Summer Camp Morning Messages

Summer Camp Morning Messages

You can't build a house, but you can lay a brick!

I've been thinking about this one for a while. Procrastination gets the best of me more than I'd like to admit. It's taken me many years to figure out that opponent. 

The quote above has played a pivotal role as one of the tools to help me make positive steps forward. But, this idea is also effective when helping players chart their course. We introduced it to campers on the Monday of summer camp.

It works for all big ideas. They are too vague - Getting good grades in school, Making friends, Becoming a good basketball player. They aren't concrete and they aren't one thing.

All big ideas are made up of smaller parts. Part of our role as coaches, teachers, and parents is to help kids understand this. At first, we will work with them to see what those parts are. 

But, eventually, they start to see the patterns themselves. They may just need reminders to break problems down. In fact, at some point, they won't listen to your answers at all - even if you know and I know it would help. If only they'd listen :)

Working in Gifted Ed in the Delaware Valley for a number of years I learned about different thinking styles. One that was particularly helpful was giving them a broad idea and asking which parts go into it. But, sometimes, I would do the reverse, give them a bunch of parts, and ask them which categories they could all fit under. 

This was effective because it empowered them to find patterns and think for themselves. Now, I know what players should do to be successful. But, they don't always want to hear it. However, by asking questions and removing some details, they get to use their agency to figure it out.

That form of learning - discovery - has a lasting impact in terms of belief and motivation. At camp, we broke into small groups and players came up with parts to this whole: What makes a good basketball player good?

They talked about skills, IQ, teamwork, hard work, coachability, and strength. All of which are just big ideas in their own right. If this was a whole unit on basketball (a guy can dream!!) they would have continued to drill down until they reduced their ideas to actionable tasks. 


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