The very first “Inside Out Coach” was the creator of basketball, who was orphaned at age 9 and later became a minister, Dr. James Naismith wanted a tool to transform young people. He wanted to connect with young people in a powerful way and determined that athletics and later basketball could more effectively influence young people than any of his preaching efforts. Dr. Naismith was far more interested in his players as men and students than as merely just players. He saw sports as a path for personal and spiritual development and said that athletics have a tremendous educational value. (Think John Wooden vs. any Transactional Coach you have encountered!)
Now, think about sports in our country today- does that sound like the way our culture values sports and the coaches that coach and the players that play? ESPN, YouTube, Money, Personal fame and power, and ego have distorted the original intent of why these very sports were even created. Dr. Naismith had a vision- a vision to create a tool to be transformational in the lives of young people. In 1911, he warned our country of the commercialism of sports and the deleterious impact it would have. Think about that- 1911- 100 years ago.
So, let me tell you why this matters-I know I will fail you and your sons this year, trust me when I say that, and I am asking you in advance for your forgiveness but, hear me say- the original vision of Dr. Naismith is directly aligned with why I coach basketball, my personal mission statement, and the CPA Way. I love your sons and I am far more concerned at what God is doing through the game of basketball in all of our lives than I am at driving to some result. This is far bigger than Xs and Os- I am more concerned with the Ys- to nurture and transform them to be young men that would be others-focused, that would learn to love, and that would be filled with compassion that it would overflow in every relationship they have. I want them to understand that God placed in us core desires like A Battle to Fight and An Adventure to Live and I want to see that come to life as we work together toward a self-dying vision.
I am asking for your prayers as there are so many factors from this culture that are working directly against us. We need to “lock our shields” and “come as one” and be more concerned with WE than ME- that includes all of us as coaches, players, parents, and fans. Further, we are talking about taking risks and dealing with disappointment and moving on to the next play- nobody is perfect! I love each and every one of you and am honored to be your coach and faithfully join you in raising up this group of young men to be “Christ Centered; Others Focused” Young Men!
Be Blessed and enjoy this article from the Tennessean today!
Soli Deo Gloria,
Coach Drew Maddux
On Nov. 6, 1861, James Naismith was born in Almonte, Canada. He saw athletics as a more effective ministry for helping young men than any efforts from a pulpit; along the way, he created the game eventually called basketball, and he fostered sportsmanship in favor of gamesmanship.
“My attention was directed to the fact that there were other ways of influencing young people than preaching. In games it was easily seen that the man who took his part in a manly way and yet kept his thoughts and conduct clean had the respect and the confidence of the most careless,” Naismith wrote in a 1928 letter saved by his granddaughter.
Naismith was orphaned when he was 9 and was raised by his uncle Peter on the family farm. His uncle offered to pay for college, provided Naismith would come home and work the farm during breaks. Though his fellow theology students were scandalized by his interest in sports, which they thought were a tool of the devil, Naismith became a star athlete for McGill University, playing lacrosse, football, rugby, gymnastics and wrestling.
He received a degree in physical education from McGill in 1888, and, in 1890, his diploma in theology from Presbyterian College. He then attended the relatively new YMCA International Training School in Springfield, Mass., where he entered the physical education program run by Dr. Luther Gulick Jr.
Naismith was assigned to deal with a class of “incorrigibles,” and Gulick challenged Naismith to find or invent a game to occupy them. Gulick is quoted in Rob Rains’ biography of Naismith: “We need a new game to exercise our students, a competitive game, like football or lacrosse, but it must be a game that can be played indoors… without roughness or damage to players and equipment.”
After weeks of struggle, Naismith thought up a game. He wrote down 13 rules; asked the maintenance manager for a couple of boxes, got peach baskets instead; nailed them up and set the 18 young men to play.
It worked, beyond expectation. Within weeks, upward of 200 folks crammed into the gym to watch the new game. Naismith himself only ever played in two games.
He married a fellow student and decided to go to medical school in Denver.
Soon after graduation, he was offered the position as director of the chapel at the University of Kansas in Lawrence and a teaching position in the physical education department. But he was not hired as basketball coach.
Naismith did take over the basketball team but is the only Kansas basketball coach with a losing record. He often refereed the games his team played, and Naismith was far more interested in his players as men and students than as players.
The rules of basketball and the nature of sports in America changed, much to the dismay of the man who saw sports as a path for personal and spiritual development. In a 1911 speech, Naismith decried the commercialism of sports and the deleterious impact it would have, concluding “athletics have an educational value, and this should be their aim in an educational institution.”
In 1936, he attended the Olympic Games in Berlin, where basketball was first played as a medal sport.
He died on Nov. 28, 1939, in Lawrence.