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Terrence Thompson Dr.

Agosta English 1101-068 November 18, 2013

Brothers from Different Mothers

The Charlotte Mens basketball team is more than a team; it is more like a brotherhood. It is a bond between a group of guys that all have the same common goals. For many kids growing up in America, their dream is to be a part of a Division 1 athletic program. This is a privilege and a dream come true for me. We all want to become successful now and in the future when Charlotte basketball is behind us. The team consists of individuals that come from different backgrounds throughout the world. Most of us are from the state of North Carolina, but four out the seventeen players are from out of state. Pierria Henry is from West Virginia. Cameron Blakely and Willie Clayton are from Georgia. Ivan Benkovic is from Croatia. Collectively, our goal as a team is to win Conference-USA and earn a bid to the NCAA tournament in March. I observed a team practice at eight oclock in the morning on Wednesday October 30, 2013. During my observation, I saw and learned a lot. Before practice even starts, all the players are shooting around to get their shots right before they play. Once everybody is on the court, the strength and conditioning coach instructs the players on stretches and dynamic exercises to do to get loose and ready to perform at their highest level physically. They go through an array of exercises such as knee hugs, lunges,

forward and backward skip, and Frankensteins. The practice then proceeds with individual skill work based on your position. The guards are on one end of the court working on their ball handling and shooting skills, while the forwards work on their post moves and their mid-range jump shots. This usually last five minutes. When the coaches are satisfied with what they see, everybody (player, coaches, and managers) huddle up in the middle on the court to discuss the teams goals and focuses for the days practice. On the day I performed my observation, the team focuses were to sprint the floor in transition and play hard every possession. The team breaks and practice goes into a drill session. There are an array of drill consisted of passing, shooting, transition, and defense. That usually lasts for fifteen minutes. For the last part of practice the team scrimmages each other incorporating their different plays and team concepts. The team then cools down by stretching and then going into the locker room to watch game film from previous games or watches a scouting report on our next opponent. The film sessions are mandatory for all the players to attend. During the film session one of the assistant coaches directs and talks about the breakdown of the film. He covers an array of topics from bad defensive coverages, to the other teams plays as well as our plays. The film session usually last no more than fifteen minutes, but if we have a tough match up ahead of us, it might take a little longer. Our basketball team is an excellent example of a discourse community. Our characteristics are clearly defined and easy to recognize. The easiest characteristics to follow are goals, communication, experts, requirements to be a part of the community, lexis, stereotypes, genre and literacys. Our team is currently 2-1 and we hope to go undefeated for the rest of the season.

In our locker room we have team goals posted on our wall that is dedicated to each game individually. Last games goals were to take control of the offensive glass, keep our opponent to less than 70 points, hit 70% of our free throws, and limit our turnovers to 15. We accomplished three out of our four goals. As a team we had 19 turnovers. We also have goals for the season. Our main goals for the season are to win our conference, have a winning season, and make it to the NCAA tournament. Winning a conference championship is so important because we work hard every day to get better and succeed. I do everything in my power to live up to the hype and strive for greatness (Mike) The team communicates 24/7, whether it is on the court during practices and games or off the court during dinners and study hall. There is a weekly schedule sent to all the players at the beginning of each week that consist of practice times, team meetings, academic meeting and study hall times. I have an example of a schedule from the week of October 3rd, 2013. On Monday we had weighs at 7:30 followed by a team practice at 8:30. After practice we had early registration at 11:00. On Tuesday, we had a team practice at 8:15. On Wednesday, we had weighs at 7:30 followed by a team practice at 8:30. At 3:00 I had an athletic academic advising meeting with Rachael Ramsey (my athletic academic advisor). On Thursday, we had a team practice at 8:15. Friday was game day so we had shoot around at 2:00 pm and a team pre-game meal at 3:30 pm. Tip-off was at 7:30 pm. Saturday we did not have anything scheduled, and on Sunday we had a team practice at 2:00pm. The experts on the team are the captains. The captains have been designated by the coaches who display the most leadership and the most experience. Our captains are Pierria Henry (junior), Terrence Williams (junior), and Willie Clayton (sophomore).

They are the ones that have the most experience and know what works and what doesnt. When a player has question about a play or an important decision, they usually go to the captains for guidance. In practice a freshman Marcus Bryan was confused on where to be on a specific play and he went to Willie Clayton and asked, Where do I go after I screen for Shawn. Willie then replied by saying, Roll to the basket and post up on the block. Marcus ran the play again and he scored under the basket because of the advice Willie gave to him. There are two ways to be selected as a member of the Mens basketball team at Charlotte. You are either recruited out of high school by one of the assistant coaches or you have to tryout before the season starts. I tried out for the team October 12th, 2013. During tryouts, I had to go through a conditioning session for fifteen minutes where we ran sprints. After the conditioning session, I played five on five with the other players that were trying out. The coaches were impressed with my talent on the court as well with my performance in the classroom. Once you are selected a member of the team, you become part of a lifetime brotherhood. There is simple lexis that is commonly known by the public about the sport of basketball, like jump shot, dunk, and 3-pointer. But UNC-Charlotte mens basketball has their own lexis that is specifically used for the team. In addition to owning genres, a discourse community has acquired some specific lexis (Swales 473) We have offensive plays that we run to score against another teams defense. Only the players on the team know the plays. We also have defensive sets that we use to stop the other team from scoring. Some of our offensive sets are called Follow, Cutter, Through, and Ramsey. Other than our offensive and defensive sets, we have specific lexis on defense when

someone from the other team sets a ball screen. When the ball screen is being set the post man will call out a color based on the action they want to play. Based on the call the post player will switch men with the guard or he will set a hard hedge and retreat back to his man. There are many stereotypes that come with being a college athlete. Some of them are positive and some of them are negative. A positive stereotype of being a college athlete is that we bring a lot of revenue to the schools and give back to the community. A couple weeks ago the mens basketball team volunteered at the Epilepsy walk located at the Irwin Belk Track and Field Center. It was a great chance for me to show my support and help raise money that would go towards epilepsy research. A negative stereotype of being a college athlete is that we are portrayed by the media as being unintelligent and known as the dumb jock. People think that student athletes are privileged. They believe that college athletes receive more extension dates on class assignments, they are allowed to skip class with no repercussions, they receive special perks, and they are set for their future careers. This is not true whatsoever. If anything student athletes have a more stressful and exhausting schedule than the average college student. Student athletes have to juggle classes, practices, games, study hall, and advising meeting. Student athletes also have to maintain good grades to stay on these teams. This semester Im taking six classes for sixteen credit hours. I also have to wake up early for team practices. I have to account for six hours of study hall a week. By the end of the week Im exhausted. With this hectic schedule Im still able to maintain As in all my classes. A genre is a text that helps facilitate communication between people, and in this

example all communication takes place within the discourse community (Branick 564). Our basketball team has genres that help our team be efficient and organized. Our genre uses lexis specifically for our teams gain. Our playbook is our most commonly used genre. The playbook is created by our coaching staff and is used by us (the players) to win game more efficiently. The coaches expect us to know the plays inside-out so we will prepared to use them in the games. We start running the plays in practice to get more comfortable with them so by the time a game comes around we are proficient and we will have a better chance to win. We keep the playbooks in the coachs offices so nobody that is outside of the discourse community can access them. Knowing the playbook is essential to being a part of the basketball team. If you dont know it you cant survive in practice (Willie). Another genre used is a scouting report. A scouting report is player personnel on our opponents. Before every game an assistant coach goes over our opponents personnel. He covers every player individually. He gives the players strengths and weaknesses. For example for our last game against Elon, their Center Lucas Troutman is a great back to the basket post player. He likes to shot right jump hooks, but he struggles from the free throw line so our strategy was to foul him if he beats us on offense.

Work Cited Willie, Personal Interview, 12 Nov.2013. Mike, Personal Interview, 12 Nov.2013. Swales, John. The Concept of Discourse Community. Genre Analysis: English in

Academic and Workplace Setting. Boston Cambridge UP, 1990. 21-32. Print. Branick, Shawn. Coaches Can Read, Too . 19 April, 2007.