To Coach, or Not to Coach? – Sept. 12, 2021

The score was 54-0 when I decided I would coach Boy The Younger’s basketball team the next season. After all, there wasn’t much room for me to do any worse. Still, this was a bold decision, considering the entirety of my team basketball experience came in one 3-4 season as a high school freshman on my town’s rec team — a season, I must add, that ended with a 123-3 loss, and no, that’s not a typo.

I’ve now coached six seasons of basketball — two each year — and watched some of my core players grow from little kids into tweens. There’s Zach, who, through sheer determination and hard work, became my premier point guard and team leader last season. There’s Caden, my bespectacled center who scored 29 points in a game. There’s Lindsey, who’s also named Caden but we’ve got two of them, Lindsey sometimes forgets he’s not playing football, his natural sport, but no one tries to drive the lane on him twice. Levi’s hair color changes frequently. He’s quiet but a fierce competitor who glides gracefully up and down the court. There’s Grayson, who’s never passed on an opportunity to put up a shot.

And of course there’s Boy The Younger. It’s hard being the coach’s son. They tend to get held to a little higher standard than the other kids just so their dad can’t be accused of favoritism. BTY weighs all of 80 pounds, but if I need someone to set a screen to get a shooter open, he’s my guy. To coach him has been a joy and has made memories for both of us.

We went 0-6 in our first season and improved every season since then, ending 4-2 during a crazy pandemic-influenced season that saw the boys playing in masks a few times. We never got beat 54-0.

And now it’s time for me to decide if I’m going to coach again this coming season.

It’s not that the boys are a huge time commitment. It’s one practice and one game a week. But I’m hugely competitive and spend more time than I should trying to figure out ways to help the team improve. I don’t know jack about how to do that a lot of the time, so I watch YouTube videos and try to determine if my kids would be able to implement what I’m seeing. And for the first time this season, defenses will be able to implement the full-court press. The last time I was involved with a team that played such a defense, I was on the losing side of the aforementioned 120-point defeat, a game I don’t remember too well because I was knocked unconscious in the first half by an inadvertent knee to the back of the head.

The reality is, I have no great ideas on how to beat a good full-court press, and my boys aren’t athletic enough to implement it ourselves. We can play one helluva 2-1-2 zone, but we’re not gonna do any 40-minutes of hell.

And here’s another reality: I’m tired. Very tired. I have been through a lot in the past year. Last season was extremely tough. I was battling Longhaul COVID and sometimes paid the price for leading the boys on a Saturday by being knocked out for the next three or four days. We had a little boy from Africa staying with us who demanded a ton of time and attention while receiving medical treatment here before returning home just more than a month ago. I’ve got a new job, and we live in a new house that still needs to be unpacked and spruced up.

So I’m conflicted. I don’t want to let the boys — or their parents — down. I’ve been blessed to have such amazing support from the kids’ moms and dads, and a few have already asked if I’m coaching again this year because their boys want to play only if I’m at the helm. But I know I’m not in a good place right now to add much of anything to my life.

And I have to make my decision soon.


Beauty and a Beast

There are no real objective measures of beauty, but I think most rational human beings would agree that Charlize Theron is not ugly. Wifey Poo and I had our weekly date today. Boy The Younger went to some huge Fortnite event online, and Wifey Poo and I watched “Monster,” the 2004 movie about serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Theron won an Academy Award for her portrayal of the teeth-first murderer, To think that the people in the pictures below are one and the same is amazing. Theron was awesome in the film. If you haven’t seen it, watch it.


The ‘Don’t Blame Me, I Didn’t Say It’ of the Day

‘You are a great patriot.’

Donald Trump, to Vitor Belfort following the Brazilian’s first-round knockout of 58-year-old Evander Holyfield.

Uh…. yeahhhhh… that happened.


Kickoff

Ahhh, the opening weekend of the NFL season — my annual reminder that I chose very, very poorly when, as a little boy, I decided to become a Jets fan.


Today’s Reasons to Keep Living

  1. I finally took Woo-Woo (my car) to be cleaned and detailed, so I want to stick around to enjoy her fresh-from-the-shower scent.
  2. To continue receiving praise from my son when I grill food.
  3. I figured out my new photography lighting kit for work, so I gotta stay alive to use it.

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