One of the most moving experiences I had during my time as a basketball coach for the Lawrence Park CI Senior Boys Basketball team didn’t happen on the court or during a game, it happened in the locker room. After a very successful season, which included the schools first playoff victory in roughly five years, there were many emotions in the locker room after a hard fought loss to end the season, and for many of the seniors, the end of their basketball career. It was a unique experience for me to see these moments from a different perspective, as I have been there 2, or maybe even 3 times before: My last ever high school game, my last time representing the province of British Columbia at Nationals, and my last ever U SPORTS game that signalled the end of my basketball career. I vividly remember the intense flurry of emotions, mostly sadness but with some positivity mixed in thanks to the rush of great memories that came back to me in those moments. Thanks to my own personal experience, I felt that I was in a good position to offer these student-athletes support and encouragement having been there before, and as I talked to them in that locker room there was a tangible shift in mood in the room. Sharing my experiences, which I have had the time to reflect on and gain as much wisdom and consolation as possible from these moments, I was able to share this positivity with them and immediately all the sunken heads and faces buried in jerseys turned into heads held high and a room full of kids proud of what they had accomplished and reflecting on the incredible journey that they have just been on together that they will never forget for the rest of their lives. As a former student-athlete turned teacher-coach, this was one of the most profound teachable moments for me, more so than any moment I have had in the classroom. To have these kids in such an emotional setting be able to be so reflective on their experiences and take all the positive lessons and moments they have learned and see the bright side and the lessons of an experience that can feel so devastating is the greatest kind of critical thinking and well-roundedness a teacher can hope to inspire within their students. While some of these kids may never play competitive sports at any level again, they will take everything they have learned and apply it to be able to become better people in whatever they choose to pursue and wherever their passions, interests, and talents take them. I know because I was them not too long ago. And I take those experiences, emotions, skills and memories with me wherever I go.
Congratulations to the 2018-19 LPCI Panthers Senior Boys Basketball Team on an amazing season and best of luck with whatever you choose to do next!
- Coach Chase