Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Divide and Conquer

I’m coaching softball. And by “coaching” I mean herding fifteen 7-8 year old girls around a ball field for an hour twice a week.

I don’t get a horse and I don’t get a dog. But I do get three assistant coaches.

I think I’d prefer the dog.


Tonight is our second official practice of the four we’re allotted before games begin. I say official since one of our other coaches has kindly – foolishly, ignorantly, questionably – offered his yard for extra practices if necessary. Mind you, “necessary” is a relative term here.

Can the girls benefit from more than four practices?

Seeing as though, many are afraid of the ball, and most have never even played a friendly game of catch before, yeah more practice would definitely be beneficial.

Is it appropriate to invite fifteen first and second graders back to your house for private tutoring?

Not in my mind. Maybe it’s the paranoid mom in me having read far too many news articles that started out this way, but….red flags. Everywhere.

Another important thing to note here is that even twenty practices aren’t going to change the fact that these girls are seven and eight. This is their first foray into the sport – even a sport for some of them – and winning is not even on the docket. Granted that’s because we can’t technically keep score, but also because few would even know what constituted a “score.”

Have I mentioned when I told them all to meet me at first base to kick off our first practice, fewer than a third actually settled for the correct bag? /sigh

But all – not including the new girl who couldn’t be pried from her mom’s thigh – at least stayed in the dirt. Bonus!

So, tonight we start again. This time I feel a little better armed for the battle. I still don’t have a horse or a dog, but I’ve some ideas on how to better utilize the eager dads wanting to help. I’m not drawing comparisons.

Nor am I ignoring them.

That said, their eagerness means I’m not going in alone. There are still more of them than of us, but we’re bigger. We’re stronger. And I have a whistle.

Divide and conquer.

That’s the plan.

Divide and conquer.


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