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Here are 7 Outstanding Reasons to Coach Your Kids

We are in a bit of a mess in Reece’s 7th/8th Grade Basketball League.  The league is spectacular.  It’s a local youth organization that provides the opportunity to thousands of kids to play basketball.  In the 7th/8th Grade division alone, there are 180 players on 18 teams!!

Here’s the problem, we are short on coaches.  For the most part, these kids have been playing together since they were in 1st grade.  And many of the same coaches have been coaching for the last 4 or 5 years, if not longer.  But coaches come and go.  Kids join other leagues or play on travel teams which means the league loses a coach.

This is the situation we are in.  We need at least 5 coaches.  It sounds like the commissioner and those that run the league have figured out a solution.  But maybe you are in a position where you are deciding whether or not to coach. So here are 7 reasons to coach your child’s team.


A younger Reece looking to make the perfect pass!


  1. You WILL create a major bond with your child.  This is so obvious.  You and your child will be on the same team!  You will talk about the game, discuss what he or she did right and what you did wrong.  This is by far the easiest way for you to spend multiple hours a week with your child.
  2. You form relationships with your kid’s friends and peers. Surely you know the value of this.  I want to be as close to Reece and Tatum’s friends as possible.  I want to know about the ones that are up to no good.  I want to know about the ones that are doing good things in their neighborhood and our community.  Also, it’s very rewarding to watch the kids you coached in the past grow.  There is nothing like seeing a kid you coached a few years ago and being met with a smile and a handshake.
  3. You form relationships with player’s parents.  I can’t tell you how many incredible friendships Clarissa and I have developed with the parents of the kids we have coached.  These people have similar interests with kids the same age who love in the same town.  Every season I coach I form another relationship or further develop an existing relationship.
  4. You get the chance to teach kids.  I’m not really talking X’s and O’s.  Honestly, if you’re looking for your kid to learn X’s and O’s then you probably don’t want your son or daughter to be drafted by me.  For coaches like me though, we can teach kids values like hard work, teamwork and sportsmanship.  Respect for the officials and the belief that any game is winnable.
  5. You’re part of a group.  A group of men and women who are willing to use their time for the benefit of children.  We all want to win.  And there are some conflicts that arise throughout the season.  And yes, some coaches can be complete assholes.  But overall, we are all in this for the kids.  We are all doing this for the right reasons.  At the end of the season and beyond you are now part of a group of people that have put themselves out there to benefit your kid and all of the kids involved in that sport.  That’s a good group to be in.
  6. You are leaving your comfort zone.  Look, coaching isn’t easy.  I still get a feeling in the pit of my stomach before every game, every practice even.  A nervous uneasy feeling that can only be removed when the ball is tipped.  We have had some rough seasons, including two in a row where we were winless.  There are some games you will always remember and some you would do anything to forget.  It’s often uneasy but always rewarding.
  7. You may win a title.  Ok, let’s cut the bullshit.  This, in large part, is why you coach.  My assistant and I have coached for the last 5 seasons.  I honestly feel that this is the closest we have ever been to a title.  And I have been excited for this season since the last whistle of our last game last year.  If we can combine all of the things mentioned about, especially the teaching of valuable lessons to kids, and win a title then there isn’t any greater feeling.



My All Time Favorite Game

Our playoffs are run like the World Cup Pool Round.  4 teams per Pool, all play each other.  The top 2 teams from the Pool advance to the next round where it becomes single elimination.  Last year, in our Pool, one team went 3- 0 and the other 3 teams went 1-2.  So it came down to point differential.  Basically, in our last game we needed to win by 16 points.

Prior to the game, I pulled the kids aside and explained what needed to happen.  I was very upfront with them.


First, I explained the situation.

  • We need to win by 16 to advance.


Then I backed it up and explained how we were going to do it.

  • We are going to play incredible defense.
  • We are not going to waste one single possession.  No bad shots, no bad passes, limit mistakes.
  • We Must Believe that it’s possible. Every one of us had to truly think and believe we were capable of winning this game by 16 points.



The Game

We were up by 11 at the half and were absolutely dominating the game.  We got to a 16 point lead with just over a minute in the game.  They had the ball.  One more stop and we should be able to secure the lead.  We did stop them and with less than a minute we had the 16 point lead and the ball.  I called a timeout and brought them over to explain the game plan

No shots.  Don’t get caught in the corner.  Only good passes.  They weren’t going to foul us so as long as we didn’t make any mistakes we would be good.  The clock was running down, 40 seconds, our passes were good, 30 seconds, still good.  With about 25 seconds to go our best player threw the ball away and into the arms of an opposing player.

He ran down the court, attempted a layup and was fouled.  The shot did not fall.  He made the first foul shot, 15 point lead.  Missed the second foul shot. They got the rebound, the clock was running down, 15 seconds.  Our defense once again stepped up and we got one last steal.  We got it to our best player who sprinted down the court in a footrace with an opposing player. As he advanced past the half court I called a timeout. Only about 4 seconds on the clock.



A few months before this game, that player had become known as the fastest 8th Grader in the county.  This kid was like lightning.  And he was left handed.  So here he was dribbling down the left side of the court with an open look at immortality.  And I call a timeout.  There are times I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about that mistake.  I sometimes bend over in agony thinking about it.

We would go on to win the game, by 15, and would not advance.  It was above and beyond the greatest game I ever coached and the most I have ever gotten out of a group of players.  But it felt like a loss.  I have been waiting 9 long months for the opportunity to make up for that mistake.


Everyone Wins

So yes, coaching is not easy.  It’s hard to come up with practice plans.  It takes time away from things you could be doing instead.  You feel the pressure of the parents.  You hope everyone gets enough playing time.  You hope everyone learns at least a little bit.  And you have to live with the consequences of your mistakes.  But there is simply no better feeling in the world then when a kid you coached walks up to you and tells you he has never had more fun in any season before this.

Coaching provides you with the ability to make an impact on a child while he or she is having fun.  And that is really the only reason we need to pick up a whistle and get started. 


-Keith Laskey 



Moments In Time 17 Years in the Making

  A Whole New World It was a gorgeous day in late August, 1996.  I drove my '86 Firebird to college with my parents ahead of me leading the way.  We got to the dorm, unloaded my belongings, set the room up and met the roommate.  I walked them … [Continue reading]

Introducing my Teenager to the Wonderful World of Self-Help Books

Personal Development for Kids I have been on this kick for as long as I can remember.  We spend so much time and money on sports.  Don't get me wrong, I am all about sports for both of my kids.  I grew up with two brothers and we played sports our … [Continue reading]

How to kill stress and take control of your life.


Here's what you won't find in this post.   Advice by me.  Because I'm at a loss.   Sure, I'll have some ideas.  Some things that I have heard or read in the past.  But certainly nothing that I'm using currently to reduce stress. I … [Continue reading]

A Not so Classic Boy Meets Girl Love Story.

Our Story       Friday the 13th.   Eleven years ago today, Friday the 13th, 2006, I drove home from a 3 week work trip in Louisville.  Clarissa and I had just purchased a house in my hometown in August. Barely a … [Continue reading]