Break out the pompoms, face paint and team mascots -- the season of buzzer beaters and halfcourt shots are here.
The month of November ignites the start of basketball for colleges and high schools across the country. During the offseason, thousands of student-athletes spent countless hours of practice in the gym, putting in work. From running suicides, playing one-on-one, dribbling figure eights, or shooting drills, it's about training hard to gain an edge.
Even though the excitement of college basketball has begun, high school sports has its own uniqueness. The letterman jackets, last names on sweatshirts, and the Friday night quadruple headers of JV and varsity boys' and girls' games all represent pure amateur athletics. Whether you make the team or not, here are some simple things to remember after tryouts.
Varsity: So you made varsity and you're super pumped. Enjoy this feeling for one day. Don't get so big headed that you can't fit through the double doors of the gym.
It's a great achievement making varsity, but responsibility comes along with it. You have a responsibility to set the tone for the basketball program. You are a role model to all of the student-athletes who are on the JV and freshman teams. Step up to the challenge and embrace the opportunity.
Junior Varsity: Congratulations. You have been given the chance to carry the legacy set by the varsity squad. When scrimmaging the varsity at practice, kick their butts. Just because you have the title of junior varsity doesn't mean you can't compete. You'll soon rock a basketball on your hip and "V" on your chest, but until then, continue to work hard.
Freshman Team: Here's a chance to grow and learn. There should be no pressure on the team. This is the best time to be a gym rat. You need more polishing before you're thrown into primetime basketball.
Missed the Cut: So you got cut. Let this simmer for one second. It's really OK to show your emotion. I cried my first week on the job as an assistant coach and I'm in my mid-20s. Don't let this outcome break your young, vibrant spirit. Just keep it moving and come back next year even better. You have to take little steps to make big moves.
It's always good to play more than one sport. Don't make the mistake of getting so caught up with one sport that you can't spend time developing other skills.
High school basketball should be a social outlet where you make mistakes and learn from them. Develop the important skills of being a good teammate and a coachable student-athlete. Enjoy this time in your life, because you only get one high school moment.
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Joy Hollingsworth is a first-year assistant women's basketball coach at Seattle University. A native of Seattle, she was a standout guard at Seattle Preparatory High School, earned WCC Freshman of the Year and honorable mention freshman All-American at the University of San Francisco and was a two-year starter and honorable mention All-Pac-10 at Arizona. Hollingsworth played professionally in Greece and earned an M.Ed. from the University of Washington. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.