Tuesday, September 30, 2014
When in a discussion, often which could be defined as an argument, I have held back the last few years. There was a time when in arguing or even in talking with someone who wanted to really "give it to me", I would not hold back. Ultimately winning the argument/discussion and being a total jerk in the process. But I won and that was all that mattered.
Since I have grown in my faith, those same instances come up and I feel myself holding back. For many reasons. My faith and the example I try to live by which is the common decency not to be that way to another human being. But as I get pushed and pushed, I feel that old me surfacing. I say things I shouldn't because I know things I wish I didn't. Plus, to be real honest, if you don't feel like your hands are tied behind your back, it's real easy for me to put people "in their place".
It is so easy that when others feel they can fight back and say something they believe to be a "winner", I can go even further. If you don't have that common decency to hold back, you can be ruthless, but I have found that I don't want to be that person, ever. It is only when I am continually attacked or you want to win the final argument that the words form in my brain and are on the tip of my tongue, but I don't use them...sometimes. Sometimes because the insufficient human in me still rears its ugly head (I do apologize now which I would have never done in the past).
It is much easier to hold back if I drop out. If I don't discuss anything with anybody having no opinion or I do not compete or coach it is easier to not take so many arrows, but what kind of life is that? I just keep praying for a thicker skin, the ability to smile it off, move forward, leaving the unhappy person behind as they continue to shout angry diatribes into the vastness of emptiness (where did that come from?).
Monday, September 29, 2014
I have coached sports for many, many years. There is little that I do, if ever, in practice or games that does not have some sort of reasoning behind it. There is always a reason for what I am doing. You may not agree with that reasoning, but there is a reason; mine.
I have caught myself questioning coaches myself, then when asking the coach what was going on, they tell you information that I could not know unless I was coaching. Unless I knew what was going on within the team and its players. When I have questioned then I find out this info, I get upset with myself because the questioning has happened to me before, and I do not like it.
This past weekend, I was coaching my daughter's little basketball team. We were up 12 with about 1:30 to go and the other team was allowed to press and I had no timeouts left. My fear was that the other team would score, steal it as they pressed, and keep scoring...a lot in a short amount of time. It is a team that is thrown together, so we haven't practiced and probably won't. But with no timeout, I could not draw anything up if we were pressed. It was conceivable that the other team could have scored a lot in a short amount of time.
I wanted our girls to back off defensively. I wanted them to just keep their girl in front of them because at the 4th grade level, that makes it real hard to score. Pressure allows for the defense to score, but it also allows the offense to have more open shots. I wanted the time to run off, I wanted the girls to dribble around for 20-30 seconds before shooting, so that we would have less time to turn it over and allow the worst case scenario from happening. All the while, our parents are yelling for our girls to pressure the ball.
They didn't know what I was trying to do. They didn't understand what was going on in my mind and what I was wanting to do to ensure that we win. You just never know what is going on in the mind of a coach, but I can bet that there is something going on, some reasoning.
So relax, it's under control, at least I think.
Friday, September 26, 2014
I have sat around the last two years and have seen my two children get good coaching in their respective sports. But I know that I have some skills and gifts that can enhance that. I've decided to coach them. I have done it here and there, but nothing crazy like I am about to partake in. I've decided that I will be coaching them whenever I can, no more just sitting on the sideline knowing that I can help, and continue to help with the boys' basketball program at Silver Creek. My son does a lot of stuff through that so it's like double dipping.
Will that run me ragged? Of course. I told someone the other day my schedule coaching both of them in multiple sports and was told I would get burned out. Probably. But it will not be long from now when they are gone and I will have wished I did more. I will look back and think or wonder if I could have helped them grow, not just athletically, but also mentally through toughness. I will try it for a couple years and see how it goes, but I just don't think I will hang it up with them. I am an older father of 44 with a 9 and 6 year old. I already see that they are growing up and away from me. I already understand that I probably only have a few years more for them before they are making decisions on their own away from the guiding hand of their parents.
Will I get burned out? What else would I do? Sit on the sideline and be frustrated because I know that I could help? Wonder in a few years where I went wrong? I would rather be wrong by being too involved in a good/positive way than be wrong because I wasn't there for them.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Are my kids too busy? I often get down because it seems like every single day is filled with activities. As soon as school is out, I coach so I am dealing with my responsibilities there, but our kids have at least one practice per night. Baseball, softball, basketball and/or gymnastics every day including weekends.
Are they too busy? I think so. One of my biggest fears is that at 9 and 6, they are so busy that they will be burned out by the age of 16. That at 16 they will want to quit all activities because they are just done with them.
So far, we haven't forced anything on them. They whine a little about practice from time to time, but nothing more than that. If they complain, we tell them they don't have to play the sport next season (what's a season anymore?), but they must finish out what they are doing now.
My son quit soccer this fall to play fall baseball. He has said that maybe next year, he would like to not play fall ball and get back into soccer, we shall see. We have signed a contract for my daughter to participate with a higher level gymnastics program, going 9 hours per week. She has made comments that maybe when it's over, she'd like to go back to her old gymnastics teacher, about an hour or two per week.
Parents often want their kids to play so many sports at a young age to make sure they get a college scholarship. That's the last reason why I want my kids to play sports, in fact, it probably isn't on the radar at all.
I want them to:
Have fun and enjoy themselves.
Learn to handle adversity and success with class.
Learn to keep competing through good and bad times.
Learn that in life, we often need the help of others to be successful.
Learn that hard work doesn't guarantee success, but you can still have a good attitude.
Socialize and bond with their classmates/teammates.
Learn so much more about life than they can get just doing nothing.
That's it. That's all. College scholarship? Sure it would be nice, but it has nothing to do with them playing. Call it the coach in me, but I see how rare that actually occurs.
Play hard, play smart, play together, have fun...that's it.
Monday, September 22, 2014
Friday, September 19, 2014
I don't know what it was about me when I was a kid, but I have always looked for approval. Low self-esteem, insecurity, etc; I don't know. I don't remember being that way until around 6th or 7th grade when I started to go through changes as an adolescent boy. Always wanting to be accepted, loved, revered were things that I needed and was willing to sorta sell my soul for it.
Then around my late teens and early 20's, I realized that no matter what I did, you weren't going to get everyone's "love". Then I started coaching and you have to develop a thick skin because sometimes the only person who loves you might be the person looking back in the mirror. But that lack of confidence, in some ways, was still there and as I grew in my faith, I decided I didn't want to deal with the negativity anymore. And I resigned.
Then the tornado hit and I tried so hard to do the right thing for everyone while dealing with my own "stuff" from it. And what I realized was that those ideas of wanting to be accepted, loved, and revered were back with intensity. I have worried so much of the perception of me in the public because not everyone knows me and if they hear something negative, maybe they would believe it and I don't like that.
But here in the last week or so, there have been a few situations that have arisen in which I have been innocent and yet there are negative ideas, comments, or whatever about me out there. And last night, it hit me...enough. I cannot control everything said or thought about me, so I am done worrying about it as much. Some of the walls will go back up and some of the arrogance will return. Even though I am a follower of Christ, I will always fall short and will continue to try to grow, but some of you...I am not letting you bother me anymore. Enough.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
It is unreal how busy my wife and I stay. Five years ago, we thought we were busy, but that is nothing compared to today.
We have our lives, but our two children are getting so busy. Combine that with my "new" job in which I need to make sure that my plans are good and having to create them for Government that I am teaching, and I feel that I am running from one thing to the next...with little time to read, or write here.
What would I do if I weren't so busy? I'd find something.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
I am reading the "Intolerance of Tolerance" by D.A. Carson and he has this quote from Lance Morrow's essay in 1991 in Time magazine. You could see it coming even back then.
"The busybody and the crybaby are getting to be the most conspicuous children on the American playground. The busybody is the bully with the ayatullah shine in his eyes, gauleiter of correctness, who barges around telling the other kids that they cannot smoke, be fat, drink booze, wear furs, eat meat or otherwise non conform to the new tribal rules now taking shape.The crybaby, on the other hand, is the abject, manipulative little devil with the lawyer and, so to speak, the actionable diaper rash. He is a mayor of Washington, arrested and captured on videotape as he smokes crack in a hotel room with a woman not his wife. He pronounces himself a victim- of the woman, of white injustice, of the universe. Whatever. Both these types, the one overactive and the other over-passive, are fashioning some odd new malformations of American character. The busybodies have begun to infect the American society with a nasty intolerance - a zeal to police the private lives of others and hammer them into standard forms. In Freudian terms the busybodies might be the superego of the American personality, the overbearing wards. The crybabies are the messy id, all blubbering need and virtually infantile irresponsibility."
Where do you stand? And how easy has society made it for us to be either one or the other at any given point?
Friday, September 5, 2014
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
I've always been the kind of person with a quick to get agitated personality. Pat Summit described herself one time as a person as it wasn't hard to push her buttons because they stayed about halfway pushed in all of the time. I can relate to that.
But recently, I have gotten worse. I don't know if it is my age, my blood pressure, my coming off my anxiety medication, but I cannot believe how little is actually done correctly and how uninformed people are. Someone once told me that I see things a certain way and if not done that way, I get frustrated. It's gotten worse lately.
From the lack of being in control of just about anything, to actually having some control, but not ultimate control has frustrated me. I watch and see how few people actually do what they are supposed to do. I see how people want something and complain but when they get it, there's always something else to complain about. I read social media (I should stay off that, I know), and read so many things by people who have an opinion, but don't know what they are talking about.
I have tried to be better...it seems to be getting worse. I don't want to come off as the angry teacher/coach/parent/person, but I am afraid it is coming to that. The lack of outrage at some situations and the misplaced outrage in others drives me crazy. Meanwhile others just live their lives in the confused fog of thinking they have it figured out.
Luckily I have a wonderful wife and am surrounded by great people at my work, or I might actually lose my mind. Not really. Okay. Maybe.