayed late.  She went to work.

Knowing this, I never said a word to her about it.  I simply went through practice like always, putting her in at her position, but also not acknowledging her not getting to play or her doing extra workouts. The next game I put her in the game early.  She looked like a different player.  She was quick.  She was anticipating.  She was defending.  And then she started shooting.  Splash.  Splash.  Splash.  Then the confidence turned to a wildfire.  Other players started feeding off her energy.  Everyone started splashing.  We opened a 20 pt lead in one quarter against a very quality opponent.

In the locker room after the game as we celebrated a big win and a great performance for her, my assistant coach told her to say what she told him.  Reluctantly, she said, “I thought hard about quitting.  And then I decided I’m going to put in the work to show him why he should play me!”  And she did just that.  Her WORK enabled her to SHOW ME that she deserved to play.  She led us in scoring that night and turned her season around.

At Ballogy we know that sometimes players need repetition to get their SKILL right.  Other times they need repetition to get their MIND right.  Either way, we are here to help you help them.  In the process, everybody gets better.  We are a platform that helps you assign, evaluate, and motivate players to do the work to fix the things that will help them show you why they should get to play.