Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Man's Guide to Coaching

The Man has been busy, even by his standards, coaching kids basketball and soccer leagues. I've learned several things over the course of the past few months and want to share that knowledge with you.

Rule #1: You can't smoke and coach at the same time.

No, The Man isn't talking about puffing a stoagie while instructing. I'm talking about having a half a pack the night before you have to run up and down the field yelling at the little squirts... although The Man did cough up a naked lady lighter he thought he'd lost.

Rule #2: Bring snacks.

The Man hasn't played organized kids sports in a long time, however when he did play we were lucky enough to get orange slices at halftime. That has evolved into water throughout the game and a designated "snack person" at each game. The Man has never heard of such a thing, and it goes a long way to explain why today's kids have a Buddha belly like The Man -- STOP EATING SUGAR RIGHT AFTER YOU'VE EXERCISED!

Rule #3: Ignore the parents.

Let's be honest. Most parents are pretty decent. It's the few assholes that ruin it for the rest of us. Your parents job is to cheer for you and that's it, not to scream at the officials or coach like an idiot every time something goes wrong for your little pumpkin. He's 14 in a rec league -- he'll get over that no-call shooting foul.

Rule #4: Be prepared to play secretary.

"Did Billy get the message that our practice was cancelled?"

"I'm calling again to make sure Johnny remembers his home jersey."


The Man's advice is to bump up the minutes on your cell phone, 'cause you're gonna need 'em. Work? You can't work. Otherwise you won't be able to return a phone call from a parent at a moment's notice.

Rule #5: Try to have fun

At the end of the day, these kids want to play. 1st graders, 8th graders, it doesn't matter. Just show them the fundamentals, let them play and have fun. You'll have more fun too.