Published on: Thursday, October 1, 2015 Takoma Park Newsletter

Winter Basketball League: Father Knows Best

For the past seven years, local resident Eric Butler has volunteered his time as a coach in the Recreation Department’s Winter Basketball League. Butler admits that early in his career, as a brand new coach, his biggest fear was “failing to teach the kids anything valuable.” During his first few years as a coach, he focused his attention on building life lessons that could be used on and off the court, such as teamwork and perseverance.

Coach Butler’s job on the court is very unique, as he is a parentcoach since his daughter Jade is also a member of his team. The two of them have built an inseparable bond, and he has passed his passion and love of basketball down to her. Butler says, “The league gives us the opportunity to spend time away from home together.”

Every season Coach Butler is amazed to see how fast the kids on his team grow and develop their skills. When asked about any advice he gives to brand new coaches, Butler suggests they “focus more on player development and less on winning,” which can be accomplished by “picking 2 – 3 skills to work on in practice” and building on that foundation weekly. For Butler and Jade, the Winter Basketball League gives them something to look forward to each year.

Registration for the 2016 Winter Basketball League has already begun and the Recreation Department encourages anyone interested in participating to visit to register. For more information or to volunteer as a coach, please contact Lew Recreation McAllister at

This article appeared in the October 2015 edition of the Takoma Park Newsletter. The Takoma Park Newsletter is available for download here.