Gratitude and graciousness

In my life, I’ve experienced a great deal. Good and bad. It’s wonderful when things are all “peaches and cream”. But I must say, most if not all of my successes originated from setbacks and failures.

As a rising 8th grader, my parents caught me using drugs. At the time, I was embarrassed, enraged and punished for the entire summer of 1980. But in retrospect, it was the best thing that happened to me as a youngster. Without my mother’s intervention, I wouldn’t be here today!

During my junior college year, I totally “forgot” the reason I was there (I was busy partying), and basically flunked out! When my parents became aware, they came down hard on me. I felt like I disappointed them. As a result, I started acting like a young adult and serious college student again. Through this transformation process, I met my lovely wife, went on to graduate school and ultimately secured a “high-paying” entry-level job in Silicon Valley.

In my corporate career at multiple companies, I was passed over, talked down to, doubted and let go! This all occurred over the years in separate instances. Due to these scenarios, I’ve become stronger, accomplished more and have done things that most will never do.

I don’t share this to gloat. I share this to reveal some of my shortcomings, and how on the other side, there was gold! For this, I’m extremely grateful and gracious to God for allowing me to prosper despite my shortcomings.

As the great coach (and mentor) Ray Fredrick says, “Be thankful when you suffer setbacks or someone kicks you in the rear-end! When this happens, it’s like a kick in the butt! That kick propels you forward! The harder, the better!” I must say, I completely agree!

At Youth Hoops Basketball Camps, we routinely emphasize to kids to be grateful and gracious to their parents. In fact, we take it one step further. Each day, we encourage campers to do 3 parental things: say you love them, give them a hug, and most importantly, give them a “sloppy, juice” kiss, where saliva leaks on the side of the face. And I really mean it!

About the author 

Coach Berry

John Berry (a.k.a. Coach Berry) has been a basketball coach and skill development trainer since 1993 and has coached hundreds of games and instructed 1,000’s of kids. Coach Berry is, and always has been committed to helping youth in life and on the basketball court.