This Season's Last Practice

Today was kind of a bittersweet day for me as it was our last practice of the season. Sure, we'll have a couple walk throughs and shoot arounds at the NWAACC Tournament but they won't be anywhere near the length and intensity of our normal practices. As our current players and alumni already know, we have a series of drills that we run at the beginning of most practices, and even as those drills were in progress, I kept thinking to myself that this would be the very last time that I would watch the sophomores work on those skills.
I don't know why we've never done it, but I really wish that we had videotaped the first practice of the year. It would be so much fun to watch it now and to see how much everyone has improved in just a few short months. I remember that practice like it was yesterday. . .there was so much nervous energy as most of the girls had absolutely no idea what to expect. I had to stop and explain every single drill in complete detail because we just didn't have enough sophomores to demonstrate. Linda and I were immediately impressed at how unselfish they were even from the very beginning. Afterwards, Cassie Scheffelmaier walked off the court and told us that she had never gone through a practice like that before. I'm sure looking back, that day looks pretty easy to Cassie and the other freshmen now.

It would be even more fun to go back and watch a tape of the sophomore's first practice. Sam, Denay, and Marissa are completely different players now with more and better skills than any ever imagined that they would have. Coaching is kind of like watching your kids grow because when you see them every day you don't always notice the daily, subtle changes. But then when you go back and look at a tape of them taken a year or two earlier, the differences are obvious and often staggering.

While many things changed over the course of the season as everyone grew and developed, some things stayed the same. Back on the first day of practice, Kayla Haines was so excited to play that she had goose bumps all over her arms. Today, on the last day of practice, Kayla Haines was so excited to play that she had goose bumps all over her arms. . . . .

I wish today was the first practice again instead of the last. . . . . .

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