Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sports, Psychology, and Parents: Meddling Parents and Lacrosse Coaches Part 2

My son Kennedy warming up for his first game last year on a first and second grade team which I helped coach. Coaching first and second graders is like herding cats but more enjoyable. The key, as one my colleagues told me half into the season, is “no lines and no waiting.”

In my last post I discussed the disappointment and subsequent emotional hurt I felt when I did not get moved up to the varsity lacrosse team at my high school (Croton Harmon) for sectionals back in 1979. So why didn’t I get brought up to varsity my sophomore year? Somehow the topic came up in a talk with my mother years after I had graduated from high school in 1981. I shared with my mother just how hurt I was, especially after excelling in the sport thereafter (Keep in mind, I was the first player from my section to be a U. S. National Team player (1990). Here’s the story, I played football my freshmen year in high school for coach Nick Padula, who taught history, freshmen (and then the next year JV) football, and varsity lacrosse. During a tackling drill I hurt my right football when a teammate grabbed my big toe on which I had a very painful bunion (up until then, I didn’t know what a bunion was and would go on to have surgery in college on both feet to remove them due to the excruciating pain they caused). Coach Padula never called home that night to check on me, because of that my father, without me knowing, went to the school in a rage and verbally lit in to the coach-they may have almost fought for all I know. My mom knew about this but never told me what happened. Years later she told what happened and explained my Dad’s reaction. I talk about that tomorrow

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Thank God for the Halesworths of Lacrosse Part II

Photo of me and my son Kennedy (kman) playing in his first organized lacrosse game last season in the Legends Lax program that Dave Halesworth started. Kman loves lacrosse and wants his mom and dad to teach at Syracuse University so he can be where the action is.

Yesterday I wrote about the founder of the youth lacrosse program in the town where I live Dave Halesworth. Dave with his wife’s permission, (those of you who are married will understand) is a real lacrosse fan and advocate. They have three children under ten years old with the youngest barely two but somehow they launched Legend Lacrosse last year and it turned out to be a very successful season for all involved. Dave, a very busy Bank America trader, somehow finagled me into helping him (and others ) coach the 1-2 graders team. You see I have a wife completing a doctoral degree at NYU in business, a four year daughter, and a seven year old son. In addition, I had a book under contract that I needed to finish. So until I met the Halesworths, I thought I had a legitimate reason for not coaching, seeing Dave in action changed that idea quickly. My son Kennedy played his first season of organized lacrosse with the Legend1-2 grade team, and truth be told, we both had a blast. In his email on Monday, Dave talked about how the program here in Tarrytown is more than doubling this year. He wrote, “Believe it or not, this year we will have three boys teams, 1st & 2nd grade, 3rd & 4th grade, and a new 5th and 6th grade team. On top of that we are starting a women’s program with 1st & 2nd and 3rd and 4th grade teams. Year two, and we’ll have over 100 players in our program….WOW!” Without fans like Dave, the fastest game on two feet would not continue to grow. Thank God for the Halesworths of lacrosse.