Are You Awesome?

A favorite topic of discussion at my previous job was the topic of “all things awesome.”  It always made for spirited debate in that neverending discussion throughout human history of what is awesome and what is just simply completely NOT awesome.  It could almost stand to be its own branch of philosophical study: awesomeology.  What always make the debate such fun is that there really is no way to create a precise, objective and well-defined explanation of what is truly is.  There is no perfect formula for awesomeness… but if there were, that would clearly be awesome in its own right.  Awesomeness is something you just see and know, in your heart of hearts, that it is something awesome.

One of my favorite thinkers in the realm of awesomeology is Jim Wendler over at EliteFTS.  While you could peruse through an endless number of posts Jim has up at EliteFTS in the Q&A section or his own training log, I think I saw his philosophy on awesome was best put in a recent interview he did.  In describing why he did certain exercises or trained a certain way, he explained he picked those things because they were awesome.  In fact, it was basically his North star when it came to making decision on his training because he would ask himself a simple question: Is doing this awesome?  If so, he’ll do it.  If not, he’ll take a pass.  And for those people who would ask, “Gee, Jim… but how would I know if something is awesome or not?” he had a simple, response (which I will paraphrase): Umm… if you have to ask if something is awesome, then it is decidedly not awesome.

Now how can you argue with that?  Oh, I can see some naysaying about how you sometimes just need to do things to do them and there is truth to that.  Cleaning the bathroom and other sundry household chores are not exactly reeking with awesomeness… but for a lot of other things in life?  Those things that fall into far more discretionary activities?  The awesome standard is really a pretty damn good one.

So for me, Jim’s view on weightlifting and training has shaped a decent chunk of what I do now.  I follow his 5/3/1 training system, I use very fundamental lifts when I exercise (bench, squat, deadlift, military press, cleans, dips, pull-ups, rows, etc.) and I love my Prowler.  To me, there are few things as painful as going to the local gym I have a membership for (a just in-case kind of thing… I have been there maybe 5 times this year) and lifting on machines or sitting on a piece of cardio equipment for 30 to 60 minutes.  Yikes.  It makes my skin crawl to think about it and when I’ve actually gone and tried it a few months back, I felt completely annoyed the entire time I was there.  Not good times and certainly not awesome.

But in a larger view, I began to ponder a bit how much of what I do would fit within the awesome scale, whether my job, my social life, the activities I engage in and so on.  It’s a pretty sobering piece of thinking to undertake because it’s ridiculously easy to fall into patterns of doing things just to do them.  As incredibly brilliant and intelligent as we can be as human beings, we also seem to have a completely uncanny ability to fall into mindless patterns which we may not notice until much later, if at all.  We might eat complete crap because we don’t think much about our diet.  We might plunk down in front of the TV without even knowing if anything is worth watching and surf channels like a lobotomized monkey for 3 hours because… well… we’re not all that sure.

It’s in the sense that mindfulness seems to become more and more important in how I live my own life.  For instance, I have written numerous times about how I will do something, enjoy it and then not get around to doing it again for months to only think “Huh… why did I stop doing that anyway?”  Mindfulness, pure and simple.  I think the awesomeness equation can fall into this same sort of vein: if you are not stopping on occasion to think about whether what you are doing with yourself is actually worthwhile or something you would be proud to tell your grandkids about some day… then why in the hell are you doing it???

Me in full-on awesome mode

So besides this jazzy shirt (which says “Proud To Be Awesome” and you cannot quite read because my pure jacked-ness caused some wrinkling in the fabric), I need to begin my own development of mindfulness reminders.  Perhaps in the way that Notre Dame’s football teams has its sign as you head out of their locker room that says “Play Like A Champion Today” I need the equivalent on my front door at home that says “Be Awesome Today”… except the sign would need fire and dragons and explosions and muscle cars… because that would be AWESOME.

Fighting For A Noble Purpose… Or Just A Sucker?

This past Sunday marked the end of the outdoor soccer season for me with the next season not starting until the week after Labor Day in September.  Over the past… hmm… 5 or 6 years I have been the captain of this particular merry band of soccer players.  My ascension to this role was not one borne out of a brilliant level of play or a transcendent mind for soccer strategy.  Ohhh no… it was all about organization.  Pretty inspirational, right?

When I first joined the team, I was just doing my best to play my best and not embarrass myself horribly.  I only picked up soccer in earnest around age 30 and that was comprised of playing indoor with some co-workers.  The move to outdoor when a friend’s team needed someone felt more official.  I mean, hell… that’s real soccer.  No walls to bail you out when you just kick the bejeezus out of a ball instead of laying down a crisp pass directly to the feet of your streaking midfielder.

Well, as one of our weekend games approached, I noticed a change in the schedule on the league Web site and promptly sent a note to the team to let them know.  Simple stuff.  I get to the field that Sunday and the current captain takes me aside and says,”Dude… that was a GREAT e-mail… do you want to be the captain in the Fall?”  I cannot even imagine the look that crossed my face at that point.  Me?  Captain of a soccer team?  I guess my expression of blank horror seemed to suggest a yes and then the words just fell out of my mouth of, “Sure… why not.”

Over these past few years, the role of captain has had its ups and downs.  Overall it has been a positive for sure.  My team is a great bunch and I love them all to pieces.  I feel very fortunate to be a part of this squad, let alone be their captain.

But here’s the thing… honestly?  Being captain is just not fun.  It’s a hassle.  You get to go to the league meetings which can be fine (I give a ton of credit to our league board members for all they do), but often there is an inordinate amount of debate about items that just don’t matter.  I want to get in, chat about a few things, pay for the season and get the hell out as fast as possible.  Then there is the matter of chasing your friends for money.  I can assure you that is decidedly less than good times.  Add to that making sure everyone shows up to games on Sunday mornings which usually involves multiple text messages the morning of the game to give directions, tell people what jersey colors to wear, etc.  To top it all off, trying to be the leader can be a no-win situation too.  If I am too quiet, I get people on me for not speaking up.  When I yell, I get told to shut up.  It’s really a lot of fun.

Now before this entire post to degrades into a complete diatribe of crying and moaning by me, let’s put this all back into context for a moment.  The fact I am still healthy enough to play competitive soccer with a great group of friends on Sunday morning is pretty awesome.  Period.  I know I’ve got it pretty good.

My point is simply this: being the captain of the team is just a pretty good example of how I find myself doing the least wanted job or role because no one else wants to and I tend to be eager to please.  Sometimes I get a lot of satisfaction out of this.  To me, it can be a mark of character to get in, take on the tough task that no one else wants and do it well.  I think that can be a mark of integrity.

I feel your pain, Captain.

What I am struggling a bit with is my tendency to take on things that I know I am not going to like (or even continuing with something I am really not liking) because I convince myself either no one else will do it or no one else will do it right.  It’s an odd kind of mindset: it’s both a combination of being a bit egotistical (“Well I obviously need to do it because NO ONE else will do it right.”) and a bit of an enabler (if I keep stepping up to do these things, no one else will ever feel like they need to).

At some level, we all need to do things we don’t like.  That’s a given and something in life to be accepted.  But what about beyond that?  How does one properly keep the balance between taking things on that might be less-than-joy-inducing, but that are important/needed to do and you own personal self-interest?  I can say from my own standpoint that it’s tough because I will always lean toward taking it on and then feeling like pulling out a Jean-Luc Picard facepalm when I realize, “Good Lord… what have I gotten myself into again?”

In the end, I think it’s a matter of finding your own sweet spot on the continuum of importance.  You will need to and probably should take on those things that either you are best-suited for or that are just more important, even if they are not something to make you fire up a happy dance while doing.  The other stuff?  Sometimes you just need to let it go and get comfortable with the simple “No thanks.”

So where does being a soccer captain fall for me?  I honestly am not sure.  I do love my team, but this past year was a tough one for me personally.  I know it’s for fun and all… but still… kind of a bleah session and I put a big chunk of the blame on me (since that’s what captains must do).  I will likely be back in this role in the Fall, but it’s also getting close to some young buck to step up and inject some fresh blood into things.

Although I would feel bad for anyone who becomes captain after me.  I mean, if nothing else… they are not going to top my handsomeness.  For real.

Your Open Invitation

One of the more recent trends in the fitness industry is the “boot camp” concept which is group fitness combining conditioning exercises, weights, intervals and so on.  The popularity of the classes likely stems from the fact that they are fairly time-efficient, cost less than a standard personal training session and people often find more motivation when exercising in a group.

I certainly don’t see anything wrong with boot camps as a concept.  If they motivate you to get in shape and be healthy, awesome.  I’m all for them.  They don’t exactly fit with my own personal goals in the sense that many will do a few boot camps a week and that is their entire fitness program.  In my case, I prefer to keep my lifting and my conditioning separate… mostly.  When I lift weights, all my focus is on that and not on trying to work some kind of cardiovascular component to it… mostly because it would take away from my primary focus, which is improving my strength/power.  I might mix in some conditioning afterwards, but just not during.

The one spot where this varies a bit is with my beloved Prowler.  That combines both strength and conditioning, but in my mind, it’s more the sense of taking your conditioning session and then adding a strength component to it.

So where am I going with all of this?  Glad you asked… even if you really didn’t… I just like to think we’re having a dialogue.  That’s the beauty of being the blog writer – I can imagine it anyway I want… so quit bitching and keep reading.  Sheesh… pesky readers.

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My soccer season just ended on Sunday (and what a woeful ending it was… yikes) and that is causing a change for my overall training plan.  I was playing soccer Sunday mornings, hence I try not to do all that much on Saturdays so I am fresh for the game.  Now, with no games on Sunday mornings, my whole weekends are open… and that’s where my invitation comes in.

Starting Saturday June 26th, I am putting out an open invitation for some Saturday morning fun.  Prowler pushing.  Sledgehammer striking.  Tire flipping.  Hill runs.

Cost?  Zero.  Benefits?  Huge.  You will get leaner, stronger and possibly some of the best conditioning of your life… provided you stick with it.  I am thinking of doing sessions with anyone interested on either Saturday or Sunday mornings (or maybe even both).

My reasons for this are twofold.  First, I like doing these kind of training sessions and know there would be a mutual benefit in doing it with others.  Second, I want to get a little firsthand experience in what it’s like to train/coach others a bit.  Nothing too elaborate in this regard and I will neither be wearing those all-too-snug polyester coach shorts or sporting a whistle (as tempting as both those options really are).

None of this will be for the faint of heart or spirit, but it will actually be pretty damn fun.  I would expect the session could be following by the grilling of meats and such.

And let me be 100% clear… this is for doers, not watchers.  No spectators.  You want to see what all of this is like?  Then you will get the best view in the house… pushing the Prowler and running the hills.  It’s the only way to know.

Consider this your open invite if you are in the Hartford area.  If you are game, use the contact form found HERE or just e-mail me if you already have the distinct privilege of knowing me… you lucky bastard.

 

And hey, at least it won’t be snowing.


You game?

The Myth of Daily Intensity

Sam... bringing it!

I’ve written a few times about my commute into work, whether from the standpoint of just sometimes enjoying the quiet of the drive or on how some people merge like borderline mental patients.  It’s always a grab bag of adventures during the 20 to 45 minutes I spend in the car heading to or home from the office.  I know I am not alone in this feeling.

This morning I decided to try something a little different and do an audio blog and load it up to the site today.  What prompted the blog (content-wise as opposed to doing it in an audio format) was an e-mail exchange I recently had with someone about my blog.  They remarked that they were surprised at the amount of intensity I am able to have on a daily basis.  That made me chuckle a bit since I have oh-so-many days where my intensity feels like a deflated balloon of pain and nothingness and ennui… umm… OK, maybe not that bad, but I do have days where I am not quite as spunky or crisp as I would prefer to be.  It’s human nature.  So I figured I would dictate a post into Evernote and put the audio file up for your listening enjoyment of my golden voice as it soothes you into a serene pool of happiness, enlightenment and a transcendent state of being.  Lucky you.

Audio Blog.mp3

And in case you are wondering what true intensity looks like… I present to you… my nephew Sam.  Fear him, people… fear him.

Self-Control: There’s Only So Much To Go ‘Round

I used to be a fairly neat person when it came to how I kept my personal living space.  Nothing was ever left out.  Everything had its place.  I’m not going to say it was to the level of US Army basic training orderly, but it was pretty darn good.  Ahh… those were the days!

Fast-forward to 2010.  As I gaze across the space that is my condo, those days of borderline military precision are loooooong gone.  It’s not like my place is dirty and grimy – far from it.  But tidy?  Neat?  Umm… no.  No, my friend, it is not.  Oh sure, if friends are coming over, I kick myself into gear and the place is spic-and-span in no time at all.  Hell, that seems reason enough to invite people over to my house, especially my female friends.  Every dude on the planet will go a little bit extra for the women in his life than the men when it comes to the cleaning routine.  It’s just science… err… or something.

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All of this navel-gazing today over my cleaning habits today stems from a pretty interesting piece I read on the Fast Company web site by Dan Heath called “Why Change Is So Hard: Self-Control is Exhaustible“.  The piece is about how in a psychology experiment, 2 groups of students come into a lab where there is a bowl of chocolate chip cookies and a bowl of radishes.  Some students are allowed to eat the cookies, but no radishes.  The other group is allowed to eat radishes, but no cookies.  The researchers then leave the room which is basically an opportunity for Team Radish to sneak some cookies… but none of them do.  Keep this in mind.

A bit later, the two groups are then asked to work on a logic puzzle and seek to solve it.  The catch?  It can’t be solved.  Damn scientists with their game-playing and whatnot.  Figures.

Ahh… but here is the interesting part.  The chocolate chip cookie group?  They gave up on trying the puzzle after 19 minutes.  Not bad right?  The radishes group?  Well, they lasted a mere 8 minutes with about half as many attempts as Team Cookie Deliciousness (and yes, I am making up these names as I go along) at solving the puzzle before throwing in the towel.

The conclusion of the study was simple: Self-control is actually a finite resource.  Team Cookie Deliciousness didn’t have to exercise any self-control prior to the puzzle because… let’s be honest… who’s really fighting an insatiable urge to chomp down on radishes and ignore cookies?  Team Radish did have to exercise it and thus had less resources to persist at the unsolvable puzzle.

The easy thing would be to use all of this as an incredibly convenient excuse to give myself a pass on the pile of clean laundry sitting on the floor just 10 feet away from me, but that’s not my intent.  Instead, I think this study serves as a valuable reminder as as self-check for what you have going on in your own life.  If you find certain things slipping that normally wouldn’t slip, think about why.  If you feel lazier than usual, what’s changed?  What is it that’s taxing upon your own personal reserves and what are you going to do about it?

For me, it’s a stark reminder of the effects of stress in my life.  I run a little more tightly wound than most and that necessitates self-awareness about what is causing my stress and (more importantly) what the heck I plan on doing about it.

So fear not, my friends!  That pile of laundry you continuously neglect to fold and put away?  Or those bills you just seem to keep putting off another day?  Or the cookies you cannot resist?  Perhaps it’s time to consider all of these things anew as something beyond mere failures or weakness in your willpower.  Perhaps they are the signs to stop and consider what thief in your life is sapping that self-control you need to manage yourself each day.

One man’s shortcoming can be turned into your personal guidepost.  Embrace it as such.

Transatlantic Musings: Accents, England and Unexpected Perspective

Blogging Gameface

It seems I’ve finally found some time to do some blogging on my trip to London… and that’s during my flight back from London.  Funny how that works out.  Actually, I probably did have time a few others points in the trip, but the jetlag decided to open up a full case (and not just a six-pack) of whup-ass on me by the time evening rolled around each day.  I was able to stumble through some Twitter and Facebook posting and that was the extent of my… *ahem*… intelligent discussion and contribution to the social dialogue of the planet.  Go me.

So here at 36,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, I find a few moments of respite to think back on my trip while my Boeing 777 chariot whisks me along back to the U.S of A.  What keen, penetrating insights have the gods unveiled to me during this sojourn to the land of tea, crumpets, cricket and tiny cars?  Sit back, relax with a nice cup of Earl Grey and let the magic unfold, my friends.

YOU are the one with the funny accent. As an American, it’s always great to get out of the country and spend a bit of time letting your ear adjust to the accents of people from other countries.  The work conference I was at had people from England, France, South Africa, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Spain, Russia, Poland, Sweden, Slovenia and I’m sure other countries that are now completing slipping my mind.  Usually if you go to a foreign land, you can adjust generally to the accents of the people within a day or so because it will be a (generally) uniform set of accents.  This conference was different in that I was with accents, sentence pacing and colloquialisms from a wide range of places.  I never got the chance to let my ear settle in with a single accent… and, quite frankly, I enjoyed that.   It also makes you realize that most of the people at the conference likely looked at me and my other American colleagues as the ones with the funny accents.

I love the fact that international travel (or even domestic travel to different areas of the country) forces a little extra open-mindedness on me.  Perspective, people… its good for the soul.

England is a place of dramatic, yet understated, surprises.  If that’s even possible. Due to its rather cozy size, but incredibly rich history, I’ve always found England to be the kind of place where you can suddenly happen upon really cool stuff.  OK, I was hoping to come up with a more creative, inspired and dramatic word than “stuff”, but honestly, isn’t stuff a perfectly good word too?

Anyway, I digress, yet again.  So last night I went out to dinner in… umm… truth be told, I have no idea what town it was.  I think it was actually technically parts of London.  I sometimes think of London like Boston – lots of different areas that are considered part of the greater city, but you’ve never quite sure when you are in the city proper.  As we head out to dinner and get out of cab, BOOM!  Right there looming behind the restaurant was Windsor Castle.  Like THE Windsor Castle.  Home of the Queen and such.  It just struck me a bit how we just happened upon it in almost the same manner you would seemingly run across a Starbucks in the States… just with more royalty, less condescending baristas and less completely useless drink size names (Venti?  Really?  I mean… that’s what we’re going with?  I think I’m asking for a Venti Gulp the next time I hit up 7-11).  Unless they put a Starbucks in Windsor Castle… which would blow my mind.

That being said, it’s that kind of unexpected moments of “Wow” that I love about England.  You get it in New York City as well, actually.  You are just randomly walking down a street, look up and BOOM!  World famous landmark right there in front of you.  It’s a little humbling and can make you feel a little bit small, but I never find it to happen to me in a bad way – it tends to be more of a way to appreciate what you encounter a little more deeply.  For instance, it’s a bit hard to be too self-involved when you have moments like this happen and Lord knows I really need moments like that.  Hell, I think we all do.

When I’m on the shelf, I am TOTALLY on the shelf. Before I left on this trip, I had decided I was putting myself on the shelf to stop all lifting and exercising while allowing the anti-inflammatory steroids I’ve been taking to do their job and to let my neck heal.  I wrote about all of that right here.  The only exercises I’ve really been doing are neck retractions and a lot of focus on having dramatically better posture.  The combination of the steroids, rest and the exercises are really doing an excellent job of making my neck feel just so much better.  Happy Kev.  But there is a dramatically ugly side of this break period and it’s not the first time I’ve noticed it when I’ve been on an off-week or break.  See, when I put myself on the shelf, I go at it full tilt.  How so?  Well, let’s just say that when I’m not lifting, pushing my Prowler, swinging the sledgehammer and all of the other magical tomfoolery that is part of my training arsenal, I’m also eating a ton crappier than I normally would.  A logical person might think, “Well geez, Kev… just because you’re not training doesn’t mean you should let ALL good health habits go to waste.”  To that logical person I say, “Technically true… but here’s the thing… bite me, hoser.”  And yes, I just channeled my inner Mackenzie Brothers there, so take off, eh.

I have a good enough sense of self-awareness to know the truth said that said logical (and totally wet blanket) person speaks, but it doesn’t change the fact that I seem to go full on or full off.  It’s what one of my favorite authors on training and powerlifting, Dave Tate from EliteFTS, describes as “Blast” and “Dust”.  He approaches a lot of things in his life with the notion that he is either going to do it with complete gusto and passion or not at all.  I can well appreciate that fact since I tend to be the same way.  I am shooting for a better middle ground with some balance, but I am mostly wired in an all-or-nothing mindset for many things.

Thankfully, I am going to be going back at it on the bright tomorrow morning as I get back to eating right and totally rocking the Prowler for some fun.  Parking lots of Connecticut, beware… I got some steel with your name all over it.  And anyone who wants to join me is totally welcome… just remember… this is not a spectator sport.  You show up, you push.

So those are some of the thoughts I noticed in one of my favorite countries besides my own – jolly old England.  Thank you, Britannia, for the time to grow a bit, stretch my mind a little bit more and gain a little better insight into myself and the world through which I travel.  May I put it to good use every day.

Analysis and Attitude – Coaching Through the Tricky Parts

While I cannot speak for all other bloggers, I know one of my complete obsessions with my own blog is checking out Google Analytics to see how my blog is performing: how many visitors I am getting, what sites they are coming from, how long they spend on the site and what keywords they have used to reach the site.  It’s pretty cool how you can slice the data a bunch of different ways to see what in the world made someone: (a) come to your site; (b) stick around and (c) look at some particular pieces of content.

Outside of the sheer numbers piece of total unique visitors (I love this one and just want it to go up all the time), I really love the keywords.  It never ceases to amaze me the searches someone used on a search site like Google to find humble little Fierce and Mighty.  For instance, for the time period between May 26 and May 31, I’ve had people come to my blog for “dealing with toxic people”, the “prowler” and a variety of connections for people looking for guides on handling youth baseball.  I think my favorite youth baseball one is “youth baseball moms how to deal with crappy coaches”.  Umm… I’m hoping that wasn’t a parent of one of my players… but then again, ya gotta admit it would be pretty funny if parents of some of my players came to my own site for advice on how to deal with my (ALLEGEDLY) crappy coaching.

IMG_1213_2.JPGSo let’s get back into the coaching piece for a bit, mostly since I am really enjoying doing posts on my thoughts on being a youth baseball coach.

I think if there is one huge challenge any youth coach faces, more than teaching skills, setting rosters, structuring drills or managing an actual game is setting the proper tone and attitude of the team.  You really need to get to the kids early and stay utterly consistent in your message to them from the first practice to the last moment of your final game.  But how exactly does one do this?  I think I’m finally seeing what it takes to pull this off after a lengthy period of trial and error… and this is probably something that applies more generally to teams than just kids… but for now, I will focus on our getting our precious little angels to stop yammering for 10 seconds to pay attention to the baseball game.

  1. A common theme, shared among all. The coaches really need to be on the same page with what the approach they want to take with the kids.  My brother and I have a pretty good idea of how we want to approach our team, so that does help.  We want them to improve and play well and have fun.  Do we want them to win?  Of course, but only towards the bigger goal that they will get more excited about the game when they are doing well as a team.  The pure accolades associated with winning a “title” or something at this age is not our real goal.  Sure, it would be nice, but I will take the kids having fun over that any day without even a 2nd thought.  To some nutjob coaches out there, that makes me a loser.  To all those nutjob coaches out there, I would simply respond… with nothing.  Y’all ain’t it even worth the effort of my fingers to type something.
  2. The more, the merrier. This is one I almost cannot stress enough: the younger the kids, the more coaches you need.  Period.  I will not debate this.  If you are dealing with all teenagers, 2 coaches can probably be sufficient because, at that age, the kids can actually stay semi-focused at practices and in games.  But coaching 14 or so 8 and 9 year olds?  You need to have at least 4 coaches to make things close to workable.  The reason for this is simple: they have incredibly short attention spans and are always looking to act like goofy little lunatics with their buddies.  While this is sometimes kind of funny, if you don’t keep it on a short leash, things become unworkable for the whole team VERY quickly.

    With a group of coaches, it’s easier to divide kids into groups and minimize the amount of standing around time or “SAT”… ok, there isn’t really a true acronym for that, but I made it up… umm… and may never use it again.  I just felt like doing it.  Cut me some slack.  But as coaches, you simply need to be proactive about getting other parents involved as either coaches for practices or just to help monitor the kids on the bench during games when you are trying to focus on the actual in-game coaching.  The alternative is spending all your time telling  Reggie to take the gum off his nose, Charlie to stop kicking the dugout gravel into coach’s glove and Thomas that throwing the empty gum wrappers behind the bench was not what you meant when you said you didn’t want trash in the dugout.  I want to point out that while the names were changed to protect the… *ahem*… innocent, all of these things happened last game.  I kid you not.

  3. Getting it back when you start late. This is one I feel like my brother and I seem to focus on too much in that we don’t get the attitude set the way we want early and consistently and then struggle a bit to bring the boys back to the task at hand.  Now believe me, it is not that hard to lose the kids if you are not following the first 2 tips, but that being said, I am not making excuses.  Just an observation.  So what do you do when you find yourself 5 games into the season and your exquisitely crafted plan of 9 year old baseball domination falling apart before your very eyes?

    I’d like to say I have an easy answer for this one… but I don’t.  It really is a matter of acknowledging that at any point in the season, you can say “OK, enough is enough” if you really and truly mean it.  Our teams have always tended to bloom a little late because it took my brother and I a little while to get everyone back on board.  The funny thing about that is that even if it happens late in the season, it’s very cool when it happens… not because your exceedingly fragile coaching ego has been saved from further bruising, but when the kids finally do “get it”, they begin to play well and have fun.  We actually had a bit of this happen in our last game.  The opposing team came out swinging against us and knocked the ball all around the top of the 1st inning.  How did we respond?  Hell, we came out and knocked the ball all over the place in the bottom of the 1st.  Was this because they saw it was possible?  Was it some secret bit of magical coaching pixie dust that got us back into the positive end of things?  Damned if I know… but it was fun… and the fun is what counts… keep reminding yourself of that.

OK, that’s enough for now.  I started this post at JFK yesterday before my redeye flight to London, got less than 2 hours sleep, rolled right into my conference, finished that up for the day, had dinner and I am now attempting to finish this post with a semblance of rational thought.  I have no idea how that went – you be the judge.  I gotta get to sleep… but I do have a few thoughts I plan to share soon on this trip to London and also on my non-baseball playing nephew.  He needs some blog love too.