Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Put me in Coach

I was not an athlete in high school.

Didn't play football, baseball, basketball or hockey. I had the build for wrestling and once took the football team's middle linebacker, Brian Schufiester to the mat. Sadly, that was the height of my teenage athletic prowess.

In retrospect I could have gone out for the school water polo team, and succeeded, as I've always moved differently in the water.

But my father never supported those type of endeavors. He preferred that I work, which I did.

My father also had an aversion to authoritarian high school coaches. He didn't want to be around them. And now with two daughters in high school, I understand why.

My youngest, Abby, has been playing volleyball for the past 10 years. On school teams. In clubs. Anywhere there's a volleyball net. She is very good at it. Not scholarship good, but there's only so much you can expect from a volleyball player who stands 5'2".

If only her mother was 5'10" with long, shapely, statuesque legs...

(Daydreaming pause for effect)

Where was I?

The point is, my daughter is a good volleyball player. And she works hard at it. Like her father, she has the determination of a pit bull. And will not be deterred by any obstacles. Right now her biggest obstacle isn't her serve, or her set up shot, or even her dinosaur dig.

It's her coach.

Last week at a tournament, he said to my daughter, "we want to win these two games, so I can't put you in."

She came home from the tournament in tears.  When she told us what had transpired, you can imagine how I reacted. My wife had to do all she could before I jumped in the car and hightailed it to the Catholic High School to punch this guy in the rectory.

Cooler heads prevailed. And my wife believes she can turn this into a good learning experience for Abby.

I'd like to turn this into a learning experience for this coach.

If I had my way, I'd have a few choice degrading words of my own for this under-achieving Phys Ed teacher.

"Coach, if you knew anything about winning, you'd be preparing our young women to bring home a gold medal at the Brazil Olympic Games and not sitting on a yellow school bus on the way to Pacoima for a JV game against Our Lady of the Holy Burrito."

1 comment:

sean said...

I remember when I was in eleventh grade and was the starting pitched on varsity for the first game of the season. You could imagine that I was very nervous, so the 2nd inning comes and I can't throw a strike for shit. As I get discouraged, I see my coach signal to the umpire that he was coming out to the mound to give me a glorious pep talk about how Nolan Ryan beat once threw 20 balls in a row only to come back and strike everyone out. As he gets to the mound I approach him in anticipation and he delivers these insightful words of encouragement, "Pull your head out of your ass and quit being a pussy." And thus began my problems with anxiety. That coach deserves a good punch in the throat.