Coach is the best role model
Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 11:15 am
I would like to submit this letter to recognize the efforts of a great St. Albertan.
I would like to give praise to not only a phenomenal coach but an amazing inspiration of mine. John Dedrick started his own basketball academy for the sake of the players’ futures. This is all this man has been about since the day I met him; he does everything he can to make every athlete he coaches love the game as much as he does.
At the beginning of every season we are reminded of the commitment we make as basketball players, but what we don’t realize is the dedication the coach is giving. Dedrick puts together a plan for each practice with the intention of improving our game, along with quotes from famous players and coaches to help motivate us and get us thinking about how we could improve our game. In this past season John coached our U16 Junior Griffins basketball team along with Paul Harpe. We had approximately 50 practices and 50 games and he was there for as many of them as possible.
We travelled to Saskatoon, Calgary, Spokane and Las Vegas in five months. He gives up countless hours and travelled thousands of kilometres with us to ensure that we are benefiting from all of the practices and playing time so that one day we can continue to improve and one day reach our goals as athletes. He wanted us to experience what it would be like playing teams from the United States in the future and what playing at a high school level means. This was a good experience for all of us and we were very proud with how we placed for being one of the shortest and youngest U16 teams in our division.
John made arrangements for us to meet the senior women’s national team and go and watch them play Brazil at the Saville Centre. When we were given the opportunity to watch them practice we each had to choose a player to watch. I chose Miranda Ayim, a six-foot, four-inch forward. She told me that over the years from coaches and parent support she had learned to love the game.
At the time I didn’t understand how much influence a coach could have on a player’s goals as an athlete. I started to listen intently to what John was telling me and I realized what she had been talking about. John has been there for every athlete he has coached and made it a more personal experience. I can assure you every player he has coached has grown from his teachings and doesn’t leave the court without learning a valuable lesson.
He has received many awards over the years and helped lead the SACHS girls to victory many times and now helps coach at Grant MacEwan.
This will be my fourth year with John as a coach and every year I have had him he has continued to help me improve and used different resources to help myself and others learn. During Panthawks Academy Dedrick brought in former team Canada coach Allison McNeill to do a session with us and we still use some of the skills she taught us such as the space pivot in games. John offers us as much gym time as he can at SACHS and gives us workouts for on our own time to increase our speed, agility and strength. During our season he reminded us each and every game and practice what he was here to help us achieve; a future in basketball whether it be post-secondary or for us Grade 9s, the senior team for now. He makes us all see our potential we have as players and what we can do if we work hard enough.
For this reason, I believe that John Dedrick is a gift to the City of St. Albert and girls/women’s basketball.
Payton McNeill, St. Albert