I saw an article last week about kid's Hockey. Dads were in the stands at the practice. Their faces were lit up. Not at the kids skating and shooting the puck, they were looking at their laptops. Their faces were illuminated by the laptops as they poured over emails or whatever.
Times have changes. I've watched my 3 sons play basketball, baseball, soccer, swimming, tennis and floor hockey. I even watched my wife play softball when we lived in Syracuse. Back then there were no laptops, you had to watch the practice. If you don't like the way the practice is done, you get itchy feet thinking "maybe I can do a better job".
It's not fair criticizing coaches are putting their own time and energy into the sport for free. If you don't like the way the coach coaches, you should coach yourself. Which is how you find yourself coaching year after year after year.
The most interesting seasons were the ones when I coached in a "ladies" league in Liverpool. It was a Bank League, all the ladies were bank tellers. The team had a large "diversity" component. Half the team were white suburban ladies from Camillus and Manlius. Half were African American from the city.
Elaine and Martha were the city girl leaders. I like grit and toughness and never-say-die. The city girls had lots of that and a fearless attitude. I had a lot in common with the city gals and we got along famously. Well, in one game there was a collision at first base. In any collision, our player came out standing and the other player got crushed. Our girls were "sturdy".
Some husbands on the other team got a little excited about the collision at first base and got aggressive with our base runner. I trotted out to set these guys straight (it's just a game guys, relax). There were 3 agitated husbands yelling at our base runner and she was near tears.
As I approached them, they turned and ran like hell. It seems Elaine and Martha and a few others had bats in their hands and were right behind me, offering to re-arrange a few bone structures. I turned and looked at my backup, I was glad they were on my side. No civilized husbands from our team joined me, they were OK with me handling it. Probably didn't want to encrouch on my turf. Thanks guys. The umpire asked me to control my team and the other team promised to behave and we went on to win the game.
The pleasures of coaching. It seems every game, the girls laughed (just like us guys) and cried (not so much). As always, we went to Heid's hot dog stand, then a bar across the street for a few beers. Those guys in the stands with their laptops have no idea what they are missing.
© 2011 Jamie - 3/7/11