Learning to play with 3 fouls

In November of 2017, I was asked by my daughter’s new varsity girl’s high school coach, Carlos Humphrey, if I would assist him for the season. It was both of our first years, and I said, “sure.”

It was never my goal to be a high school basketball coach, but I thought I could do some good, so…

I’ve worked with Carlos for about four years, and I think kids (and parents) can learn a lot from him. We both share very strong Midwestern sensibilities, so I think that’s why we see things similarly.

For example, when one of our players would get three fouls early in the game, scorekeepers, players, and parents would start trying to get our attention to tell us we had a player in foul trouble. That’s fairly typical. (You only get five, and then you’re out of the game.)

What amused me about it was that they didn’t appreciate Carlos’ philosophy on this: Sometimes in life, you’re going to have three or four fouls, and you’re going to need to learn to play with three fouls or you’ll get knocked out of the game. And there’s no better way to learn than being in that situation. Your coach can’t help you. Your teammates can’t help you. And your parents can’t help you.

While everyone else is caught up in the moment and trying to win, Carlos never loses sight of the bigger picture. He’s always thinking about what lessons his players can learn from his coaching and the game of basketball.



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