Thursday, September 29, 2011

#52: Yelling at Referees

Playing off of last week’s posting about coaching Little League, this week we will be discussing the aspect of being a spectator Dad at youth sports games. Dad and mom always try to expose their children to as many activities as possible, sports being the most important. It teaches discipline, hard work, perseverance, and most importantly: how to eat sunflower seeds. However, Dad has another motive besides living his athletic dreams through you, he wants to heckle.

Dads are proud of their sons; they want the best for them. So when some umpire calls a strike when Stevie Wonder could have seen it was a ball from a mile away, Dad is going to let that zebra hear about it. When that football referee calls a hold against his son (it was actually a full on tackle), Dad will respond with heckling. The games are peppered with “C’MON REF! WHAT GAME ARE YOU WATCHING?” or “GEEZ UMP, THEY’RE JUST KIDS!! LET EM PLAY!” The ref is in a lose-lose situation because if he makes calls in one team’s favor, the other team Dads will let him know about it. Basically the ref will get battered like Steve Bartman with slurs and insults no matter what. Dads are a passionate species.

So remember when the summer sun gets high and baseball is in full swing, or when the leaves show their true colors and the boys of fall are on the gridiron, Dads will converge on their local little league and pee wee arenas to do what they love to do. Dream of their kids becoming professional athletes, Yeah, we already have Timmy with a personal trainer and we are holding him back a year so he will be bigger for football tryouts. Sixth grade won’t be so bad again. And of course, that voicing of their opinions in the form of heckling that causes all the moms to shake their heads. It is their duty.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

#51: Coaching Little League

“TIME FOR PRACTICE!” Dad yells to you from down the hall. As you lace up your cleats, because the best part of being on a team is the new shoes, you can’t help but think what drills is coach gonna have us run today? Little do you know that Dad has planned for all you kids to run “til the cows come home!” Whatever that means. And why does Dad have a say in your drills? Because like all Dads, He is your little league coach.

There are precisely 5 coaches on your little league team. 4 of them are Dads and the last one was assigned by the community service center…something about giving back or something. But since Dad is a coach, you now have expectations. You simply wanted to get your clothes dirty, play ball, and maybe sneak in eating some sourgrass when no one was looking. Is it true that dog pee is what makes it taste so sour?

Dad has different plans. Since you are his child, Dad will get to live all his athletic dreams through you. Practice doesn’t end at 6 o’clock for you like it does for the other kids. Strategy discussions are held nightly at dinner, your backyard is now a training ground. Dad even goes so far to break mom’s ‘no-ball-in-the-house’ rule by surprise attacks of thrown balls when you’re walking down the hall. This isn’t limited to just baseball. Dad knows how the sports seasons go. His training regime actually is a cross-training system that gets you ready for soccer, basketball, and pee-wee football. This way Dad can see which sport really makes you shine.

Dad’s mission: make you a star. Because then He will be the Dad of a star. All for the simple pleasure of when he’s much older (grandpa status), He can say “I taught you everything you know.” And it may not hit you at first…but then you realize it is true.