March Madness: Charlie’s Season of Roundball Comes to a Close

by Phil Bundy on March 15, 2010

With the change of seasons, Charlie ends his first experience of organized basketball. I have written previously how Donna and I are consciously introducing our son to a variety of sports. At his young age, we want him to have the opportunity to try and have fun with all kinds of activities. Later in his life, he will have the opportunity to chose and focus on his special interests.

For his first season of basketball, Charlie was fortunate to have two enthusiastic coaches who shared values like sportsmanship, teamwork, and spirit in addition to teaching basic fundamental skills. One of the coaches also arranged a terrific clinic taught by Jeff Eakins, who has coached NBA players and knows a few things about shooting the rock.

Yesterday, I took Charlie to another clinic conducted by legendary high school basketball coach Morgan Wootten. Enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000, Coach Wootten now operates a successful camp with his son Joe, who is also an outstanding coach. As father and son alternated with instruction, a few of their top players demonstrate at game speed. Charlie’s eyes were as big as saucers, and he and the other kids were divided in groups by age to try and practice different techniques and drills. With his expertise, experience, and inspiration, Coach Wootten reminded me of Jesse Haddock, another legend who was my golf coach at Wake Forest.

Charlie’s introduction to basketball makes me think of two points. First, the fundamentals of other sports translate directly to golf and contribute to a sound, athletic swing. And second, the coach — whether a parent volunteering to coach youth sports or a professional instructor teaching the world’s best athletes — is a critical, important factor to learning and improving at any sport.

Please take a minute and leave a comment to share your own experiences with sports and coaches.

Until next time, enjoy golf, America!

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