Life-skills learned

clientuploads/our_impact/Grayson-full.jpgGrayson Thompson started attending classes at the Maplewood YMCA at age 2. He enthusiastically joined in any class in which he was enrolled from funky dance, to kinder sports, to floor hockey. His favorite class quickly became basketball. Initially, Grayson would become easily frustrated when he could not master a skill and his ability to remain focus during the class was not consistent. Grayson, like many boys his age, was focused on making the goal or basket more than developing the core skills that are essential to playing sports long term. Sometimes this resulted in friction with his classmates and his coaches. Grayson’s emotions often got the better of him in these early classes.

Fortunately, basketball class was always led by Coach Dave and Coach Fred. They quickly learned Grayson’s strengths and identified the areas where he could improve. Both coaches have a warm but firm approach and Coach Fred is always able to draw a smile from a player with his quick-witted humor when delivering feedback. Their feedback is even-handed and consistent which made an impression on Grayson. He learned he could rely on and trust his coaches and soon we saw that Grayson was not only adjusting his game to improve his skills, he was adjusting his approach to the game in general. Grayson started practicing what he learned in basketball class at home and at school. He dribbled around the block and he practiced his shots wherever he could find a basket. Grayson also began reaching out to other players, and even his younger sister Rorygrace, to help them with a particular skill or shot. He started to see the value in not only scoring but passing and his overall game began to rapidly improve. Not only that his enjoyment of the game increased. 

As a 7 year old second-grader, Grayson is a now confirmed basketball junkie and a consistent contributor in the 3rd and 4th grade basketball league at the YMCA. We are extremely proud of Grayson and we are very thankful to Coach Dave and Coach Fred.


Thank you for all you do,
Kimmberly Bulkley, Grayson's Mother

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