"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

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Turning losses into lessons: Daly and the LHS girls basketball team

The+LHS+girls+basketball+teams+never-give-up+attitude+shines+through+the+losses+they+faced+and+also+an+inspiring+journey+of+growth+and+personal+development+%28Used+with+permission+by+Matt+Daly%29.%0A
The LHS girls basketball team’s never-give-up attitude shines through the losses they faced and also an inspiring journey of growth and personal development (Used with permission by Matt Daly).

Close your eyes and imagine a basketball team of young female athletes with little experience on the varsity court, trying to cover unfamiliar positions. With Matt Daly’s unwavering belief and the player’s resilience, they create an inspiring tale of victory by using determination. 

Taking on the season with a roster of young players stepping into new positions, Daly, the girl’s basketball coach at LHS, faced an uphill battle. With the challenge of competing against faster and stronger opponents on the varsity level, the team fought hard but faced a tough record of one win and 18 losses. The team’s never-give-up attitude shines through the losses they faced and also an inspiring journey of growth and personal development.

“I kinda feel like I conditioned myself to not measure their success based on wins or losses. We should base things more on the process of getting better, like becoming a better ball handler, becoming a better shooter and becoming a better defender. I believe getting better at those things then naturally wins will come,” said Daly.

As the team faced the challenges of difficult games, Daly’s dedication to his players went beyond the court. He understood the significance of mental health and created a supportive environment. He emphasizes the importance of focusing on his team’s improvement rather than on game outcomes.

“I tried to do a good job of constantly reminding the girls, Hey, were young at this position, the expectation for you to come in a game and score 20 points is little. We know that the game is faster and stronger so we just focus on making our players better,” said Daly.

 To foster a positive team dynamic Daly also organized fun activities. The experiences not only brought the team closer but also provided moments of joy and relaxation. 

I try to do some fun stuff here and there like doing activities off the court with yoga, team meals after practices. We also try to go into nights before games by doing some type of fun game whether it’s musical chairs, knock out, sharks and seaweeds or making our shooting into a competition against each other,” said Daly.

Daly can navigate challenges during intense game situations. His strategic approach and calm mindset helps him through it. He slows his thoughts down to choose the best course of action during challenging games.  

With a lot of action going on in the crowd, I slow my brain down and analyze the situation and pick the appropriate strategy. Overall it is a lot about staying focused on what’s going on the court and recognizing what I have control over and what I don’t have control over,” said Daly

People would assume with a challenging record, where victories seem hard to get and doubts start to creep in, that it is hard to have hope, but that was not the case for Daly. He never lost hope or let the tough times define him. His belief in his team and the game itself keeps him going, pushing him to find new strategies. 

It’s funny because people might think I’m naive or ridiculous for thinking about this, but I prepared for every game, and I believe that if [the players] played the right way we had a chance of winning every single game, whether it was undefeated O’Gorman or Roosevelt. I think that if you don’t think you can win, you walk in defeated before you’ve even played the game,” said Daly.

Daly and the LHS girl’s basketball team faced a season filled with hurdles and unexpected turns. During the ups and downs, valuable lessons are learned. Daly discovered insights from the players he coached this year which would shape his coaching approach in the future.

“This group of girls is incredibly resilient, and just knowing that they have that resilience will give us the motivation next year to get in and win more games. There were tough nights, but I think as a whole everybody came to practice kept their positivity and worked hard. From this group, I learned that winning or losing isn’t going to dictate attitude and the will to win,” said Daly.

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