Opening up and moving forward

It is finally here!

This week, schools are allowed to start gathering with students again.This will be the first time since schools shut down due to COVID-19 back on March 16. Three and a half long months of isolating and social distancing from our friends, teachers, teammates, and colleagues. There are still more questions to come, but we are moving in the right direction of getting back to normal. In talking with my players, I know they are excited to see each other, compete with one another, and get back to something they enjoy.

Our basketball season ended as Sectional Runner-Up one week before schools were shut down. It was actually the last game played of the season. So it has been three and a half months, as well, with no basketball. So in a time of uncertainty, how do we move forward? Here are some thoughts that I share with our players to help us through tough times in a long season.

1) We need to remove the fear in our life. Replace fear with FAITH!

Very few people in the world do their best job when they are afraid. When you worry, you are constantly looking behind you rather than looking at where you want to go. As a coach, I want to equip my players to play with confidence. Do not worry about the things around you. Keep your eyes forward on what we are trying to accomplish as a team. That is where faith is vital. Faith in having complete confidence and trust in yourself, your teammates, and your team. We don’t know the outcomes or what might happen at the buzzer, but we have faith that we will give it our all and our best effort. The same is true with our Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We have complete confidence that He is with us through any ordeals or disappointments that might cross our path. We are reminded in Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you or forsake you.” He wants us to trust Him and have that faith that He is in control. We do not need to fear because we know the ending, Everlasting Life!

2)  Control what you can control!

The most common phrase that an athlete probably hears is, “Control what you can Control.” So often I have to remind our players and coaches of this. They get fixated on a bad call, a missed shot, a mistake they made, or even a mistake by their teammate. Now this influences your ability on the next play or decision. We can’t control a call a referee might make, but we can control how we receive it, how we react to it, and how we move on from it. We couldn’t control school going remotely or basketball workouts getting cancelled in June. We could control how we approached these situations though. Did we take ownership and make the situation a positive one? Many things are out of our control, but we have to remember who is in control! “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.” Jeremiah 17:7.

So as we continue to move forward during these difficult times and schools begin opening, have Faith! God is in control. We must trust Him until we meet Him face to face. Then we will understand His perfect will: always for our own good and to our benefit, even though it may not appear so.

Phil Brackmann,
Dean of Student Success
Head Boys Basketball Coach