Upward Basketball has been keeping us very busy this winter. We have had so much fun! This year three of our children are in the 1st – 6th grades and eligible to play with Upward. Joy, Grace, and Little Jason have been learning so much. We have been a part of Upward off and on for several years. The off years we missed the cut off for registration. We love Upward! Here are a few reasons that keep us going back:
- We appreciate the Christ centered focus. Each game opens with prayer and in the middle of each practice the coaches give a short devotional. For most of these kids this is beginning sports, and I love the sportsmanship and emphasis on learning skills rather than winning. Although, who am I kidding, we all want to win! Score is kept for the games, but cleared every quarter for the younger grades and cleared at the half when they are a little older.
2. Man-to-man basketball. The kids are taught how to play man-to-man. No I am not a basketball player myself, but I’ve been told that if you can play man-to-man you can play anything.
3. I love the coach! Ha ha. There are ample opportunities to get more involved if you want. Jason volunteered to coach two of the kids’ teams making things that much crazier for us right now, but we are all enjoying it. Grace says she has “the best coach ever.” She loves having her dad coach the team.
4. Friendships. My kids have loved making friends each year and it’s always fun to see who they will know from the years before at the start of each season. Though the 5th and 6th grade teams are more competitive, I love that the kids are kind to their competitors. Once my daughter Joy and the girl she was guarding seemed to be going at it. I actually heard smack talk from the bleachers. When I talked to them afterward, they laughed. “We weren’t fighting. We’re friends!”
5. Building up the players. After each game the team gathers for snacks and to talk about the game. The coach discusses the game and praises the efforts of each child’s play during the game. Whether the child made the most baskets or just played their best game ever there is something to praise every game. I love that!
Our season is coming to a close soon. It has been so fun. I know we’ll miss it, but at the same time it’ll be fun to do some other things too. Could it almost be travel season…