Friday, June 27, 2014

Get high on positivity

Just do it: Being positive is about having the belief that anything is
possible. If you fail, try and try again.
We have all experienced a negative teacher or educator in our lives. We can all agree that we really disliked or even hated the experience. So we don’t want the same thing to happen to our children, nieces or nephews.

But we can’t shield our loved ones from everything right? In some shape or form, they will experience something or someone negative.

In this particular area, our job as parents is to expose our children to people and environments that put great emphasis on being positive.

If you are of the belief that being positive is about always being happy and enthusiastic, well that is not quite accurate. But don’t worry; I used to think that way too.

Being positive is also about having the belief that anything is possible. If you fail, try and try again. It does not matter if you succeed or not. As long as you are improving and getting closer to where you want to be, then it is all good.

I learnt this philosophy through the Junior NBA Malaysia basketball programme that was held in KL recently.

The Junior NBA calls this the S.T.A.R. core values – Sportsmanship, Teamwork, a positive Attitude and Respect. They believe these aforementioned values and lessons will prepare young basketball enthusiasts not just for the game of basketball, but also for life itself.

Junior NBA Malaysia 2014 presented by Dutch Lady was launched last month and will run till August, reaching more than 100 schools and communities in its first year of operation.

The programme is free and open to players between five and 14 years old. The programme is split into multiple stages: open clinics, the Selection Camp, and the National Training Camp followed by an authentic NBA Experience for selected campers later in the year.

Players between the ages of 10 and 14 will be eligible for top selection during the Selection Camp and National Training Camp.

During the coaching clinic, some local coaches and I taught young schoolchildren some basic fundamental basketball skills such as shooting, dribbling, lay-up, and even drinking water to remind the young participants that hydration is important.

I was in charge of the lay-up coaching station, and even though I am not the most skilled basketball player, I can safely say that all my participants were constantly smiling, laughing, learning how to do a lay-up, and making new friends.

I even showed them how they could practise doing lay-ups when brushing their teeth at home — although I did tell them not to treat the toothbrush like a basketball because the bathroom might look like one big toothpaste room after their tooth cleaning session.

The best part about the programme for me was about demonstrating the S.T.A.R. values. There were many examples I could tell you about, but the one that made a huge impact on me and the children (and every time I think about it I can’t stop smiling) was when the kids were going through their drills and attempting to do a lay-up.

During the drill, it did not matter if they did 100% or 50% well. It was about the children giving it a go and trying their best to make it right in the time frame given. I got a real buzz when I was chanting the words, “Good job, fantastic effort, let’s go again, now that’s a good one. Better, much better, well done.”

For those of you who don’t rate yourself as much of a teacher or a person who likes to reinforce positive values, try it sometime. You will get a buzz out of it. I personally believe there is a teacher in every one of us. Some of us are constantly learning how to do it well, and some of us are just STARS at it.

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