It's 9:30am, Saturday morning, a few hours before Matt's first basketball game with the Upward Basketball Program. This is a new program for us...a Christian based program that teaches not only skills of the game, but also "skills" on how to live your life as a humble and good human being.
About a month ago we had a parents meeting at the church that walked us through what the program was like, what to expect, and what their main goals were for the season. It was all great!! I thought this is a fantastic program! And then they showed a video presentation of last years season and some of the highlights. When they got to the part of explaining there is a tunnel that leads out from the locker room that the kids run out of right after there name is called is where I stopped listening. I thought to myself...Tunnel? Name announced? A jog around the court? This is going to be a problem.
You see, I have lived this scenario SEVERAL dozen times in my living room. Matthew comes over (dressed head to toe in his Lakers uniform) hands me a hair brush microphone and says..."I'm going to go down the hall. Don't announce me until the end, because they always announce the best players at the end." So like a good mother I announce all other mediocre players first and then in a deep loud voice I say, "And from Lodi, California....last, but never least....CRYBABY KOBE BRYANT!!!!!" And then that leads to him running in and yelling at me to "STOP IT AND PLAY THE GAME RIGHT!!" So, then I play fair and call out his name and he comes down the hall and does a couple of laps around the living room giving me and ten others imaginary high fives. Do you see where I am going with this?
If not, then they me tell you what he said to me last night...
Matt: Mom, you know tomorrow when they announce our names and we go out and run around the court?
Mom: (Deep sigh) Yes...
Matt: What do you think my dance should be?
Mom: (Spitting food from her mouth) Dance? What do you mean DANCE???????
Matt: You know, I need some kind of dance once I come through the tunnel.
Mom: No, no, no, no, no, no. No dancing. No dancing. Matthew, when they announce your name, you smile and follow your team out and listen to whatever direction your coach gives you. NO DANCING, PLEASE!
Matt: (Smiling) Alright.
Because I wanted him to digest that for the night, I waited until this morning to ask him to make sure he does three important things today. 1. Play defense. 2. Pass the ball. 3. Congratulate each teammate after every shot, regardless of if they made it or not. He said, "Okay!" And as he was walking away, I threw in... "And remember no dancing!" (rolling his eyes) "I know Mom!"
Okay, were home and it was great. As you will see in the ONE picture below, that Matt did not dance his way out of the tunnel. He had a great game with a couple of really good blocks and he made several baskets.
Today was the first time that Matthew has played a game where they kept score. And they had a 10, 9, 8....count down for final shot. The entire game I could see his eyes watching the score and the clock. This will become his focus. I guarantee you that these two things will become his obsession and his play will revolve around it.
And I deserved to be fired. I didn't have the camera charged. And I forgot my cell phone at home. So this is the only picture I have from this morning from our camera. The other is in the bathroom right before we left.
Please try to ignore the toilet seat in the back.
There he is....look closely...coming out of the tunnel. Better pics next week---PROMISE!!!