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The Kindred Spirit of Family

Precious Bennett

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Sports teams, whether intentional or not, many times develop a family aspect to them. Teammates spend multiple hours with each other, spread out throughout multiple days of the week allow the players to become closer as one. The Liberty North Girls Basketball team is the true definition of a family affair. With four sets of sisters, a mother-daughter duo and twins, the team is as close as a team can possibly get.

Coaching on the court and parenting off of the court proves to be a job in which overtime is always hit. There are highs and lows to the full time gig.

“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to coach her because I wanted her to learn on her own but they ended up needing another coach. I was her coach during her eighth grade year and we decided to try again.” Coach Perry said when asked about her initial thoughts about coaching her daughter.

The mother-daughter connection in sports, for many, provides insight that may not be able to be provided from coaches without a familial background.

“It is a very cool experience to have my mom as one of my coaches. It is definitely a role that we work well together in as coach and daughter. I like having her as one of my coaches because she pushes me and knows what helps me to succeed.” Freshman Emma Perry said.

It would be difficult to be a coach to a child and not experience extreme moments of proudness.

“The most exciting part of coaching my daughter is seeing her hard-work pay off, seeing her accomplish her dreams, getting to know what she was like as a little kid and to see her put in the extra work that makes those dreams happen.” Coach Perry said.

However, when being a coach, sometimes it may be hard to switch off the coach mentality. “There is only one little challenge of my mom being a coach and that is the balance of coach and player and switching when we get home to mom and daughter. When we get home, it’s sometimes tricky for both us to find that balance or her not to coach me or for me to not be in player mode. The key is finding the balance which is something that we have adjusted to.” Perry said.

The mother-daughter dynamic is only slightly different from the sister-sister dynamic. Sibling relationships typically consist of playful rivalry, but it’s the complete opposite on the girl’s basketball team. “I’m pretty proud when I see her succeed. I don’t feel threatened by it at all.” Junior Bri Wagner said.

Having a sibling playing on the court allows allows for accountability and even provides inspiration in times of discouragement.

“Seeing how much I inspire her and the effect on her. Often times, we talk about having a little sister dynamic at basketball programs, but for me it’s real because I really do have a little sister on the team. We can go home and talk about what we did and really understand how to improve.” Wagner said.

In December of 2017, Liberty North held the Orange-Out Game, an event to help raise money for Kiana Kenney and to raise awareness about battling Leukemia. Events such as these bring out the best in all of the players and the closeness of the players comes to an all-time high.

“As coaches we’re only back in the back in the game to make the experience worthwhile. The more things we can do, the richer the experience we can give the girls, that’s what we ultimately want to do. It truly channels the familial aspect of our team.” Coach Perry said.


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The Kindred Spirit of Family