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through the hoops

My Green Machine Girls (we're not even green, but more of a teal, however the ref feels funny yelling "Teal Ball!") have their second game of the season tonight. We had a long break due to winter recess and then a bye last Thursday.

We are 1-0. I have to say, these girls can pretty much coach themselves. I just stand there and yell things like hands up! and spread out!

This is a P.A.L. league. Natalie is trying out for the school team on January 22. This is going to be a major trauma for her. 150 girls try out. Only 15 or so make it. Natalie's major shortcoming is her lack of height. What she does have going for her is she wants to be a point guard and most of the girls want to be prolific scores. She has great defense skills and a fierce determination, but she lacks the scoring skills that most of the girls have.

This is all she wants to do. She wants to be a pro basketball player some day (as well as an author, teacher and shopping cart attendant at Target). She already has the intentions of going to college at Hofstra and playing on the women's team.

If I brace her for not making the team, will she sense failure ahead and not try as hard? If I don't brace her for not making the team, am I setting her up for disappointment?

Ah, the perils of being a parent. This stuff was not in the handbook. Someone needs to revise that thing. Changing diapers and knowing how to strip band-aids off painlessly does not even cover the half of it.


Ain't that the truth. However, a book that even covered HALF of what we all needed to know as parents would be three times bigger than a full set of encylopedia's. And honestly, would we have read it?
nahh.....not much. Much of what we, as parents, do is from the heart, using common sense. It works.

The best you can do is tell her to try her hardest and you'll still love her, making the team or not. Also, not making the team isn't the end of the world, and sooner the lesson is learned, the less it hurts down the road when she might not get into the college she wants, or the boy (man) of her dreams says he wants to be friends. The list of life's disappointments can go on and on and on. Learning to deal with those disappointments is a fundamental all children need to learn.

Being a shopping cart attendant isn't all it's cracked up to be. Go get 'em Nat!

I'm sure she's aware that she might not make it. Like ivory said, just tell her to do her best. If she doesnt make it, there's always next year.

Oh please, the handbook is just like any other manual. You throw it away, assemble the parts yourself, and then when things don't work right, you go back and look to see what you did wrong!

And for the record, they must have been out of handbooks the day Kelsey was born, cuz I've sure as hell been making this parenting shit up.

I kept looking on the back of my kid's birth certificates for the warranty, was there a manual included too?

I knew there was something missing from the package when we got home. Damn ex-wife must have left it at the hospital.

And the proper term for the person who collects the carts at any retail establishment is:

"Cart Bitch"

Does that apply if the person is a male, Mike? : )

The closest experience I could share would be psyching myself up for auditions, but that probably won't help. Your instincts with the kids have been great so far, don't doubt yourself now.

Coach yells to the kids "Spread Out!".

Each kid on the team thinks "I am spread out. It's the rest of the team that are not spread out."

I've been coaching youth soccer for 20 years or so and that's the one phrase that irks me. At the parent's meeting at the beginning of each season, I tell the parents that is they ever catch me telling the team to "Spread Out!" that they should feel free to come over and punch me in the shoulder.

Last summer I finally felt my first punch. Doh!

YOU GOT A HANDBOOK?! Why am I never informed about these things? I got handed two little screaming things and told to be out by Monday.