"Practice same time on Thursday," I told the kids as they dispersed.
"Nice game, Coach," said my wife as we left the gym.
"You behaved very well," she said with a smile.
"It's just as hard when you win, you know."
She arched her eyebrows and smiled. "I could tell," she said.
There were some of those magic moments during the rest of the season, times when the ball zipped accurately from player to player, and rebounds were snared, and layups went in. For the most part, though, the kids ran—and stood—around randomly, still much like a bunch of little Pac-Men. They did seem to enjoy themselves enormously. And I functioned comfortably within my self-imposed coaching rules. All in all, we built plenty of character.
When we met the Rockets for the second time, they beat us 34-8.