[Continued from The Big Kid and Basketball Part IX … Playing with a Girl?]
As Fall approached Haylee was talking about basketball more and more. Her passion and excitement for the game increased exponentially since first asking me to play with her; and her anticipation of playing 6th grade girls Gorham recreational basketball was palpable.
“Daddy, will you coach me in recreational basketball?”
Oh my. I am drained. The boys season still fresh in my mind. The infamous “you are the worst coach ever” E-mail still etched in my cerebral cortex.
I reflected back on what a wonderful physician friend of mine had shared about the differences in coaching girls and boys, “Girls have a passion for being together and a willingness to play as a team; they focus more so on the game and less so on the score.”
I also recalled the movie “The Heart of the Game” about an unorthodox girls’ basketball coach in Seattle who had nurtured an amazing program. From the movie’s tagline: “THE HEART OF THE GAME captures the passion and energy of a Seattle high school girls’ basketball team, the eccentricity of their unorthodox coach.”
I love my daughter. I love playing basketball (and other sports) with her.
[NOTE: My favorite thing to do with my daughters is watching them both perform in their dance recitals (but that is for another post)]
I don’t know if I am capable of coaching a girls’ team.
Am I eccentric (like the Seattle coach)? Perhaps.
Do I have unorthodox coaching philosophies and is my style of coaching different than my peers? Absolutely. (I’ve been told.)
As I am continuing to learn how to coach a boys’ team and striving to position each of these boys for success on and off the court am I truly what my daughter and this girls’ team really need (especially when there are experienced coaches available)?
Serendipitously (and literally) the next day I received an E-mail from the same individual who informed me that I was the worst coach ever.
As I saw the subject of the E-mail “Coaching” and who it is from (Brian Boxswain) I was taken aback and thought:
“Well, Haylee’s request has been answered. Knowing Brian believes me to be the worst coach ever this must be a sign from God that I am not supposed to coach Haylee’s rec team.”
And then I opened the E-mail.
It appears Haylee and Sue (this fellow’s daughter who attended Tommy’s practices with Haylee on many occasions) will be playing rec basketball on the same team. I intend to coach but will be traveling a lot. Would you be interested in coaching with me? I believe it would be fun to coach together.
Just let me know.
Huh? (Still have my way with words) What am I supposed to do with this? Is this a bad joke? He said I was the worst coach ever. I don’t understand.
I still have the open wounds from the previous E-mail. Just seeing the subject of this E-mail made my gut hollow out. I don’t want to disappoint my daughter but I cannot coach with this individual. Not after what he wrote. Not now understanding what he ‘truly’ thinks of me.
In sharing this E-mail with my bride she knew exactly what to say (as always).
“Why do you always do this to yourself? What you read in that original E-mail and what that original E-mail said were not the same thing. And I know for a fact Brian thinks you are a great coach. Besides, would he have asked you to coach with him if he didn’t respect you as a coach?”
Doc shared more that evening and logically I knew her to be right (she always is … but don’t tell her I said so) and yet …
And yet even with this new wisdom (shared with both care and love) I was not ready to coach a second team. (At least I convinced myself that this was a truth. My truth.)
“Haylee, I love you. It appears Mr. Boxswain has been selected to coach your team. He has asked me to coach with him. But…
(as I held back tears) …
… this year I would love to continue to play basketball with you on Sundays, have you continue to join Tommy’s practices (our practices) [and to myself I made note to ensure I am far more mindful of Haylee’s play during these practices], and also for me to attend all of your games as a spectator so that I can thoroughly enjoy watching you play the game you love.”
“I hope you understand.”
“Oh, Daddy, I love playing with you and Tommy. I would love you to coach me but of course I understand. You can coach me on the weekends. Mr. Boxswain can coach me during the week.”
Yup … roll tears.
Why are my children so much more mature than me?
I am so blessed and so grateful for all three of my children. I am so humbled each and every day and inspired by all three of them to grow, mature, and to be better than I really am.
I am also quite impacted by how I am letting my daughter down.
TO BE CONTINUED …