The Central Virginian

Follow Us On:

Tools of the trade

Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 9:00 am

You ever think to yourself, “What in the world would we do without tools?” Thank goodness they exist, or my house wouldn’t have been built and I’d have an even tougher time finding a go-to gift for my father nearing the Christmas present buying crunch time.

But to limit the definition of tools to just hammers and wrenches would be unfair. A tool, by definition, is a device used to carry out a particular function, be it productive or destructive.

So, when I sat down with Louisa’s basketball coach to talk about his team filling up shoeboxes with toys for the charitable Operation Christmas Child (see page A7), a smile crossed my face as he described what he saw the sport as.

“Basketball is a tool to change your life,” Wilson said.

In a sports world where many coaches and parents have overstated style instead of sportsmanship and competition over camaraderie, it’s refreshing—and encouraging—to see a coach use a simple game to make a large impact on the players who participate.

It’s evident that Wilson is teaching his players what he believes, and it seems to be working both on and off the court. In basketball, you have to have five players working in near-perfect synchronization. So many times in the game you find yourself having to trust your teammate to be in a certain place or to make a certain play.

Parallel that to life. There are people less fortunate than almost everyone reading this sentence. They need us to be in that position to assist them (get it?). If we work as a team, it’s really not that hard.

Wilson seems to truly understand what basketball—and sports in general—are about. Parents, you should thank him for that. He did overlook one thing though.

It doesn’t have to just change your life. It can help change others, too.

Thank goodness for  tools. Thank God for good coaches.

By Andrew Woolfolk