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Meet Jonathan, Triple Double Program Coach

6/1/2016 11:12:58 AM
One of the people hired through the Triple Double Program that MLSE Foundation helped create is a young man in Scarborough Village named Jonathan Delgado.
Jonathan is well respected by the young people in the program and the community as he has committed his life to making positive choices through ball. He also ensures that he can balance a great love and skill for the game, with a solid understanding of the importance of learning, growing and being academically successful.  Jonathan is now a full time college student, plays ball at his college and is a coach weekly for Triple Double.

Throughout his journey academically and through ball, he has always had role models who have supported his development, and as many know when playing basketball, this includes a solid foundation for warming up and running drills ahead of playing.

For many young people, playing ball is what they are interested in, not necessarily the ‘work’ that needs to be committed into drills for skill development. When the program began, many participants would groan, have to use the washroom or have an ‘injury’ that miraculously appeared when it came time at the start of a night for Jonathan to run drills.

This occurred for a few weeks consecutively and one week Jonathan said to the staff in the gym – “mind if I don’t run drills today but instead I speak to them about the importance of hard work and my journey”?  We thought was a great idea.
Jonathan blew the whistle and called everyone in.  Groans ensued as they were sure drills were coming, but Jonathan proceeded to sit the 20 or so young men that evening down around him to speak for 15 minutes about his journey to where he is now.
He spoke eloquently about his high school years and the important role that positive choices and coaches instilled in him: in order to be the hardest working guy on the court, you have to put your work in and that means sharpening your development – not just playing street ball.
He journeyed through his years in his talk and focused on why all coaches before him enforced the importance of drills and how that has helped him not only get ahead, but to have great relationships with the mentors in his life. More importantly, to be a better and more respectful player.
He clearly wanted to take on the role model coaching approach that so many had before him. The participants listened through the entire talk without one peep, and then they played.
The next week, when Jonathan called drills, they ALL participated!  No groans, no ‘injuries,’ no latecomers attempted to be exempted.  They all gave it 100% (the photo is of a few that week after the talk). They have participated ever since.
One youth told another staff ‘I am so glad he spoke to us, I now get why warm ups and drills are important and he taught me something that my school coach will appreciate as now, I respect it.”