Holiday season means holiday tournaments. Do you need change? Jim Burson blog:

Holiday season story for basketball coaches

Once upon a time when I was young it was our family tradition to have dad buy a tree (thin needle) on Christmas Eve and we would decorate it as a family – all 7 kids!

When I coached, I never seemed to have time to get a tree, although a couple of years we went as a family and actually cut a tree down and brought it home.

As our children grew, we went to artificial trees because it was easier.

Later in life, we got a smaller tree and put up “some” decorations.

This year we have a few lights up outside, but no decorations inside, because we are all going to gather at my daughter Jamie’s home.

So what’s my point?

Change happens every year. It is easy to stay the same, get comfortable, and do things the same old way.

My mother Mary, who was a true saint, used to say,

You must change with the times but cling to unchanging principles.”

She always seemed to see a bigger picture than the rest of us; it wasn’t about the tree, it was about our family and the love that we shared. Times were tough but my parents’ love never changed.

What is your vision today of this holiday season?

As most of you know, when I coached I had a vision and purpose to try and win.

After a loss in our own Christmas tournament one year, I felt upset. My ego dominated my thinking; I was angry. After the post game meeting, I was talking to a very good recruit and his parents, and was very focused on my vision of getting better players so I could win. I was handling my anger well — or so I thought — when the three officials walked by and I turned to them and said something like, “You were terrible! Thanks for ruining my Christmas.” One of the officials glared and said, “We were bad but not as bad as you coached.” The shouting match began and we had to be separated. Things settled down and I turned back to my recruit and his family. Dad had a little smile. Mom was in shock and apparently speechless. The recruit looked like someone had beaten him up. Mom collected herself and snapped, “Let’s go. We are no longer interested.”

I let my ego take over,  I lost a recruit. I made an already bad evening worse; I’d ruined my Christmas all by myself.

I knew that moment I needed to change. I needed to coach for the players and not for myself. I needed to see a bigger picture.

What are your needs this holiday season?

Do you need to change?

Do you need renewal?

Don’t worry about what you have but about what you can give, not what you want but what you need.

A Christmas tree is really nice, but the important thing is how you handle your life and family. A game is really important, but not as important as handling it with class and character.

I have grown to not worry about decorations as much, but am much more concerned about a bright star and a young babe who was born to serve us all.

Times change but a loving spirit will endure forever!

Holiday season means holiday tournaments. Do you need change? Jim Burson blog: www.jimburson.comHappy Holidays!

Coach B and the Real Head Coach


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Photo: Santa Claus with basketball ornament ©TRITOOTH Fotolia