Tag Archives: coach


He’s a baller, is Hyper Lad.

One of the reasons we originally sent Zippy the College Boy to a private school for kids with learning disabilities was, in addition to the fact that he had a learning disability, the school also gave him the opportunity to play sports for the school.

Their mom and I are huge believers in the healing power of sport. We believe that being on a team, learning that you can count on your teammates, just like they need to be able to count on you, is a tremendously uplifting experience.

Young dudes who play sports, especially for their school, show an amazing increase in earned self confidence and a better self image. Those things combined are tremendous helps to any kid, not to mention even more vastly important for kids with learning disabilities.

But enough high-flown rhetoric. I’m really excited that I get to see a second son play basketball for his school. Yeah, Hyper Lad, who started off the year proclaiming he would never play a team sport (and doesn’t that sound familiar) is now a member of the Falcons’ JV basketball team.

And tonight is his first game.

I’m especially excited because this is the first time I’ll be able to watch him play basketball without also being his coach. See, coaches and their children, be they dudes or dudettes, have a different sort of relationship than does the rest of the team.

Most parent-coaches have a difficult time working their way through the minefield of playing time, positioning and all that sort of stuff with their kid. Will the other parents get mad if your child plays an important position? If he has a bad game there, but stays? Are you being unfairly critical to your child? Are you letting her off too easily?

It’s a touchy proposition at best. Which makes this game tonight so much fun for me.

I get to sit in the stands and be an unabashed cheer section for my son and, somewhat at a lesser volume, the rest of the team. All I have to worry about is if I have a good seat so I can see all the action.

Even better, Hyper Lad is excited about this game as well. He was worried that he’d be on the varsity team. See, he knew that he wasn’t as good as the varsity players and knew that, if he were on the team, he wouldn’t get nearly as much playing time as they did.

On the JV, he’s going to get more playing time and, thus, more opportunity to improve his game to the point where he will get the time on the floor no matter what team he’s on. He just wants to play.

I just want to cheer.

Sounds like a match made in basketball heaven.

Although, positing that basketball heaven exists does make me wonder: What makes a basketball a good ball, and where do the bad balls go? Doggie heaven to serve as chew toys?

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Happy Birthday, Dad!

Okay, I lied.

It seems like I do have something important to say today.

I’m just stopping by for a quick shout out to my dad, my namesake and the big dude who taught me everything he knows — but not everything I know — about how to be a dad. Sometimes he did it by setting an example, and sometimes he did it by showing me what not to do.

Either way, I learned more from that man than I could have from a library full of books.

He taught me that if it was important to his son that he coach in sports, then he took the time off his job to be there for his son and coach whatever sport was in season. Dad coached me in tackle football, baseball, basketball, just about everything I ever wanted to play. When I made the school track team in shot put and discus and the mile relay, it was my dad who took me aside and showed me how to do it all.

He taught me that you didn’t have to go along with the herd, even if you wanted to achieve the same goal as it did. He’s a doctor, but he didn’t undergraduate major in anything science-y. He majored in English because he enjoyed it.

He’s also the man who showed me the value and the warmth of a real Hawaiian shirt with the wooden buttons. My wife, known to me as She Who Must Not Be Allowed Near My Closet With Anything Remotely Sharp, might not like them, but I love my Hawaiian shirt collection.

He’s also the man who brought home the first science fiction/fantasy book I remember reading. It was the middle book in a trilogy, but I was hooked for life. He set me on a path toward some exceedingly strange places, that I’m so very glad I found. He nurtured my love of reading and words and creating with them and I can’t thank him enough.

He’s also the man who helped shape my sense of humor. So, yeah, he’s the one you can blame.

Thanks, Dad, for being such a great mentor, teacher, coach and cheerleader all rolled up into one dad-sized package that kept pushing, prodding and questioning, all the while letting me know I was loved no matter what I did, as long as what I did made me happy.

Happy birthday!

Before I go, though, answer me one question: Who’s on first.

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Howard Stern Is Sti– You Know What? Never Mind. That Joke Is Far Too Stale.

So we hit the airwaves yet again on Monday. Barry and I shared the microphone with a local parenting expert, Dr. Tara Egan and host Mike Collins.

Charlotte Talks is a public affairs talk show on WFAE 90.7 FM, which is NPR’s Charlotte affiliate. Yep, we were on NPR. And, dudes, it was a lot of fun. Not sure if everyone in Charlotte was talking to us, but we did get a bunch of calls and e-mails and not all of them were blisteringly, savagely upset with us for having done something appalling.

Not all of them.Richard miked

Dr. Egan is the founder of Charlotte Parent Coaching, which is an organization dedicated to helping moms and dads become the best parents they can. Sounds like a worthy goal to us. Not only is she a pretty knowledgeable parenting coach, she also blogs over at Do These Kids Make Me Look Crazy, which sounds like just our sort of thing. And, after checking it out, I found it really is.

She’s definitely got the funny bone.

Because Barry is off in Florida this week, he had to call into the show on the phone, which made it a little bit more difficult as we couldn’t see each other to know who’s turn it was to make a fool of himself at that moment. Fortunately, Dr. Egan and Mike Collins did a great job answering and asking questions.

I managed to sound like I knew what I was talking about, which, oddly, is my super power. Actually knowing? Not so much, but I do sound like I know. It’s a subtle, but distinct difference.

That’s me, over there on the right, trying to take a picture of myself behind the mic, simultaneously not looking too stupid to be allowed to drive away when the interview is over. I think I managed to succeed. Barely. Although I noticed neither the host nor the other guest took any pictures. I guess I’m much more easily impressed. Well, either that or I like to take pictures because I’m not going to remember it.

So, anyway, it was definitely a good time. And Mike Collins was kind enough to mention A Dude’s Guide to Babies numerous times and often in a complimentary fashion.

He asked some difficult questions, but I think Barry and I rose to the challenge.

As soon as I find out where I can get my digital hands on a copy of the audio from Monday, I’ll make sure to let you know so the four of you out there who really want to hear our voices can go ahead and do so.

Until then. . .

We’ll see you tomorrow.

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