First and foremost, THANK YOU!!!
You are about to dedicate a weekend of your life to an extremely valuable cause.
These games are NOT ABOUT BASKETBALL. We utilize basketball as a vehicle for steering children in the right direction. We have chosen 6th, 7th and 8th graders for we feel that this is still an age where we can influence and make a difference before prejudices and racial biases are established.
You are not only their coach, but you are now their mentor, advisor, friend and example. If you are attentive and interactive, they will follow your example. Frankly, the success of these games depends on you. That’s a lot of pressure, but we have carefully asked certain people to be involved. It is our honor to have you as a coach, but we know that after the completion of the games you will feel honored that you were part of the Unity Games team.
Intentionally, this is not a tournament. There are no MVP’s., first place awards, etc. The games you play are individually important. If you feel that way, the kids will feel the same way, and they will play their hearts out. Every year we are amazed at how hard they play, even though the games don’t mean that much.
The point is that EACH GAME DOES MEAN A LOT. Your enthusiasm will make each game that much more important. Everyone must play equally.
Please remember that we want you to try to win, but you must win as a team and not by individual efforts. We have tried to make the teams equal, but sometimes we misjudge player’s abilities.
If the score is uneven, do your best to keep it close. The referees are IAABO officials. DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT YELLING AT THE REFS.
Keep your head on your shoulders, and remember that the kids are looking up to you. The children have to know each other’s names to be a team. Get that straight in your huddles. After the game, shake hands, talk to the kids about the game, make plans for the next one, and ask the kids what went wrong or right.
And make sure to get to the next workshop on time whether you win or lose.
All of us at the Unity Games sincerely thank you for your participation. You will be tired after the two days, but you will feel good about yourselves. Let the games begin!!!