Monday, May 11, 2009
I wrote Over the Net about a volleyball player struggling to master a skill and struggling with her self-confidence. Although Allie plays volleyball, I saw a lot of her in many of the athletes on my varsity basketball team during our 2008-2009 season. We practiced very hard and loved to play, but we couldn’t seem to execute skills in game situations.
I decided to have all of my varsity players read Over the Net and then autograph my copy as both a team-building exercise and a motivation. Some girls read the book in groups out loud to each other. Others read alone on the bus rides to games. Without fail, the girls identified with Allie. My idea did not help us win any games, but I got my message to my athletes without preaching, and I got a great team souvenir!
It's Sports and Fitness Month. Today's post comes from author Val Priebe, who wrote the text for the Jake Maddox books Running Rivals, Full Court Dreams, Over the Net, and Stolen Bases. She is also a high-school basketball and lacrosse coach in Minneapolis.