Monday, May 04, 2015

I don't know how she did it?

I've been rewatching Friday Night Lights episodes lately for the sole purpose of observing Tami Taylor and how she navigated being a coach's wife. I always thought I'd be a good one of those...

Now that we've entered into the world of sports through our children, I'm not so sure I've got the stuff it takes to survive this special title. And my guy is just coaching 6U softball... Addison has 3 seasons of soccer under her belt, and this season she asked to play softball. Patrick and I were excited that she wanted to play a sport that we both love--as players and fans--so we encouraged her to try it. As we signed her up, we realized that her age group needed a coach, and before we knew it, Patrick found himself taking on that role. His friend, the league commissioner, sweetened the deal by saying that Addison could play for free and he'd throw Ansley in there for free as well if she wanted to play (which wasn't our plan but it's better than chasing her around playgrounds), so here we are.

We have a team of 13 little 4-7 year olds girls, and not a single one has played before. They are adorable and sweet and they are getting better with each practice and each game that they play. Occasionally we play a "giant team"--one that has played together for several seasons and who rips us 15-3, but for the most part, this is a learning league, and coaches encourage all players, and parents are supportive.

For the most part.

There are always just the most precious exceptions.

Meet them...

Exception #1: The heckler.

This is the guy who sits in the stands and yells at the players (sometimes yelling the WRONG things). When the players don't respond how he thinks they should, he turns it on to the coach, yelling, "Come on, COACH! It's your job to teach these things. This is on YOU." Did I mention our girls are 4-7? And that they've never played? And that the coach is my HUSBAND???? Well, I couldn't just sit there... I turned around and said, "excuse me, but that's exactly what they worked on the entire practice yesterday. I don't remember seeing you there." Thankfully, other moms also chimed in and supported what I said. I was shaking...

Exception #2: The prima donna dad

Before each game, Patrick spends at least an hour coming up with a line-up. He tries to make sure that everybody gets to hit the same amount of times, so he looks at the last game and sees where we left off. Then he decided where to play each player each inning. He is trying to give everyone some experience at different positions with hopes to still win a few games. He has 13 players. 9 of them are 6 or 7. There are only 5 infield positions. Sometimes we only play 2 innings, and every once in awhile we get in 3. 

This is the dad who asks where his 4-YEAR-OLD is playing... To which Patrick patiently responds something pacifying... and to which I WANT to respond, "Well, sir, in the outfield where she can dig dirt and chase butterflies. She's 4! What do you think????" This dad also has volunteered to "help" coach, bought all kinds of equipment, but only focuses on his daughter.

After these incidences, I started feeling all kinds of anxiety before practices and games. Not about how my own girls would act or "perform," but how the whole experience would be perceived by all the parents. It's hard to feel like you are in the spotlight and being criticized. Patrick handles it all in his laid back, letting it roll off with "no worries" fashion. I absorb it. I need to take notes from him.

The positive side--my girls are LOVING it! They love being a part of a team. They love their uniforms. They love hanging out in the dug out, meeting friends at the ball park, and having snacks after the game. They love that their dad is their coach. They love that we are all together. Their attitude and spirits make the other things fade a little bit and remind me that this is all SO worth it.

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