Imagine you’re putting together a basketball team. You’re the coach and the GM. Over the course of a year you hand-pick your players from the best schools and playgrounds you know of. Some are more talented than others. Some are a little raw but have potential. You don’t get every player you try to recruit, but you do the best you can to construct the best team possible.

This team means a lot to you, and you are dedicated. Throughout the year you spend every spare moment you can with the players. Usually you work one-on-one with them, spending hours and hours in the gym, on the playground, anywhere there’s a hoop. You make them do drills. You see them getting better. Sometimes they disappoint you. Sometimes they amaze you. Sometimes you practice for hours and you don’t make any progress at all. If anything, it looks like they’ve gotten worse.

You sacrifice time with your family in an effort to make these players the best they can be. Often the players confide in you, and in the role of counselor and friend you stay up late with them, giving them as much time as they need. You spend entire weekends with them traveling to exhibition tournaments.

In these experiences you laugh together. You cry together. You share moments and make memories. You become close. Each player becomes part of your life. Part of you. You love them. You want them to succeed more than anything. Continue Reading…