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Upward Basketball 2018 – Play with Purpose

By Meredith McLean


Our society is obsessed with kids’ sports. Speaking as parents ourselves, we spend all week driving our kids to practices and then spend all our weekends driving them to their games. We spend so much time with kid-related sports activities that most, if not all, of our social interactions, have to do with our kids’ sports teams.

Wouldn’t it be great to find a way to have something to show for all our efforts and investments at the end of a season than just another trophy or medal or another uniform that will fill our garages?

We think there is a way. Why not Play With Purpose?

As we look forward to a new season of Upward basketball, we reflect on past years’ passion and purpose that our coaches and players of Upward have exhibited.

To Play With Purpose means players and coaches make smart decisions on and off the court, create drills and skills to improve player’s physical development, and that they begin to discover each individual’s  life’s purpose, in turn putting others needs before their own.

In Upward, basketball is more than just the game itself, it’s every practice, every drill, every pivot, every pass and shot, and our goal is that our Upward players become more than just athletes during each season.  Our goal is that TOGETHER our coaches, players, teams, referees, and staff discover a love for the game, and with a healthy competitive spirit, they can develop the skills they need to succeed in everything they do, on and off the court.

Our Upward families shared some of their reflections from last year’s Upward season as they pertain to passion and purpose.  When asked about their experiences last year during practices, halftime periods, and game play, a few of our players shared these encouraging statements:

“I learned how to respect others and treat others how they want to be treated”  
-Reese (Lady Broncos)

“ My favorite time during the game was playing with my awesome teammates.”
-Ava (Lady Tigers)

“I look forward to Upward again.  Basketball is one of my favorite sports and I look forward to getting better.”
-Payton (Storm)

One of our coaches, Jeff Wagner, also shared some of his favorite moments from last year’s season and how his role as coach directly affected his team’s players.

“As a coach, you set the example for sportsmanship, help teach them the value of hard work and remind them that our primary goal is not the scoreboard.”

In addition, many of our coaches return year after year to continue to impact our youth players. When asked why he is returning to coach, Coach Jeff explained,

“I saw their sportsmanship come out in the games. Many times they would wait for an opponent who had fallen before passing the ball. They would make sure to include a teammate who had not received a pass yet. They were always respectful to the referee, coaches, and players on the other team.”

As for this coming season, Jeff commented,

“I look forward to helping the girls achieve their goals, watching them grow as basketball players and people and the final practice where we play kids vs. coaches.”

REGISTER NOW for this Upward season. We are looking forward to another year of growth for our Upward players, coaches and families. TOGETHER, we will continue to develop as a community in order to support our players, families, and coaches both on and off the court.

See YOU on the basketball courts!

Meredith McLean, Fitness Director   Dawn Rollandi, Upward Coordinator