The hardest part of coaching is delayed feedback.
Day to Day you get immediate feedback - execution, work ethic, effort level, wins & losses etc.
But when you are working with young men, the big purpose of their time with you is to teach/equip them with something that will help them later in life. To arm them with the intestinal fortitude they will need, in the future, to overcome those tough moments in life we all have to face.
The final game for the 2013 group is tonight.
The outcome of the game will not alter my feelings for them. I am sinfully proud of how hard they have worked, how much they have matured and what they have accomplished on and off the court.
After tonight's game, we (them and me) will begin to turn our attentions to the next thing on the calendar.
Our 2013 time will be over.
I hope each player got something they can "walk" with- something that will stay with them for a while.
But it may take 5-10 years, before I get THAT call. Its the call most athletes make (after it all sinks in). The call where you track down your old coach to let him know, that now, you REALLY understand and to thank him - as a young man -for what he did for you as a young boy.
Delayed feedback is the hardest.