The last six years I have had the opportunity to coach in our Upward Basketball Program. It has been great to see the league grow over 3 times its original number since we started it.
There are a lot of positives about the program. There is a rotation schedule that takes the pressure off the coach to make sure everyone gets equal playing time – which is a key component of the Upward league. Everyone plays an equal amount of time and the emphasis is on improving your basketball skills rather than just winning the game.
Upward has a spiritual component, which really is the foundation of the whole deal. Each practice, we take a break at the midway point and have a devotion time based on that week’s memory verse. It allows us to teach student about basketball and also about the God who made them and loves them.
This year I am coaching 1 & 2 grade girls and they are so much fun. They waver back and forth between really paying attention in practice and in the game to appearing to have no clue they are on basketball court.
Our last practice was this week and we always end our devotion time in prayer. The coolest thing happened – one of the girls asked if she could pray, which prompted another girl to ask if she could pray. So I let them both pray instead of me. That is the first time I’ve had a player do that and I hope it is an indication that they are getting more than just basketball knowledge out of what we are doing each week.
For those who have been involved in a league, why do you like Upward?