To Whom It May Concern,
I have a nine year old boy who thinks he is the next greatest. Yes, at everything. He is super bright, pretty funny, ultra caring, and despite being a bit clumsy, a little athlete. He really could be the next greatest: physicist, comedian, doctor, pro-quarterback; of course I’m biased, but I too think he is the world’s next Greatest. His name is Wyatt and at 5’2”, he has a big place in this world.. and possibly on the court. When Wyatt came to me and announced he was ready to take on his role as the next Greatest Basketball Player, I cringed only moderately [and behind his back no less]. My boy: tall, lean, strong and with ten different jerseys: he was the epitome of a kid on a league, except for the fact that he has two left feet. I smiled, nodded, and promised to make the calls. A close friend of ours, who also knows Wyatt well, didn’t miss a beat when he said to call Ryan. I made the call, the initial practice was set up, and my kid was rearing to go; rearing to be great.
We arrived early, partially because Wyatt couldn’t contain his excitement and eagerness but also because I felt I needed to prep Coach Ryan [who informed me it was Coach G] that Wyatt had never ever in his life played ball, held a ball, threw the ball, let alone made a basket with the ball. “He’s kinda clumsy” I sheepishly said and “He’s only 9..” I tried to defend. Coach G assured me it would be fine, pointed to a chair, and politely implied I should take a seat and let him work. Wyatt ran out onto the court, turned around to wave at me, of course tripped, and stumbled over his untied laces to get up. I wanted to run out, throw him on my back and leave before G could eat him up and spit him out; he looked pretty serious and he didn’t take that ball lightly. I was mid-rise from my chair when it happened: G reached down, helped him up, introduced himself, asked Wyatt several ‘get-to-know-you’ questions and then I heard it, and it echoed; “Yeh? Me too. I think you can be the greatest too. In fact, I know you can.” I sat back down and haven’t got back up.
We’ve been with Coach G for almost a year. He is patient, encouraging, talented and skilled. He knows basketball like no one else and he shares his knowledge without an ego. He believes in what he does and more so, in the kids he works with. I have seen Wyatt’s abilities grow; he’s yet to slam dunk, but his foot work, coordination, strength, speed and cardio endurance has tripled in numbers. His confidence has roller coastered and when he is down, G is there to lift his spirits again. Ryan has been more than a guy who teaches the game; he has been available, willing, supportive and yes, tough. He expects perfection, respect [I’ve seen him tell kids to drop and give him 20 for not saying ’hello’ in a polite, mature manner that young men and women should greet an adult] accountability, responsibility, honesty, and hard work-in all aspects of life. Grades are important, behavior trumps skill, and attitude influences workouts. Coach G is one in a million; there is no one else I would trust my 9 year old’s hopes, dreams, confidence or abilities with. He is worth every penny, pair of Nike shorts, and time that has been spent, bought, and invested. Coach G says he’s 4 lyfe?-we’re CoachG4Lyfe!
Raychel Sepeda & my 9 year Great.