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The Power of Gum

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SIMPLE SATURDAY – Looks like Mo’ Motion and Back to Basics are running the flex on the court and in all photo shoots. Today we ran a bunch of skills competitions that we’ll produce and show to the basketball world. We’re also using the videos to show the kids a list of recommended drills in their summer homework series.

After telling the boys that winners today would receive a pack of gum, the energy in the gym changed during every timed 30-second drill. We ran Mikan, Power Mikan, ball-handling, and X-out, and came up with sets of winners in the upper division and lower division. Then we did a four-on-four tournament. Winners earned a pack of gum.

While I’m not a huge believer in praise all the time, there is something to be said about how dolphins respond to their fish snacks. All I had to do was put a pack of sugarless gum on the line and the kids responded. I know a pack of gum is not the healthiest option out there, but it is better than both sugared candy and an apple or orange. Sometimes we give out socks or wristbands, but we’re all out this year. The gum is easy. Instead of saying how guilty I felt about the gum not being the right prize for them, or commenting on how much I wished they practiced at this intensity level all the time, I simply told the winners that later, when they are walking down the street, chewing their (not so healthful) gum, it will simply taste better than everyone else’s.

Maureen Holohan is a former All-Big Ten Basketball player, author, director and founder of momotion.org.  She can be reached at mo@momotion.org.

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