When I was a little boy, 7 or 8 years old maybe, I remember playing t-ball in an organised little league. I don’t remember much, but what I do remember, was pretty fantastic (mostly). I remember being a great hitter and often getting homeruns (based solely on fielding errors I’m sure). I don’t remember fielding much, which means I probably wasn’t very good at it. There were really fun experiences, and incredibly embarrassing ones. I’ll start with the embarrassing one;
It was a Tuesday summer night, and I was the pitcher (in location only, as it was a t-ball league). Our baseball diamond was set semi-surrounded by forest. This was very scenic and very convenient for the boys when nature called. For whatever reason, when nature was calling me that night, I was busy apparently. As the game went into the later innings, my urge to pee went into the later stages. I was doing everything to keep my mind off of it. I was pacing, jumping, and the classic “grab-the-pee-pee-to-hold-it-in” position. Looking back on it, I’m sure the other parents knew exactly what was going on. I’m sure it was hilarious from their seat, and thank god iPhones and YouTube weren’t around, because I’m sure I’d just be able to post the link than tell you what happened next. When the moment finally arrived, which I could no longer hold it back, I remember specifically looking down. I could see every stitch on my royal blue baseball pants. Like a lawn sprinkler, I watched pee shoot out of every thread and seam. I instantly dropped to my knees to cover up. I remember hearing the parents gasp at the way I dropped to the ground. Next thing I knew, my dad was running to me on the field. He picked me up and scurried me off the field to clean up. It was devastating, but I had never been happier to see my dad rescue me. It was the absolute worst when I came back to the game, took my position again on the mound and there was a puddle of pee there. Our baseball diamonds are made of clay, so it didn’t drain too well… Luckily I got over it, and so did everyone else.
This post isn’t about embarrassing moments though. It’s about coaches, and their role in our kids’ lives. One of my fonder memories had to do with my coach. We had two coaches, a husband and wife. I remember having a crush on the wife. She was very pretty, slender and blonde (Yes I was a shallow 7 year old). Anyway, one game while sitting on the bench, while we sang our silly baseball songs (“When you’re sliding into home and your pants are full of foam – Diarrhea! *fart sound-fart sound* Diarrhea! *fart sound-fart sound*”). She walked over to us and said she needed us to run really, really fast around the bases. She came up to me and leaned into me (I remember this specifically because it was the first time I’d seen a bra on a woman that wasn’t my mom) and she said “Christopher have you seen that new movie ‘Stand By Me’? Well remember that scene when they’re running on the train tracks from the speeding train? Well, I need you to run THAT fast. Do you think you can do that?” To this day, when I’m trying to run as fast as I can, I think of that scene. Granted it may have had more to do with the bra than the coach, but for this blog, I’m saying it was the coaching.
This summer my son is 3 and a half, and it’s our first venture into organised sports. We are starting slow and putting him in soccer. This week we signed him up (after the deadline and after a late fee of course). Last night I received an email from the league asking for more volunteers because there may not be enough to run all the teams. After a night to think about it, I signed myself up to “assist”, I promptly received an email congratulating me on being the Coach. I was hoping to just assist, but now it looks like I’m in charge of the team. Fantastic right? I’m not so sure yet. My biggest pet peeve is other parents taking their kids sports too seriously. I know from experience, I don’t remember a single win, loss or championship when I was a kid. I remember all the fun I had. I want the parents to realise this, but I don’t know if I’m the right guy for the job. This entire thing makes me incredibly nervous. I can be a really nice guy, to the point that my niceness could be mistaken as weakness. The other side of me, is my ability to speak my mind, sometimes without thinking.
Regardless, this is going to be a very interesting experience, and ultimately I AM looking forward to it. At the very least, it gives me something to blog about. I do hope that this turns into a long term thing. I would love to help shape little people into athletes and all around good people though the teamwork and sportsmanship of soccer. I look forward to watching my son participate and interact, and I look forward to interacting with the parents. I have to remind myself that for every overzealous “competitive” parent, I’m sure there are 4-5 other parents who think like me. I have a feeling this is going to be an amazing learning experience for both my son and myself. My first coaches’ meeting is this week, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to find out what my role is. You can bet once the season starts, I’ll check back here and fill you in. Also, if there are other parent coaches out there, please feel free to offer up any advice you have for a rookie coach with his child on the team with either a comment on this post or an email to DadUnderFire@hotmail.com
Until Next time,
Keep Your Head Up and Your Nuts Covered