Last year, Mike and I assistant coached Matthew’s little league baseball team. See, Mike has baseball knowledge and I have kid knowledge, so we figure together, we make a decent coach. We were looking forward to a more laidback season this year without as much responsibility….until Mike came home from the assessment day yesterday and said that they needed one more head coach and, well, they’d like for him to do it. So, now we’re not only coaching again, but HEAD coaching AND it’s our first year of kid pitch (last year was coach pitch). It’s a whole new animal. And because it’s getting let in the season for establishing coaches, all the other teams are set with a head coach and a couple of assistant coaches. We desperately need to find some awesome person who is great with kids and who is pumped about a major time commitment (‘cuz that’s common since, you know, most people are bored, especially people with kids) and who also has a kid of his own who happens to be a good player and a nice boy – not always an easy combo to find. The ‘draft’ is tomorrow night. The other coaches have already had the benefit of taking notes and watching the two days of evaluation. Mike just showed up yesterday and really only watched how Matthew did (awesome, by the way) since he didn’t know at that point that he SHOULD be paying attention to all the other players.
Here’s the word that I’d like to use when it comes to my feelings on coaching little league baseball: STRESSCITED. I LOVE it. I kind of love all the drama and the way the parents get about it (yours truly, included)…and yet it stresses me out; it’s a lot of time and pressure and work and it sometimes makes me irrationally cry. Yeah, in the big picture, it’s JUST little league baseball, but it really is a ridiculous, silly, cut-throat, old-man’s club, 7th grade clique-drama (I’m talking about the parents here), frat party, stress-mess, emotional roller coaster ride that’s just something to experience. I love being the boss of the dug-out (dang, my dug-out is a well-run machine). I love pretending that there’s some athlete in me (and not just all chubby orchestra-nerdy girl) and leading the kids in warm-ups and making them run to the fence and back if they’re being a butt nugget. I love playing catch with them at practice and before a game. I love rewarding the kids who had the best attitude with a pack of gum (and almost always starting with the kid who never-to-rarely gets on base). I’m excited that we’re in charge this year and how we run our team and knowing, based on our experience from assisting last year, what we will and will not do. I love that my hair is longer this year and therefore I can more easily rock the baseball cap that I’ll be wearing for the next three months…helpful since there’s not as much time to shower during baseball season.
I LOVED talking about little league with my dad. He and I talked about Matthew and his baseball playing experience and skills and challenges and about coaching techniques nearly every single time we spoke for all of last spring. We didn’t have a conversation without him wanting to know the latest goings-on in our world of baseball. He had opinions and tips and laughed at the drama I’d tell him about. He shared in my frustration when Matthew would have a massive pity party fit when he’d strike out. It breaks my heart so much that he won’t get to see Matthew play kid-pitch for the first time. I’m devastated that he won’t be here to see how far Matthew’s come. I’m also now mad that I’m already crying off my make-up for the day.
Anyway, Mike doesn’t know the options yet, but when it comes to picking our team, we’re hoping to be the Boston Red Sox in honor of my dad and his Massachusetts roots. Maybe if that doesn’t pan out, we’ll go for being the Angels. Hey, it’s silly, but it helps a little.