“Tough Love…” this expression is defined, as “a bold or stern treatment, meant to help in the long run.” And that is just what Metrowest Basketball Coach, John Maida, has in mind. You see, John Maida has been coaching Basketball for over 25 years now. He has seen and heard it all.
Along with Steve Clifford, Maida ran one of the original 9 teams that made up the Metrowest Basketball League.
This competitive league teaches basketball skills, stresses sportsmanship, promotes self-esteem, and creates a fun sports environment for each community involved. But make no mistake about it, Metrowest Basketball is not meant for everyone. There is no comparison to the lighthearted fun, found at the recreational town level games.
Gone are the days of being commended for almost making a shot. Metrowest competitive Basketball is made up of some of the best players (both boys and girls) available in grades 4-8.
Tryouts are tough – practice each week is tougher. Having sat in the stands these past few weeks, we've learned more about the “intricacies” of running your offense or defense, than from a lifetime of watching the NBA.
We've seen the transformation of eleven, 7th grade boys, from individual dreams of stardom, to the resignation/realization that it takes all five guys out on the floor, to work “together” in order for the team to be successful.
Much like you would imagine boot camp for the Army or the intense training of the Police or Fire Academy, Coach John Maida has spent hours breaking these guys down, to build them back up as a “team.”
Great Coaches in this sport, and other competitive team sports, realize that you must focus on the little things, the fundamentals, in order to get better. Coach Maida tells us that running drills is important.
Too often, other Coaches just run players through these drills, not paying attention to detail. But John Maida realizes, that in order to get better, you need to practice – over and over and over! “If you don't practice the right way, you`re just learning to play the wrong way.”
We've learned to run “suicides” and “seventeens.” We've watched hundreds of shots at the basket, from every angle on the floor, from every player on the team. We've witnessed layups, foul shooting, passing, pivoting, jump shots, screens, rebounding, and countless other workouts.
Now the season is about to begin. There are games scheduled against Milton, Needham, Newton, Southboro, Norwood, Westwood, Belmont, Weston, Ashland, Framingham, Wellesley, and Barrington RI.
Dedham currently hosts 10 teams throughout the Metrowest League. One thing we know for sure, John Maida's 7th grade boys team will be ready… or they'll be “running drills” after the game!