Monday, November 9, 2009

A Most Scathingly Ridiculous Idea

Allow me to step up on my soapbox tonight. Or don't. I will step up on my soapbox whether you like it or not. Because I CAN. And you can't stop me. Try as you might, you cannot kick my soapbox out from under me over the internet. Now where was I...

The #1 son has been leaving skin on the floor at basketball open gyms for a month. He attended open gyms all summer, except for the last two days, during which he was sidelined by a concussion that he got playing basketball in open gym. He spent four days at team camp in Tennessee. He has worked on his own for an hour a day all summer. Now it is basketball season. Official practice started last week. #1's JV coach did not show up the first day. Nor had he attended any open gyms or the team camp. The point I am shouting out from the top of my soap box is that he does not know these freshman boys, and has only seen the sophomores play on his team last year.

On the second day of practice, Coacher showed up and proceeded to tell the boys, "Well, I don't know if we'll win any games this year. All of our points are down at the other end of the gym, practicing with the varsity. If we score at all, it will come from offensive rebounds. I will play 8 players each game. There are only seven minutes in a quarter, and that's not enough time to play everybody. In the next week or two, I will talk to each one of you and tell you where you stand." So much from Debbie Downer on his first day with his team.

For two days, he went over the offense, then had the players run stairs for the rest of the time. On the third day, he picked his 8. That's what #1 told me. I laughed at him. As no stranger to the coaching world, I told him that their first game was still five weeks away, and that nobody could decide which 8 players he's going to play all season after seeing them play for two days.

Au contraire. According to #1, the coach inserts the same 8 players into the plays each day. The other five are shuffled off to a side basket and ignored. I find it hard to believe that Coacher has made a decision in two days that will last from November to March, spanning 16 games. Hard to believe that he is prepping this team for varsity in a couple of years.

Who knew that coaching could be so easy? Take two days, whether you need them or not, and choose your players for the year. The rest can fill in if you actually need to scrimmage five on five in practice, and they can certainly take part in your fundraisers. But they dare not expect to play in games. There's not enough time.

Surely the #1 son is mistaken. Who could make such a snap decision? I am not saying all the kids should get equal playing time. I'm saying that it is still four weeks until the first game, and you never know which kid is going to grow to 6'5" in a couple of years, and just maybe they should all get a chance to run through the plays in practice at this early date so that they can be prepared in case there is an epidemic of swine flu or failing grades or sprained ankles.

Is that asking too much?

Can you help me drag this soapbox back into the garage? I need it when I rehearse with my garage band, Mommy's Got A Headache.

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