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Collectively, A Thread To Celebrate Our Kids Athletic Accomplishments (1 Viewer)

Anarchy99

Footballguy
I am starting a thread today because my son's final high school basketball season is starting today. After 22 years of coaching, spectating, and supporting our 5 kids across a ton of sports (and never giving it much thought), this is essentially the last rodeo for us. After literally THOUSANDS of games, matches, meets, tournaments, and competitions we find ourselves with just a few months left to relish and enjoy what has been a long journey to get this far . . . only to realize that there isn't much journey left.

Our families have athletic bloodlines. A collegiate All American football player. An Olympic swimmer. A college scholarship baseball player. I qualified for the professional bowling tour. (Spoiler alert) One of my sons is a card carrying member of the PGA.

Off the top, the sports the kids have participated in I can quickly remember include baseball, basketball, football, soccer, wrestling, lacrosse, track and field, gymnastics, softball, cheerleading, skiing, and golf.

To put things in perspective, when the first of our kids started playing T-ball, Bill Belichick was an assistant coach for the Jets. LeBron James was in junior high school. The Padres were in the World Series. Seinfeld was still on TV.

Anyway, since this thread is going to serve as therapy for me, I wanted to open things up for people to share their personal stories about their kids and their athletic teams and pursuits. I will be posting stories from days gone by . . . from the thrill of victory to the agony of defeat (as the saying goes). Lots and lots of memories . . . some of them great, some of them not so great. Some of them majestic, some of them tragic.

Please feel free to post about whatever special moments you remember, things you were proud of, funny occurrences, times when your kids were little and picked dandelions in the outfield, etc. They don't all have to be about hitting home runs to win a game or scoring a goal to win the league championship. 

 
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AcerFC

Footballguy
Its funny, we were talking about this the other day. I said I would miss all the running back and forth for our kids athletic events. My wife said she would not, lol

My 7th GRADE daughter plays soccer and lacrosse. She played basketball one year and softball for 2 but she didnt like them

My 4th grade son plays hockey and lacrosse. He loves it. He thinks he is going to the NHL. I try not to be a dream crusher, but spoiler alert, he is not

He did snipe this shot to tie the game up a few months ago. Happened to have the link since I sent it to the grandparents. 

https://livebarn.com/en/videoshare?vid=8IeXsUPZ8Ofd8SrqYVYmzaJ_2BOMdeBnFjRsxf_2BEunlEAkBslKLZg86FdqVhW5txURLJ5BY1am_2BcOxbDhonHT_2FjOTYOeQr_2BiCPF7ok3LK_2F8EjKOx0JhaMaAbjuIY0mPztEB8_2FiKKqdJ6aIyrNeXlGEO_2Bmxut6r1y0n&dt=2019-10-12T15:29&t=973639&d=30000

 
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Gally

Footballguy
Its funny, we were talking about this the other day. I said I would miss all the running back and forth for our kids athletic events. My wife said she would not, lol

My 7th daughter plays soccer and lacrosse. She played basketball one year and softball for 2 but she didnt like them

My 4th grade son plays hockey and lacrosse. He loves it. He thinks he is going to the NHL. I try not to be a dream crusher, but spoiler alert, he is not

He did snipe this shot to tie the game up a few months ago. Happened to have the link since I sent it to the grandparents. 

https://livebarn.com/en/videoshare?vid=8IeXsUPZ8Ofd8SrqYVYmzaJ_2BOMdeBnFjRsxf_2BEunlEAkBslKLZg86FdqVhW5txURLJ5BY1am_2BcOxbDhonHT_2FjOTYOeQr_2BiCPF7ok3LK_2F8EjKOx0JhaMaAbjuIY0mPztEB8_2FiKKqdJ6aIyrNeXlGEO_2Bmxut6r1y0n&dt=2019-10-12T15:29&t=973639&d=30000
Why didn't you list all your other kids sports?  Maybe they weren't athletic?  These two are just your favorites?  hahaa

 

[scooter]

Footballguy
My daughter threw shot put because it involved the least amount of running.  :mellow:
My 16-year-old nephew quit the track team because it involved too much running.

He said he was going to switch to the golf team -- despite never having played the game before, with his lone experience being 2 trips to the driving range with his grandfather when he was 6 years old. I asked him how he thought he was going to do this despite his lack of experience, and he said to me, with 100% sincerity: "Can't you just teach me the basics right now? I'm sure I'll be able to figure it all out by next week."

So, we went to the backyard and I gave him a rundown of the basics. I explained to him that golf is not an easy game to learn and that I have been playing it for 30 years and I still can't break 85, and that if he really wants to be good enough to make his high school team, he'll have to practice every single day.

The next day he re-joined the track team. :mellow:

 

glvsav37

Footballguy
Nice celly @AcerFC. My son is a defenseman too (same age) and I idk if I want to see when he scores his 1st goal. They may have to shut the rink down for his 35th trip around high fiving everyone.  
 

I come from a pretty sports heavily family but my wife did not.  We have 2 kids and are still in the beginning to middle of our sports journey. 4th and 8th grade.  My oldest plays basketball, dances and does kickline (last 2 are more activities but still require running to practice and scheduling time) and my little guy plays travel ice hockey, 2 or more practices a week, 3-4 games a weekend, etc.  we love it and enjoy the highs and lows of sports and being active in a team environment.  
 

by contrast, my wife’s sisters family does absolutely nothing with their kids.  Same basic ages. It’s amazing to hear them ask us “why do you do this” “you guys are out of your mind” “oh right you can’t come over again because of sports” my mother in law fights with my wife all the time and can’t understand why we just can’t “skip” some games from time to time.  
 

not to make direct relationships, but my kids are straight A students and pretty well adjusted while my sis in laws kids all hate being in school and have a bunch of social issues—lots of extra family baggage there but lack of any activity I think doesn’t help. 
 

Also I still play ice hockey and I also referee in the local high school league. So our family calendar is pretty full with games.  

 
Daughter is dancing the lead in Sleeping beauty.  Two shows today.  Just the winter performance of her dance company.  Tomorrow she is a Spanish dancer in the nutcracker for a matinee with a professional company.  We have to travel after the last show today (tonight) to get to the performance tomorrow.  She will catch what sleep she can in my truck.  Eight hour drive.

 
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cheeseypoof

Footballguy
Enjoy every bit of this journey.  I only have one son.  He played baseball from T-ball through HS, soccer through HS and he picked up bowling in HS for something to do in winter.

He was never a great athlete but he had a passion to play, especially baseball.  He was a “gym” rat for baseball.  Always wanted to go down the field, batting cages, etc.  He had an aptitude for it, just not the physical talent to excel.  I was a coach for all of his t-ball, LL and Babe Ruth teams.  I kept coaching for a few years after he aged out and always was around to help.  I would rather have a team full kids with heart and desire than more talented kids that took their abilities for granted or had bad attitudes.

When he started bowling, he just immersed himself completely in the sport.  As soon as he told us he wanted to bowl in HS, we signed him up for a local youth league.  That was just ok.  He was basically the oldest kid there and the newest to the sport.  He took off in his sophomore year of HS.  Made the varsity team and joined a different youth league with one of his HS teammates.  That progressed into also joining a youth travel bowling league.  Then he started competing in youth tournaments.  For about a 5-6 year span just about every weekend from September to May was at least one bowling event, sometimes 3.  It would be regular league Saturday morning, tournament Saturday afternoon and either a tournament or travel league on Sunday.  At times it was a lot, almost too much.  His mother supported it but selectively chose which events to attend.  I was at all of them.

Now that he’s aged out of everything I do miss it all.  We had our share of arguments but I don’t think we would have changed anything.  I know I wouldn’t.  Definitely brought us closer together.

 
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Don Quixote

Footballguy
My son is 3 years old, so not a whole lot yet. He did make a hole-in-one playing mini golf on the Disney Dream cruise this summer though. I think I’m going to need to sign him up (maybe the both of us up) for golf lessons at some point, since I don’t really play, but he seems to enjoy it.

 

Galileo

Footballguy
Son #1 is currently a junior.  He was a three sport athlete through the early years - Football, Basketball, and baseball.  Hard to believe he has played tackle football for 11 years (started in 1st grade).  He earned his 2nd year varsity letter this year starting at DE for a team that went to the state final 4.  He was 3rd on the team with 8 sacks.  He is currently working on his second year varsity basketball letter.  He is great at drawing fouls, unfortunately, he can not shoot free throws to save his life...we're talking lower than Chris Dudley levels of futility from the charity stripe.  He leaves a lot of points on the court    He stopped playing baseball after his freshman year.  About 1/2 way through the travel season between his 8th and 9th grade years he had more home runs than singles.  Kid could hit the long ball when he connected but didn't have a whole lot of bat control.  He just swung and hoped the ball was coming in on a line with his swing.  Unfortunately, he lead his teams in strike outs most years.  I used to call him Dave Kingman. 

Son #2 is currently a sophomore.  He earned a varsity letter in swimming as a freshman.  He has been swimming for several years now and helps coach the neighborhood swim team in the summer.  We are in the midst of his second HS season now.  I just pent 5 hours today at a swim meet (TBH, I hate these all day type events...especially in a hot/humid natatorium).  He has tried other sports through his youth, but has never found any enjoyment with any of them except swimming.  He does not have a very competitive demeanor.  He just enjoys being in the water.  He is talking about wanting to try to throw shot and disc this spring during track season.  We'll see what, if anything, come of that effort.    

 

belljr

Footballguy
Daughter been playing softball for 9 years.

I've coached all. She is a freshman this year and our season for club is starting late this year. Has 4 years left - 8 if she decides to play in college.  She has the talent but not sure if she'll want to plus all the leg work we need to do.

She's had game winning homeruns in Nationals as well as striking out with winning runs on base. Great defensive plays as well as routine errors.

I'm going to miss it and not a little :)

she played field hockey and basketball up until this year and decided to hang them up. She could play hockey but chose not too. Decided on winter track.

 

El Floppo

Footballguy
Love hearing the sports stories.

I was an athlete- culled to baseball and soccer and finally soccer (top 10 div1 team and some semipro after before grad school) and my dad played college football w Johnny U in college, but played every sport. The wife is a non-athlete from a giant family with some athletes and most not.

My 7th grade son has really good athletic ability, but flatline zero athletic mentality. Zero physical competitiveness since birth- throw a ball into a group of kids and he's the one bailing out or wanting to talk to people while others are scrapping for the ball. 8yo daughter has a little more eye of the tiger in that regard and decent raw athletic ability- just started, but might be a decent tennis player. Neither of these dipahit ingrates wants to play soccer. :wall:

My kids are great and have their passions and interests where they excel ...but I'll likely have to live vicariously through you guys for kids and sports. 

 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
Since my stepson is home for Christmas, let’s start with him. I knew nothing about wresting until about 10 years ago when the HS wrestling coach begged him to try wrestling. We were frightened at his first match in 8th grade. We thought he would get creamed, as there were plenty of kids that had been wrestling for years. Boy, were we wrong. In his debut, he flipped his opponent so hard that the kid broke his collarbone and his arm, got a concussion, and was knocked unconscious. It was the first time in town history they had to take anyone away in an ambulance at a school sporting event. He went on to become middle school state champion that year.

But the best part of his wrestling career was his on-going battle against ONE other wrestler. The best way to describe the other kid would be a cross between Shooter McGavin, White Goodman, and Floyd Mayweather while playing for the Patriots. This kid’s high school had a crazy unbeaten streak in terms of consecutive meets won. The kid in question was technically proficient, but he usually won on points and didn’t try to pin people. He would get the lead and mostly dance around to run out the clock (doing just enough to not lose points for stalling). But he constantly talked smack, proclaimed himself as the greatest ever, and no one liked him. My stepson was the complete polar opposite strategically. He thought winning a match on points was for sissies and tried to pin his opponent in every single match, even if he was ahead on points. That ended up costing him a few victories, as he would try for pins, get counter flipped, and gave away matches that way.

The problem in facing Shooter McGavin was he couldn’t beat him. Shooter had a lengthy unbeaten streak of his own and the two faced off in the semifinals of the state championship as sophomores. Like I just pointed out, my stepson got ahead on points, and with seconds to go, he tried for a pin, got flipped, and lost on points in the last seconds. They met again a few other times and the other kid barely won each time. They met in-season with the “Patriots” long winning streak in jeopardy, and it came down to their individual match. He needed a pin, as winning on points would not have scored enough points to win the meet. Our son was ahead on points again, went for a pin and missed, and ended up losing by a point AGAIN.

Another rematch took place in the state semis the following year as juniors. Shooter had won the D-I championship in his weight class as both a freshman and sophomore. My stepson was winning late in the match, but he got caught standing and hopping with his leg up. The other kid pushed him out of bounds. The officials blew the whistle for a restart, but the kid kept pushing our kid way off the mat. Shooter finally threw him down . . . directly onto the uncovered gym floor . . . on his head. Our son got concussed and couldn’t continue, so he was a tough luck loser on a dirty maneuver. Shooter was not forced to forfeit or kicked out of the tournament, as they ruled it was accidental. He won the title match for his 3rd state title.

As a senior, my stepson was unbeatable. He mostly had one move. On the opening whistle, he would dive for the other kid’s legs, pull him down, and pin him in seconds. He literally won half of his matches in 15 seconds or less. What was funny is that everyone knew it was coming, and it didn’t matter. It was like a gazelle getting mauled by a lion. As a senior, he was due to square off with Shooter again in-season and the “Patriots” coach pulled a wussy maneuver by forfeiting the match and having Shooter wrestle up in a higher weight class and face someone else instead.

Just like you would see in the movies, our son and Shooter met in the finals of the state championship as seniors. Shooter was going for his 4th straight state championship. The “Patriots” were on the verge of like their 10th straight state wrestling title and still had their undefeated streak going. If they won the match, they would be state champs again. If they didn’t, their winning streak would be snapped. Just like every other match, our son got ahead on points. Just like every other match, a win was not going to be good enough for him . . . he had to have a pin. Just like every other match, he went for the pin right at the end of the match . . . and got flipped. But this time, he got a reversal right back AND PINNED Shooter, thwarting his attempt to become a 4-timne state champion.

The whole gym went nuts, as people were OVERJOYED that the “Patriots” had finally lost the title. Ironically, now I know how Eli Manning must have felt. The ref raised his arm as the victor, and he let out a gigantic scream. The moment was captured for eternity by a local newspaper, with a picture of him with his arm raised and screaming while Shooter lay dejected on the mat. It took up half the front page of the newspaper. That picture hangs in our house to this day. As a post-script, he ended up setting the record for most wins by a wrestler at our high school.

 

Bull Dozier

Footballguy
I am starting a thread today because my son's final high school basketball season is starting today. After 22 years of coaching, spectating, and supporting our 5 kids across a ton of sports (and never giving it much thought), this is essentially the last rodeo for us. After literally THOUSANDS of games, matches, meets, tournaments, and competitions we find ourselves with just a few months left to relish and enjoy what has been a long journey to get this far . . . only to realize that there isn't much journey left.

Our families have athletic bloodlines. A collegiate All American football player. An Olympic swimmer. A college scholarship baseball player. I qualified for the professional bowling tour. (Spoiler alert) One of my sons is a card carrying member of the PGA.

Off the top, the sports the kids have participated in I can quickly remember include baseball, basketball, football, soccer, wrestling, lacrosse, track and field, gymnastics, softball, cheerleading, skiing, and golf.

To put things in perspective, when the first of our kids started playing T-ball, Bill Belichick was an assistant coach for the Jets. LeBron James was in junior high school. The Padres were in the World Series. Seinfeld was still on TV.

Anyway, since this thread is going to serve as therapy for me, I wanted to open things up for people to share their personal stories about their kids and their athletic teams and pursuits. I will be posting stories from days gone by . . . from the thrill of victory to the agony of defeat (as the saying goes). Lots and lots of memories . . . some of them great, some of them not so great. Some of them majestic, some of them tragic.

Please feel free to post about whatever special moments you remember, things you were proud of, funny occurrences, times when your kids were little and picked dandelions in the outfield, etc. They don't all have to be about hitting home runs to win a game or scoring a goal to win the league championship. 
In a similar, but not as glamorous, stage of life.  My two boys are now a senior and junior in high school.  They have played basketball and baseball consistently, both dabbled in football and soccer (the older one even played hockey at about 3 years old but quickly gave it up).

This year is the first year since the older one moved to basketball at 5 that neither are playing basketball.  I've coached one or the other, or both, every year from 4th grade through their 8th grade years.  Even had the pleasure of coaching them both on a school team together for a couple of years.  Their playing time started to dwindle (undeservedly so if you ask me, even if I put aside my parental bias) the last couple of years, so both decided to hang it up.  They are both playing in rec leagues for high schoolers, and both are coaching traveling teams this year in the program they grew up going through.  It is definitely a bitter end with no sweetness in my mind.  Both deserved better, and I would haved liked to have seen them gone out with a senior night even, instead of going out with the feeling of their coaching having lost faith in them.  Quite the disappointment.

The older one will play one more year of high school baseball, and then potentially DIII college baseball (though I doubt he will suceed at that as he is an average high school player).  The younger one is not as good at baseball, so I wouldn't be surprised if this is his last year.

:kicksrock:

 

strykerpks

Footballguy
I'm just starting out. My oldest is 7 and last summer he started his first actual "league". It was a coach pitch baseball league where everyone got to bat etc...

In his first game he was standing next to the pitcher and took a line drive off the face. He brought his glove up just a little bit too late but that actually helped him catch the ball. He pinned it between the glove and his cheek, threw to first to "double up" the runner. He was ok but was fighting back tears. He got checked out and was asked if he wanted to take a seat. He said no, he wanted to play. Standing O from all the parents. I've never been so proud

Not the same as other stories and it may be the height of his athletic career, but sometimes those are the best. And I'm ok with that.

 
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CletiusMaximus

Footballguy
I am starting a thread today because my son's final high school basketball season is starting today. After 22 years of coaching, spectating, and supporting our 5 kids across a ton of sports (and never giving it much thought), this is essentially the last rodeo for us. After literally THOUSANDS of games, matches, meets, tournaments, and competitions we find ourselves with just a few months left to relish and enjoy what has been a long journey to get this far . . . only to realize that there isn't much journey left.
The important thing for me is that - while the journey is almost over for you - your son has developed (hopefully) a love of the game and he'll be able to play a game like basketball through college (intramural/pickup) and deep into his adult life.  From the day my son started playing sports, my goal for him has been to find some sports he loves, learn to love those games and be good enough to play them at an intramural or bar-league level throughout his life.  I went to a massive university, but being able to play rugby and basketball gave me an instant circle of friends.  The same after college, as I lived in several different states and countries for extended periods, I was always able to find a local rugby team or an amateur team / bar league to play basketball or softball.  I've never been a very good player at anything, but its been great to have the ability to join a team and play along.  My son has never been the best player on any of his teams and never will be, and I've never put any pressure on him with sports.  I don't even go to most of his games.  The goal has always been to have fun and develop some skills so you can play the game throughout your active life, have fun, meet girls, make friends and stay fit.

 

El Floppo

Footballguy
Since my stepson is home for Christmas, let’s start with him. I knew nothing about wresting until about 10 years ago when the HS wrestling coach begged him to try wrestling. We were frightened at his first match in 8th grade. We thought he would get creamed, as there were plenty of kids that had been wrestling for years. Boy, were we wrong. In his debut, he flipped his opponent so hard that the kid broke his collarbone and his arm, got a concussion, and was knocked unconscious. It was the first time in town history they had to take anyone away in an ambulance at a school sporting event. He went on to become middle school state champion that year.

But the best part of his wrestling career was his on-going battle against ONE other wrestler. The best way to describe the other kid would be a cross between Shooter McGavin, White Goodman, and Floyd Mayweather while playing for the Patriots. This kid’s high school had a crazy unbeaten streak in terms of consecutive meets won. The kid in question was technically proficient, but he usually won on points and didn’t try to pin people. He would get the lead and mostly dance around to run out the clock (doing just enough to not lose points for stalling). But he constantly talked smack, proclaimed himself as the greatest ever, and no one liked him. My stepson was the complete polar opposite strategically. He thought winning a match on points was for sissies and tried to pin his opponent in every single match, even if he was ahead on points. That ended up costing him a few victories, as he would try for pins, get counter flipped, and gave away matches that way.

The problem in facing Shooter McGavin was he couldn’t beat him. Shooter had a lengthy unbeaten streak of his own and the two faced off in the semifinals of the state championship as sophomores. Like I just pointed out, my stepson got ahead on points, and with seconds to go, he tried for a pin, got flipped, and lost on points in the last seconds. They met again a few other times and the other kid barely won each time. They met in-season with the “Patriots” long winning streak in jeopardy, and it came down to their individual match. He needed a pin, as winning on points would not have scored enough points to win the meet. Our son was ahead on points again, went for a pin and missed, and ended up losing by a point AGAIN.

Another rematch took place in the state semis the following year as juniors. Shooter had won the D-I championship in his weight class as both a freshman and sophomore. My stepson was winning late in the match, but he got caught standing and hopping with his leg up. The other kid pushed him out of bounds. The officials blew the whistle for a restart, but the kid kept pushing our kid way off the mat. Shooter finally threw him down . . . directly onto the uncovered gym floor . . . on his head. Our son got concussed and couldn’t continue, so he was a tough luck loser on a dirty maneuver. Shooter was not forced to forfeit or kicked out of the tournament, as they ruled it was accidental. He won the title match for his 3rd state title.

As a senior, my stepson was unbeatable. He mostly had one move. On the opening whistle, he would dive for the other kid’s legs, pull him down, and pin him in seconds. He literally won half of his matches in 15 seconds or less. What was funny is that everyone knew it was coming, and it didn’t matter. It was like a gazelle getting mauled by a lion. As a senior, he was due to square off with Shooter again in-season and the “Patriots” coach pulled a wussy maneuver by forfeiting the match and having Shooter wrestle up in a higher weight class and face someone else instead.

Just like you would see in the movies, our son and Shooter met in the finals of the state championship as seniors. Shooter was going for his 4th straight state championship. The “Patriots” were on the verge of like their 10th straight state wrestling title and still had their undefeated streak going. If they won the match, they would be state champs again. If they didn’t, their winning streak would be snapped. Just like every other match, our son got ahead on points. Just like every other match, a win was not going to be good enough for him . . . he had to have a pin. Just like every other match, he went for the pin right at the end of the match . . . and got flipped. But this time, he got a reversal right back AND PINNED Shooter, thwarting his attempt to become a 4-timne state champion.

The whole gym went nuts, as people were OVERJOYED that the “Patriots” had finally lost the title. Ironically, now I know how Eli Manning must have felt. The ref raised his arm as the victor, and he let out a gigantic scream. The moment was captured for eternity by a local newspaper, with a picture of him with his arm raised and screaming while Shooter lay dejected on the mat. It took up half the front page of the newspaper. That picture hangs in our house to this day. As a post-script, he ended up setting the record for most wins by a wrestler at our high school.
That was amazing story, and amazingly told! Thanks so much for sharing it.

 

El Floppo

Footballguy
My best buddy from HS, and still close friend's youngest kid plays baseball...apparently just received some offers from solid pac 10 (or 13 or whatever) schools...as a sophomore. Looking forward to seeing where this kids future takes him. I'll share more if/when he goes pro some day.

 

GoBirds

Footballguy
I am starting a thread today because my son's final high school basketball season is starting today. After 22 years of coaching, spectating, and supporting our 5 kids across a ton of sports (and never giving it much thought), this is essentially the last rodeo for us. After literally THOUSANDS of games, matches, meets, tournaments, and competitions we find ourselves with just a few months left to relish and enjoy what has been a long journey to get this far . . . only to realize that there isn't much journey left.

Our families have athletic bloodlines. A collegiate All American football player. An Olympic swimmer. A college scholarship baseball player. I qualified for the professional bowling tour. (Spoiler alert) One of my sons is a card carrying member of the PGA.

Off the top, the sports the kids have participated in I can quickly remember include baseball, basketball, football, soccer, wrestling, lacrosse, track and field, gymnastics, softball, cheerleading, skiing, and golf.

To put things in perspective, when the first of our kids started playing T-ball, Bill Belichick was an assistant coach for the Jets. LeBron James was in junior high school. The Padres were in the World Series. Seinfeld was still on TV.

Anyway, since this thread is going to serve as therapy for me, I wanted to open things up for people to share their personal stories about their kids and their athletic teams and pursuits. I will be posting stories from days gone by . . . from the thrill of victory to the agony of defeat (as the saying goes). Lots and lots of memories . . . some of them great, some of them not so great. Some of them majestic, some of them tragic.

Please feel free to post about whatever special moments you remember, things you were proud of, funny occurrences, times when your kids were little and picked dandelions in the outfield, etc. They don't all have to be about hitting home runs to win a game or scoring a goal to win the league championship. 
I’m somewhat on the early end at 8 and 5 years old and not coming from athletic bloodlines like you describe. What kind of words of wisdom can you give a dad that wants to be involved but with limited experience in a lot of the sports and challenges of keeping up with work etc. You see some baseball coaches even at this age so detailed in what they are teaching I feel my lack of experience would be cheating these kids compared to the knowledge of some others. 

 

SpurrierisisGod

Footballguy
My son, a sophomore in hs now, earned all county 1st team as a freshman in soccer.  He was a pretty good basketball player but gave it up after 8th grade and has since grown 6 inches to 6 ft but just wants to play soccer still.  Getting some looks from some colleges, mostly smaller but a couple of d1 schools have emailed so that's cool.

Best story so far is from when he was 10.  Playing park soccer and he had averaged about 4 goals a game.  We get stymied in the championship game for some reason and game ends in a 1-1 tie.  No way I'm letting the keeper we have do the shootout so I put my son in goal.  He blocks 4 kicks and one went wide and as the 5th and final kicker, he puts it upper left 90.  In the championship game. We win on penalty kicks.

Best part is I get a call from my dad (I played a lot of soccer growing up and even a year of college ball).  He says "dont take this the wrong way but I think he is better than you were at this age".  Gut punch but he was right.  

With the current state of US soccer, I only wish he played left back ;)

 

AcerFC

Footballguy
I’m somewhat on the early end at 8 and 5 years old and not coming from athletic bloodlines like you describe. What kind of words of wisdom can you give a dad that wants to be involved but with limited experience in a lot of the sports and challenges of keeping up with work etc. You see some baseball coaches even at this age so detailed in what they are teaching I feel my lack of experience would be cheating these kids compared to the knowledge of some others. 
Some will agree with what I say. Some will disagree. Here is what I have learned from coaching youth sports

Kids want to have fun. They want to have fun at practice, they want to have fun in games and they want to have fun with their team mates. There is a point that some of them will want to be more serious, but a lot of that comes from their parents. 

Quick story. This past Spring I coached my daughters lacrosse team. I knew zero about girls lacrosse. I watched youtube and tried to ask other coaches and refs about the rules. I was up front with the parents and players but said we would learn together. The girls had a blast. We went from losing 15-0 to losing 8-6 and even won a game

I do know about coaching soccer. I have a US C certification and coach a varsity team. For a few reasons, i gave up coaching my daughter and her team 4 years ago. I came back to it this season. We have some girls on the team who played for the super competitive team in the club. 3 parents approached me and thanked me for their daughters enjoying the game again. All 3 said that there was so much pressure on them on the other team that it sapped their love of the game. The main thing is that I dont care about winning and losing a U14 game. I want the girls to develop as players and the team to develop as a team. The players feel that

Again, not everyone will agree. There are players and parents of players who think winning is everything. My suggestion, try it out. Learn like I did in lax and just let the kids have fun. Its really not serious. 

I hope I dont derail this thread into what coaches should and should not do. Ive enjoyed reading about everyones kids. 

 

Charlie Steiner

Footballguy
I’m somewhat on the early end at 8 and 5 years old and not coming from athletic bloodlines like you describe. What kind of words of wisdom can you give a dad that wants to be involved but with limited experience in a lot of the sports and challenges of keeping up with work etc. You see some baseball coaches even at this age so detailed in what they are teaching I feel my lack of experience would be cheating these kids compared to the knowledge of some others. 


Some will agree with what I say. Some will disagree. Here is what I have learned from coaching youth sports

Kids want to have fun. They want to have fun at practice, they want to have fun in games and they want to have fun with their team mates. There is a point that some of them will want to be more serious, but a lot of that comes from their parents. 

Quick story. This past Spring I coached my daughters lacrosse team. I knew zero about girls lacrosse. I watched youtube and tried to ask other coaches and refs about the rules. I was up front with the parents and players but said we would learn together. The girls had a blast. We went from losing 15-0 to losing 8-6 and even won a game

I do know about coaching soccer. I have a US C certification and coach a varsity team. For a few reasons, i gave up coaching my daughter and her team 4 years ago. I came back to it this season. We have some girls on the team who played for the super competitive team in the club. 3 parents approached me and thanked me for their daughters enjoying the game again. All 3 said that there was so much pressure on them on the other team that it sapped their love of the game. The main thing is that I dont care about winning and losing a U14 game. I want the girls to develop as players and the team to develop as a team. The players feel that

Again, not everyone will agree. There are players and parents of players who think winning is everything. My suggestion, try it out. Learn like I did in lax and just let the kids have fun. Its really not serious. 

I hope I dont derail this thread into what coaches should and should not do. Ive enjoyed reading about everyones kids. 
Wanted to piggyback on Acer's reply, but also don't want to derail the thread.

As a fellow dad with limited experience and no athletic pedigree, it was tough getting shut out by other dads/coaches who knew what they were doing, but in the long run it was a better experience for my son, because first, he learned the basics and learned them the right way, and second, because of my own temperament, it saved us a lot of stress and obsessing over the years.

Back to the topic at hand.  While I freely admit that neither I nor my wife did much athletically (I was too short, slow and uncoordinated to be good at any sport, though I loved playing basketball and slow-pitch softball, and my wife wasn't a bad gymnast until she grew too tall to be competitive), we both did pass on a lot of the 'intangibles' that can carry one past their physical limitations to our middle son.  Our older son and younger daughter didn't have the interest in any sports so they found other activities.

My middle son displayed strong hand-eye coordination and the ability to repeat any action that was show to him, so he took to physical activities like a duck to water.  Before he was old enough to participate in organized sports, we put him in a "gymnastics" class that was mainly tumbling and basic balance-type activities.  Again, he took to those like he was born knowing how to do them.  Because I had been playing lowest-level rec league softball since I was a teenager, I had acquired a set of bases, and when he got a plastic bat and ball set for his birthday or Christmas when he was about 2 or so, I set them up in the courtyard of the condo complex we were living in at the time and we spent many hours there. His brother is just a year older, but because the local rec was pretty small and there weren't a lot of kids their age, he got to participate despite being too young.  My absolute favorite story to tell about my middle son comes from this time:

My older son, as we learned later, has ADHD, so when the coach was trying to show them really basic stuff like tapping the top of the ball with your foot, my son would either be picking grass or running off chasing butterflies.  My wife got so frustrated because "we paid money for this, so SOMEONE is going to do this" and sent my middle son out there. Hand to God, when my son when out there, he looked like he was seeing the greatest thing ever.  With his mouth agape, he hung on every word the coach said, and followed every direction as quickly and accurately as he could. 

In the interest of brevity (too late, I know), fast forwarding through the many years of travel baseball and soccer to now, he's in his junior year of college (DIII) and at least statistically is the best player on his school's baseball team and arguably one of the best in their conference.

FWIW, here is a video of him in action during his senior year of high school.  This footage was taken by the dad of his teammate who was pitching that day. The sequence starts at the 8:42 mark and finishes around the 10:34 mark. 

 

belljr

Footballguy
I’m somewhat on the early end at 8 and 5 years old and not coming from athletic bloodlines like you describe. What kind of words of wisdom can you give a dad that wants to be involved but with limited experience in a lot of the sports and challenges of keeping up with work etc. You see some baseball coaches even at this age so detailed in what they are teaching I feel my lack of experience would be cheating these kids compared to the knowledge of some others. 
They need to learn the right way but have fun at that age.

My daughter is 14u and we play the top level in this area. Some days the girls play rock stars and some games they play like they have never played before...so frustrating lol. Anyway one thing we do differently than other clubs is we work the girls hard but still make it fun. Our Saturdays we play to win but are a little looser, Sunday is a different story.  Some  other clubs will just burn through kids, and not care if they are burning out players.

My rambling point is try to find good coaches, and make sure the kids are still having fun. You can work your ### of and still make it enjoyable

Each age step should become a "little more serious" but unless they sign up to play top levels it shouldn't be work

 
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belljr

Footballguy
Wasn't going to post but wth.

13yo in video. Play with sound down :lmao:

Game 1 of Nationals finals. She was in a slump the second half of the week

3-3 game top of the 6th go ahead and ultimately the game winner. Sadly we lost 5-3 in the final game to come in second

~ 225 ft  not the best quality

https://youtu.be/j2uLJhk4AIA

I won't post her terrible at-bat videos ;)

 
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Charlie Steiner

Footballguy
Took a little more digging but I found my favorite highlight.  Also from his senior year, also footage by the pitcher's dad. 

Link

Forward to the 8:10 mark.

Not sure if I'll be able to dig up his favorite, when he stole home against one of their fiercest rivals, but I'll try.

 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
My youngest had a holiday basketball tournament, which I attended with his two older brothers (which had never happened before). One was back from Ohio State (yeah, he's bummed) and the other flew in from Florida. That one has since flown to visit his stepsister. I never thought I would EVER utter the following, but we currently have two of our kids in Thailand. That doesn't roll off the tongue. So I felt like rehashing a basketball story. The basketball playing son has had his ups and downs, peaks and valleys, and a more recent change in his on-court role from scorer to lock down defender (which I will revisit a different time).

Around late elementary / middle school age, he seemed destined to be a D-I basketball player. His AAU team at the time was good but not great, but they were usually competitive. They won a few games in our state championship tournament to advance to the finals and it looked like they were going to settle for second. They got behind, things weren't clicking, the kids were dejected, and the coaches were already talking amongst themselves that they did better than they thought they would. Everyone was ready to just go home after a long day. Anyone that has gone the AAU route will understand.

At times, my son has been labelled as not always giving 100% because he doesn't always kill himself early in games. Other kids have gotten at-ta-boys for diving for loose balls, for trying to save a ball going out of bounds, or for sprinting down court to try to stop a breakaway. My son will do stuff like that in tightly contested games in crunch time, but in the first half . . . probably not. Instead, he will save some gas for an extra gear and play like he is on PED's when needed.

The other team that day made a dagger three pointer to extend the lead to 15 points with 1:30 left in the game. With the other team being told not to foul, my son got the ball and drove to the basket and scored. He immediately stole the inbound pass for a layup. He stole the next inbound pass, too, and made another lay up. In 10 seconds, the lead had shrunk from 15 to 9. The other team called timeout. My son covered the inbound play and basically did jumping jacks to prevent the ball from getting in-bounded and forced a 5 second count. Our team set up a play for him, and he made a three pointer from the corner. The lead was down to 6 and another time out was called . . . our last . . . still with a minute to play.

The other team ran a press break and got the ball inbounded, but our son just chased down and attacked whoever had the ball. He eventually knocked it away for a steal when they were trying to run a weave to kill the clock. He drove hard to the basket, got mauled, somehow made the basket, and hit the free throw. The deficit was down to 3 with 32 seconds to play. The other team used their final timeout and was able to inbound the ball. But an all out press forced a 10 second count. We got the ball back with 20 seconds to go. They ran a designed play to get someone else open, but the kid chickened out and passed it to our son at the elbow, who swished a jump shot. They had fought all the way back and were down by a point with 10 seconds to go.

By now the place was going C-R-A-Z-Y. The game was at one of those sports complexes with multiple courts, so people from other games had come over to see what all the commotion was about. It literally was standing room only. We tried another full court press with no break in the action (no timeouts left for either team). Previously, the other team had passed to the sides to get the ball in and got trapped. This time they got the ball to the middle and had started up court. One of their kids started to break into the front court from the scorer's table. They tried to pass him the ball, but my son deflected the pass and the ball started rolling toward the sideline.

Running at a sprint toward from the center circle to the scorer's table, he got there just before the ball rolled out of bounds. He saved it with his right hand and jumped OVER the scorer's table with 5 seconds left. In mid-air, he threw the ball behind his back to save it into the front court . . . right to one of his teammates who was wide open. The kid took a dribble to the basket and made a lay up at the buzzer. 

If I hadn't been there, I would not have believed it. They scored 16 points in 90 seconds and my son had 14 of them. It was the totally unbelievable Hollywood ending that actually really happened. The kids, coaches, and parents all stormed the court. Our son got mobbed by anyone and everyone. Spectators, the refs, players on the other team, coaches from other games, random parents from who knows where, the owner of the sports complex, a cop there for security, coaches scouting for their high schools, etc. People actually asked for his autograph. For our team (and extended fans), it was a collective euphoria. Time stood still. There's a reason they tell kids to never give up, and this was EXHIBIT A. That was probably the highest of the high points . . . and you can't buy drugs for that feeling.

As crazy as this story was, the tournament after this one was even crazier (which will have to wait for a different day).

 

Mookie

Footballguy
My boys are 24 and 22.  Both played soccer, were nordic ski racers, and played tennis in high school. I coached them in soccer for club teams and as an assistant on the high school team.  They were both really good athletes, but we never lost sight of what was important and sports always came after school work and being good people.  They learned so many lessons about themselves, their work habits, sportsmanship, respect for authority figures, love and supporting teammates, and just having fun being active.  I'm confident it was one of the pillars of their education to be well-rounded people. 

 

Bull Dozier

Footballguy
Allow me to lower the threshold a little bit.

As I said before, my boys both played basketball up until this year.  Neither was ever considered a potential D-I prospect, I personally hoped they would continue playing through high school and would have an opportunity to play D-III if they so desired.  Their love of the grind was killed by the current coach at their high school, but not the love of the game.  Both are coaching in the traveling program.  I am assisting my senior, and the junior is an assistant for another coach.

At a tournament recently, we were hanging out with the players, giving them their post game talk.  We finished and the kids went on their way and my son and I were just standing around, deciding what to do between games.  A woman approached me son, and said "excuse me, do you mind if I ask how old you are?"  He said that he was 18.  She then said "I just want to tell you what a good job you do with those kids."  

This was a parent from the team we just coached against.  Proud parent moment.

Later that day when we were back at home, I told my wife the story, letting her know he was getting recognized for his efforts.  She said something nice as well, and then he subtely added "that wasn't the first time someone said something like that."  Apparently he had been told the same thing by a different opposing parent at an earlier tournament.

 

ChiefD

Footballguy
So my oldest son is 14. He LOVES soccer. He is a decent player who may be able to play some high school soccer but that will be it. He wants to actually be a broadcaster - hopefully in soccer. This kid has always done commentary for when he plays sports outside. Imagine a 7 year old providing rolling commentary as he is playing sports with his brother and sister.

Anyway, he started playing soccer when he was 4. And when they start that early, you always wonder what kind of player they are going to be. Are they going to be the kid jumping into the pile. Or grabbing the ball and dribbling away from the pile toward the goal. Or the kid that dances around the edges - not quite sure whether to dive in. Or the kid that stands there and looks at butterflies and clouds.

Mine was none of those.

The very first time he was on the field in a game, I was there with my wife, all the grandparents, etc. My son comes running onto the field in his uniform - his first ever official uniform. Shirt tucked in, shin guards on, the whole bit.

When the ref blows the whistle, the bunch ball starts, and my son comes running down the field toward us - way away from the herd of kids with the ball. As he approaches, he turns sideways with his arms stretched out wide and a huge smile on his face and then proceeds to sidestep down the field, facing us the whole way.

He wanted to show us his uniform.  :lmao:

And that has continued to this day. He has a collection of jerseys from players around the world. Team scarfs. He knows damn near the name of every major club and player in the world. This kid was born to be in soccer. 

Just not as a player.  :lol:

 

skol asylum

Footballguy
My 10 year old daughter has been playing tball then softball since she was 3. She's in 10u fast pitch now and is a catcher. She's not the star player but she focuses, tries hard, and has a great attitude.

Here's a clip of a triple she hit this past season. I think she had a good chance of making it home but they held her at third.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ARhkXPkRN2L2qssY7

 
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MindCrime

Footballguy
2 sons, 16yo HS sophomore and 13yo 7th grade.

Oldest lives and breathes baseball. Loves the game, at every practice, weight room, field cleanup day, etc. He has played since he was 5. He has worked his butt off for everything he’s done, but continually struggles to make the team, as plenty of kids have more natural talent, and the fact he’s always been the small kid. (At 16, he’s 5’3” and 120lbs soaking wet. He’s in great shape, 6 pack abs and benches his weight, but he’s always been behind his teammates in height/weight) He made the JV baseball teams during fall and spring of freshman year, and fall this past year. Every tryout I wonder “Is this the time he doesn’t make it”. So far so good, and it’s been a hell of a fun run for 11 years, but I do not look forward to the day this all ends. 

Younger son tried baseball for a few years, then decided to try soccer. We found a great, no- pressure league (he’s not over competitive, total opposite of my older son. He also got the good growth genes, as he’s 5’10” 155lbs in 7th grade) He’s played and enjoyed soccer for 3 years now, and while I have no expectations of him trying out for soccer in HS, I love watching him go out and learn and have fun.

Sorry, no major highlight to share, except that the time I’ve spent with both of my boys while they play sports has been some of the greatest moments of my life. 

 

Kanil

Footballguy
My son is 8yo and in 3rd grade.

He started skiing at 3 and took to it like a fish to water.  It just came naturally to him and he's now got the strength in his lower body to do what he needs it to do.  There's now no run on the mountains we go to (Vail/Keystone mostly) that he cant at least pick his way down.  For those who know the mountain, we took him down Timberwolf and Ambush the weekend before xmas and he killed it.  It will only be a couple of years before he's better at it than I am, and a few more before he's better than my wife (who is the best skier I know, personally).

He's also doing great in school.  His first report card with actual letter grades came in and he had 7 A's and 3 B's and currently he's sitting on all A's.  This is another area that's come easy to him.  My wife has taught reading of some sort for 15 years now (most of it intervention work) and has him reading well above his grade level.  He's also got an incredible memory and is able to remember details of things he's read or been taught the first time he hears them.  I don't say this *only* to brag, but as a segue to...

We got tired of him not being challenged and decided to put him into karate where we specifically discussed with the instructors how we didn't want it to be easy for him and they've done a great job with that.  They've pushed it to the point where he's failed a couple of times but not so far that he quits because it's too hard.  This is honestly where I'm the most proud of him.  They started him into their sparring tournaments after two months (normally they make kids wait a year before sparring) and he just got his butt handed to him. Each tournament they take the kids of similar ages and belt levels from several different karate schools (I think 6 schools were there last time) and put them in a group together.  His groups have usually been around 20 competitors.

He's been in four tourney's so far and started out getting whipped in both sparring and forms but is now competitive and between 8 competitions (4 sparring, 4 forms) he has 1 first place, 2 second place, and 1 third place trophies.

It's been great watching him grow and have him see hard work paying off but the moment I'm most proud of came during the forms portion of the last tourney.  After my son had already done his form, a kid from another school in his group (who was at his first tourney) was having a very hard time with stage fright.  The kid didn't want to do his form in front of everyone and while all the adults were trying to figure out how to get the kid to feel ok enough to do his form, my son (who was sitting next to the boy) started talking to the kid.  Eventually, the kid nodded and then both the kid and Kaniljr ended up doing the judges presentation along with the other kid's form together.  At the end my son looked legitimately happy for the boy and they high fived and celebrated together as they went back to their spots to wait for the rest of the kids to do their presentations.

At the next belt ceremony (essentially a big party they have to celebrate everyone that moved up to a new belt) he got recognized for his act and got the "leadership" award for his school.  It's been great to watch the young man my son is turning into and I just hope I don't screw anything up to turn him into the teenager I was!

 
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Anarchy99

Footballguy
Might as well get to the follow up basketball story. The kids won the state title and advanced to the New England regionals. They did really well there, too, and got to the knockout stage. IIRC, they got to the semi finals and had to play essentially an area all star team of kids from downtown Boston. Our kids were essentially lily-white farm boys from cow country. Their opponent was #1 ranked in New England, had won every game by mercy rules (up by 20 points in the second half), and were blowing teams out.

Things got off to a shaky start, as the other team pressed and they fell behind. No one on our side really wanted the ball or wanted to shoot. They were playing scared. But they figured out how to beat the press and caught up some to make it respectable at half time. Part of the issue was the team was intimidated and played tentative against a team that was bigger, stronger, and faster.

Enter our son, who at the time had all sorts of moves. Crossovers, stop and goes, spins, hesitations, pump fakes,  ball fakes, fadeaways, hook shots, scoop shots, you name it. He could play with the ball, off the ball, or in the paint. He wasn't necessarily fast, but he was shifty, quick, and he could fake people out and get them off balance. The other team had a lightning bug of a point guard. No one on our team could stick with him, so they put our son on him. Ultimately, it became a battle of their point guard against our son (and the coaches trying to figure out how to get each the ball or defend the other). For the old timers, it was Hagler vs. Hearns . . . Bird vs. Wilkins.

Our son WAS the offense in the second half. He scored 30 of his team's 32 points in the half. His team took it's first lead of the game when he made a jump shot with his left hand while his right arm was being held. He made the free throw to give them a 2 point lead with 30 seconds to go. The other team ran a play for their kid . . . a double screen in the corner to try to get him a three pointer. The kid jumped and got off a fadeaway shot an inch from being out of bounds. Our son fought through the screens and jumped and barely missed blocking it. Both of them ended up in the stands. Somehow, the ball didn't even hit the rim for a perfect swish and we were back to being down a point with 12 seconds to go. I still can't believe the ball went in . . . but to go in so clean was outer worldly.

We called timeout, ran a clear out, and left it up to our son to somehow win the game. He acted like he was going to take an outside shot, the other kid jumped to defend the shot, but our son took off for the lane instead. As he went to the basket, the other 4 defenders essentially tackled him as he flipped the ball up to the basket. . . which rolled off the rim with two seconds to go. Everyone thought, well, at least he got to the line for free throws and we could actually win this battle of David vs. Goliath.

Except he didn't get any free throws. They called it a foul on the floor before the shot . . . and they weren't in the bonus yet. So no free throws, ball out of bounds instead. He got triple teamed on the inbounds play and the ball got deflected and they couldn't get off a shot. The other team went on to win the final and IIRC went on to win at Nationals. Our team qualified for Nationals, too, but the coach elected not to go (BOOOOOO!).

That was the first time I fully thought my son could be really good. He was playing against some of the best kids out there and more than held his own. There is nothing like watching a game where EVERYONE knows who is getting the ball and it is HIGH PRESSURE to come through. At the end of the game, our son basically lay on the court from a combination of frustration, disappointment, and fatigue. They were that close. But as my grandmother used to tell me, only one can win.

 

Bob Loblaw

Footballguy
3 kids: 14 y.o. daughter, 11 y.o. son, 8 y.o. daughter.  I've coached most of their teams.  Sorry, this is long... 

Our oldest started playing basketball in 2nd grade.  I was the head coach along with her best friend's dad as my assistant.  She wasn't really good.  She's a lefty, but would only play with her right.  They played on 8-ft hoops at that level (parks and rec), and I think she may have scored a bucket or two the entire season (10 games).  But, she had a ton of fun.  We let the girls pick out the team name, they wore colorful, crazy knee-high socks, and she always had a smile on her face.  She's a fast runner, but not graceful (picture Phoebe from Friends).  She was always the first back on D with a ear-to-ear grin.  They won most of their games.

She played again in 3rd grade (now on 10-ft hoops).  More of the same.  Have some fun, be with friends, excel at D, but still no O.  Won most of their games. 

Then, in 4th, other girls from her grade were dominating.  All the rebounds, jumping the passing lanes, scoring the majority of the points, with my daughter just kind of getting out of everyone's way.  She played hot potato whenever she was passed to (if they actually passed her the ball).  It got to the point where my wife would text me during the game to take our daughter out in high pressure situations.  But, there was our daughter...  still having fun, still running with a smile on her face.  Half way through the season, I asked her if she was still enjoying playing.  She said she was, but that she wanted to contribute more.  So, I gave her a job:  every loose ball is yours, if the person you're guarding is close to the ball handler, take it from her.  She loved that.  She dove on the ground, plenty of steals, created multiple jump ball situations throughout the game.  Still loving it.

In 5th, most of the dominating players left parks and rec for CYO.  Both seasons run concurrently, so she decided to stick with parks and rec (most choose one or the other, with only the really dedicated ones playing both).  She took on her Bruce Bowen persona again.  Mixing it up, excelling at the hustle plays, slyly shoving people with her hips.  One of the parents on the team nicknamed her "Pitbull."  On that team, there was a family that was new to the area, so they weren't able to sign their girl up for CYO, so I was able to get her on our parks and rec team.  She was really good.  She and my daughter worked really well together. 

In 6th, she asked to play in CYO.  I coached again with the dad of her best teammate from 5th grade as my assistant.  It all clicked.  They won their division's championship.  I was super-proud of her.  She stuck with it, found something she was good at, and was rewarded for working hard. 

In 7th, she played again, but her teammate from the past 2 seasons moved up to an A team.  So, her team took some lumps, not winless, just not in the championship again.  Same with 8th grade. 

Now, she's a 5'0" freshman.  She's going to a different high school than our neighborhood one because of an academic program that she wanted to go into (she's an awesome student).  She put in the time to play summer league and go to open gyms and voluntary workouts, and she made the JV team.  Again, super-proud of her:  for persevering, for always having a smile on her face, for being a great student, and a good, decent person.  She played a season of soccer, and did a lax camp, but only stuck with hoops.

I'll gush over my other kids in subsequent posts... 

 

Bob Loblaw

Footballguy
Our son (11 y.o.) started with soccer in preschool.  He was good at the soccer, but he likes his own space.  So, while everyone else was mixing it up in the swarm surrounding the ball, he was on the perimeter waiting for someone to kick it out to him.  It just wasn't his thing, so he stopped after 1st grade.

He's started t-ball in preschool as well.  He took to it really well.  He loved the game, and there was no one in his space (for the most part).  He's in 6th grade now (has played every season), and his most recent LL team made it to City Championships but ultimately lost.  My proudest moment of him athletically was from this past season where he pitched a 66-pitch complete game shutout, with no walks and 4 Ks (yes, the defense behind him played well also).  He was only going to pitch one inning.  And as soon as he gave up a walk in the second, he'd get pulled for another pitcher.  That walk never came, and he got the W.  He's a quiet kid, and doesn't really outwardly show his emotions in public.  So, you could see him fighting off a smile.  Everyone was chanting his name, even the other team.  Oh, this also happened the next game (4 days later) after taking a liner off of his cheek. 

He's played organized basketball since 3rd grade, but again, doesn't like people in his space, which makes it really tough to play basketball.  His older sister yells to him from the stands to step it up, but he just tunes her out.  He's got a great shot and some good handles, but typically passes it when the D converges.  It's a work in progress.  He's still playing and working on being more aggressive.  Proud of him for playing/working through his comfort zone.

Our youngest daughter has played one season of soccer (in kindergarten), and two seasons of softball.  She likes softball, but wants to try something different, maybe lacrosse, and definitely gymnastics.  She's done one fall session of gymnastics, and the "coaches" asked her to move up to the intermediate level for the winter session. 

She played basketball in 2nd grade, the game play was different from when our older daughter played (Sat mornings, 45 min practices, then 45 min game, run by a basketball "academy" rather than having dads coach the teams).  Now, in 3rd, I'm coaching her parks and rec team.  We've only had 2 practices so far, but she's been gung ho from the get-go.  Proud of her because she's had medical issues since age 4.5 (periodic fever syndrome) and she doesn't let that get her down.  She's learned to be resilient and to be a fighter. 

Sorry for the long posts, but I've got 3 kids and wanted to celebrate them all.

 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
It's halfway through my son's senior season in basketball and it has been a wild ride. And of all things, I have a reporter to thank for it. The guy runs a HS sports site and in the beginning of the year, he said my kid was the most electric player in the state and the best player no one ever heard of. He said if the team utilized him properly they would be in the state championship and if my son played like he can play they would be victorious. Needless to say, this was a bit crazy as their team won all of 6 games last year. Since then, that same reporter has been beating the drum saying no one wants to play his team and at around 6'6", he is the biggest mismatch out there. Mind you, there are some insanely good teams. One has a 30 something game winning streak going. Another won back-to-back-to-back championships (but lost to the team I just mentioned in the playoffs last year).

Rewind to any fixed point in time. 10 years ago. 8 years ago. 5 years ago. Back in the day, games ended up with my son with the ball doing work in the paint and taking over at the end of games. That was the recipe. He was the tallest kid on the team and that's how games were won or lost. After many twists and turns, ups and downs, injuries, under utilization, and many years later, things are going to end the way they started. He's played with three of the starters for over 10 years, and they have rediscovered the formula that worked so long ago.

He has gone back to being the closer. The one that takes over games in the second half, puts the team on his back, and puts the game away. I never thought we would get back to that, but yet here we are. Nothing can match a high intensity HS basketball game, sold out, standing room only, loud as a rock concert. There are games that are absolute insanity. The coaching staff finally figured out what they have and have COMPLETELY changed their style of play. For years, they have been a guard-based offense. All their plays had been to set up the guards. Now they have switched up to try to get him the ball in the paint . . . which NO ONE plays like that anymore. Basketball at all levels has become a three point shooting game and big men have gone the way of the dodo bird. Unlike prior seasons, they are making an effort to get him the ball. Previously, he was the Dennis Rodman of the team. You get the ball when you come up with it and there are no plays called for you. It hasn't always been a smooth transition, as kids are being asked to make entry passes that they haven't had to make before. It's hard to catch a bounce pass that short hops your shins.

They've had some really high pressure games and the other kids get too scared to shoot, so he ends up being the guy down the stretch. He's had double digit points in the fourth quarter over and over again. Against a top five team on the road, they came back from a 15 point second half deficit with my son scoring 6 points in the last minute (including 4 free throws in a totally chaotic gym) to send the game to OT (which they won). They  just beat the team I mentioned (3 time champ) by double digits (that team doesn't even have 10 total losses over the past 5 years). He had 15 points and 5 assists in the second half of that game (they scored 27 in the half). These days, he's often a basket or a rebound or two from going 20/20. It's amazing what kids can do when every person in the gym knows who is getting the ball yet still can pull through.

They really only have two playable and experienced guards, and last week the two starters each had three fouls in the first quarter and later fouled out. Their first replacement guard also fouled out. The next one rolled his ankle and they were pretty much down to kids that have never played in a live game before. Our kid said hold my (root) beer. He became the one to handle the ball, scored 18 in the second half, and started abusing people taking the ball to the rim including crazy dunks and reverses. He's brought out stuff that I thought we'd never see again. Floaters and hook shots with either hand. Kiss bank shots. Scoop shots. And my personal favorite . . . keep tapping the ball against the backboard, ultimately getting the rebound, and finally getting a basket and a foul. They have a weak schedule coming up, so we'll have to see how much they play him. Other schools would leave their better kids in to pad their stats, but our coach hasn't historically done that.

It's like we turned back the clock. Leave him open on the outside and he will swish a three. Play him tight and he will blow by people. Double team him and he will hit whoever is open or a cutter to the basket. Some nights it is an absolute clinic on how to play basketball. The bizarre part is he probably got a little bit worse because he hasn't been playing as much basketball the past few seasons. His handle is a little bit iffy compared to where it's been and his free throwing shooting has been spotty at times. He's also not accustomed to having the ball as much, so he's lost it a few more times than he should.

They are up to #3 in the state. They were ahead until the final 30 seconds against the #2 team and couldn't get a basket to retake the lead and lost a nail biter. But they are legit title contenders.  He's way more into playing then he's been for years. We have reached the point where we can't wait for the next game, but that just means there is one less game for him to play. He still has no plans to play in college and has not approached a single school about basketball. It would be an absolute shame if he stopped playing, but I don't know what would have to happen for him to change his mind (and it would probably be too late anyway). Who knows . . . maybe they will have a deep playoff run and someplace will approach him. All I know is, I will be a hot mess the closer we get to the end of the season.

 

Charlie Steiner

Footballguy
@Anarchy99, thanks for sharing that story; underdog stories are usually the best ones.  No matter what happens to them moving forward, it's all gravy. I'm glad he's gotten what sounds like overdue recognition, and the fact that he's finishing his HS career with kids he has known and played with for so long ensures the experience will remain special his entire life,  no matter the outcome. As for basketball specifically, I think it's a pretty tried and true cliché that good guard play can take teams deep in post-season play, and as an alum whose alma mater was wrecked single-handedly by Steve Nash, your boy has as good a chance as anyone to carry his team a long way. Keep the updates coming!

 

Charlie Steiner

Footballguy
Speaking of your kid getting media attention,  there is a college baseball writer in the Philadephia area that has been :wub:  with my son since he broke into the starting lineup early in his freshman year and has always mentioned him favorably, even when he and his team have struggled.  Apparently, this is the time of year when they start chattering about the upcoming season, as he wrote this flattering article.  I can't redact his name out of it, so please exercise discretion.

Just to put it into context, in the 2+ years we've been going up there to watch him play, I've realized that there are about a billion colleges in the greater Philadelphia/Eastern PA/Western New Jersey area alone, and my son's school has only fielded a baseball team since the year before he started going there, and as great as they did last year, they didn't qualify for the DIII college world series, so to me, while they've enjoyed a winning record since my son got there, they are still a small fish in that pond, and that makes me even more shuked that he has received such notoriety, and a little worried about how other teams are now going to fixate on him specifically.  Don't get me wrong; he's objectively a very good ballplayer and has earned most of the praise he's gotten, but having come up from public school ranks, he never got much attention from the local press, even when he was putting up great stats as a senior in HS, with private HS teams getting all the attention.  He prefers to let his play do the talking for him, but now that he's received so much publicity, it gives him another opponent to take on--hype. Believe me, historically he has thrived when challenged, but he's not so comfortable when he feels like he's under the microscope.

Regardless, I'm actually pretty happy for him.  I was never in the coaching circles when he was growing up and couldn't advocate for him, and as a result had to hope others noticed what I was seeing from him, so now that others are seeing it and more, it's that much more satisfying because it's not coming from parent goggles.  Also, I hope any of you that live close enough to the Philly area (or near any of the schools on their schedule) might swing by and catch a game, or if any of you are near the Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada area, you may get a chance to see him play up there, as his coach was able to get him a spot on their team in the Northwoods League that plays across the Midwest. As of now, he's only on the roster as an alternate, but he has had such a charmed life in baseball that while I'm not counting on it, I also won't be surprised if he finds his way into the starting lineup at some point.

 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
There were two things that happened last year that got my kid so dejected that he almost didn't play this year. The first one was a game where I seriously thought he was on PED's. It was like he was shot out of a cannon. A different kid on the team has been the favorite of the head coach (and multi year captain). That kid was off. Like 0-12 shooting and 6 turnovers in the first half off.  My kid was like . . . I got this. They were playing a really good team, but he just plain went off for 20 points, 15 rebounds, 6 blocks, and 3 dunks . . . in the first half. They got ahead like 40-9 at the half. He played the whole half above the rim. The kids on the other team were so intimidated, they wanted no part of him on either side of the ball. Since they were so far ahead, they sat him for the second half. The captain kept playing and ended up with one basket and 4 free throws in garbage time. My son COULDN'T WAIT to see the article in the newspaper the next day.

The article was the featured story on the sports page. It had a giant picture of the captain and said Team Captain Perseveres in Impressive Victory. The article talked about how he had an off night. They interviewed him, and he said a shooter has to keep shooting so he kept shooting. They interviewed our coach, who said it was a good learning experience for him and he played a big role in closing out the game. He also said other kids and the bench kept them afloat until he picked things up in the second half. They interviewed the opposing coach, who said that his team was petrified of the big kid, who was unstoppable. Except the writer inserted the captain's name instead of our son's. So after our son's big game, he didn't even get mentioned in a giant article other than in the box score.

Our son got picked to play in a summer all star tournament last summer featuring most of the all state players from all the different divisions. Almost all of the other kid in the tournament had played spring AAU except for our son, so he hadn't played basketball in 4 months and was far from in game shape. They basically took 3 bigs, 3 wings, 3 shooting guards, and 3 point guards on the team. Except 2 of the point guards never showed up and in the first quarter of the first game their only point guard blew out his knee. They tried a couple of the guards bringing the ball up without success so my son got volunteered. He ended up averaging 20 points a game and almost had 30 one game when they only had 5 players. (Try playing 40 minutes of basketball without the ability to come out of the game after not playing for 4 months.)

One of his teammates was a legit nationally ranked prospect that already had multiple scholarship offers as a 6'7" power forward. One game, my son had a field day feeding that kid the ball and ended up with 20 assists (but only like 10 points himself). The big kid had over 30 points in that game (but did not score even half that in any other game). There was a big story on the tournament, and you guessed it. The whole article was on the 6'7" kid, all his scholarship offers, where he's played, how he was the showcase player of the tournament, etc. Once again, not a single mention of my son in a GIANT article.

So those were building blocks in him losing interest in playing. He pretty much said no matter what he did he couldn't even get a mention in an article. That's why this year people are like who is this kid and where did he come from?  But I remember when he was little and on weekends he would go shovel the driveway at seven in the morning to shoot baskets when it was 5 degrees out. Hopefully that kid will show up down the stretch and want to keep playing.

 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
Well, the inevitable happened. After my son strung together multiple big games in a row, tonight’s opponent double and tripled team him. Barely could get the ball and only got off a handful of shots. The rest of the team did enough (barely).

Sometimes it’s not how many points you score but when you get them. Put on his big boy pants and showed up at the end (literally). Last possession of a tie game, drove into 3 defenders in the paint and got mauled. Somehow made the basket and the free throw to win the game. His only points in the second half. 

 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
:cry: :cry: :cry:

On rivalry night, my son drove hard to the basket, got hammered, and went down hard. Sadly, he couldn't get up. Had to be helped off the court. He has the dreaded high ankle sprain. He can't put weight on it and his ankle is the size of a cantaloupe. From many years being involved in sports, "high ankle sprain" is cryptic for we-don't-have-any-idea-how-long-it-will-be-until-he-can-play-again. Also known as out indefinitely. Doing the math and looking at the remaining schedule, there is not a lot of time for him to heal up and get better. It would absolutely suck if his last game and last memory of playing was hopping on one leg and being helped off the court.

They had only given up 21 points in 28 minutes when he came out with 6 minutes left to play. They gave up 21 points the rest of the way and ended up losing in 49ers fashion (almost literally . . . SF gave up  21 points in the last 6 minutes of the SB).  Totally bummed.

 

Sweet Love

IBL Representative
:cry: :cry: :cry:

On rivalry night, my son drove hard to the basket, got hammered, and went down hard. Sadly, he couldn't get up. Had to be helped off the court. He has the dreaded high ankle sprain. He can't put weight on it and his ankle is the size of a cantaloupe. From many years being involved in sports, "high ankle sprain" is cryptic for we-don't-have-any-idea-how-long-it-will-be-until-he-can-play-again. Also known as out indefinitely. Doing the math and looking at the remaining schedule, there is not a lot of time for him to heal up and get better. It would absolutely suck if his last game and last memory of playing was hopping on one leg and being helped off the court.

They had only given up 21 points in 28 minutes when he came out with 6 minutes left to play. They gave up 21 points the rest of the way and ended up losing in 49ers fashion (almost literally . . . SF gave up  21 points in the last 6 minutes of the SB).  Totally bummed.
So sorry to hear this - this May sound crazy, but I have been following this story on pins and needles.  At worst, he’ll always have the memories of a personal comeback and crushing it down the stretch.  I was a D3 hockey player in the 90s, and blew out my knee getting one last skate in before I went to college.  Missed the whole year, and when I went to try out as a sophomore, I was beyond rusty and got passed up by the incoming freshmen and cut.  As the coach let me know, I asked “Which school has the worst team in the division”?  He was a little caught off guard, let me know and I thanked him.  Next day I got an application, applied and enrolled the next semester.  During that time I reached out to the coach, he happened to need more players and I made the team.  I did not play much after that first semester, but I got to fulfill my dream.  Where I am going with this is, and I don’t know if you all have done this already, but if not, I would have him start banging the phones.  I am sure most scholarships are taken at this point (unless he wants to go D3, and then he can get in touch with coaches and gauge their interest), but there is a shuffle in the summer of kids who get cold feet, fail to graduate, etc., and coaches are left with little to no time to fill a scholarship slot.  If he establishes himself on a few few emergency lists , he May still have a shot.  Best of luck to you all!  I hope the ankle heals faster than expected.

 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
Now three days post-injury. Spent the weekend with the leg elevated with ice, compression, and Advil. Swelling went down some but still can't put any weight on the ankle. They have 7 regular season games left. From things I posted in other threads, some folks might remember the coach is old school. If you don't fully participate in practice all week you don't play . . . no exceptions. We have a bunch of family flying in next week to come see him play (and the chances of that happening are dropping by the day). Hard to put on a happy face over this one. Hopefully he gets well enough to come back for the tournament. Thanks for all those pulling for and supporting him. It doesn't help we are playing the waiting game to hear on college decisions and financial aid offers. 

 

Charlie Steiner

Footballguy
 It doesn't help we are playing the waiting game to hear on college decisions and financial aid offers. 
This sentence reminded me of a conversation I had just last night with my parents.

We were reminiscing about when I went to Lefty Driesel's basketball camp when I 8 or 9.  One of the counselors was Len Elmore, and for some reason, he gave me a lot of his time during the week, wrote a nice, personalized note with his autograph and even included his contact information with the Indiana Pacers.  My mom said he was gracious talking to her as well, spending time giving her a breakdown of the camp and everything they were doing.  Sadly, I didn't correspond with him over the years and I kick myself for not taking the time when I was younger.

The way I tie this story into your comment is that if you don't know Elmore's career, he missed his freshman year due to a broken leg, and considering what he went on to accomplish after that (got his degree after his 4 years of eligibility were done while toiling in the ABA/NBA, got a law degree, spent some time as a District Attorney in New York after retiring, as well as dabbling in the sports agent arena along with his broadcasting gigs and more), we collectively surmised that he probably had a lot of time on his hands to think about life outside of/after basketball while he was recovering. I'm sure it sucks to have to think of it that way now, but perhaps this time recovering will become the motivation he uses not only when he returns to basketball, but also for deciding what he's going to do with his life. As for colleges, there are so many schools out there besides DI that would take a chance on him especially if he proves to be as good a person off the court as he is a ballplayer on it, and if a school wants him, they'll figure out a way to provide at least some kind of aid.

Best thing to keep in mind now is it's not the end of the world, or even his playing career. Keep the faith.

 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
This sentence reminded me of a conversation I had just last night with my parents.

We were reminiscing about when I went to Lefty Driesel's basketball camp when I 8 or 9.  One of the counselors was Len Elmore, and for some reason, he gave me a lot of his time during the week, wrote a nice, personalized note with his autograph and even included his contact information with the Indiana Pacers.  My mom said he was gracious talking to her as well, spending time giving her a breakdown of the camp and everything they were doing.  Sadly, I didn't correspond with him over the years and I kick myself for not taking the time when I was younger.

The way I tie this story into your comment is that if you don't know Elmore's career, he missed his freshman year due to a broken leg, and considering what he went on to accomplish after that (got his degree after his 4 years of eligibility were done while toiling in the ABA/NBA, got a law degree, spent some time as a District Attorney in New York after retiring, as well as dabbling in the sports agent arena along with his broadcasting gigs and more), we collectively surmised that he probably had a lot of time on his hands to think about life outside of/after basketball while he was recovering. I'm sure it sucks to have to think of it that way now, but perhaps this time recovering will become the motivation he uses not only when he returns to basketball, but also for deciding what he's going to do with his life. As for colleges, there are so many schools out there besides DI that would take a chance on him especially if he proves to be as good a person off the court as he is a ballplayer on it, and if a school wants him, they'll figure out a way to provide at least some kind of aid.

Best thing to keep in mind now is it's not the end of the world, or even his playing career. Keep the faith.
We had a long talk about basketball before he got hurt and he was dealing with things way better than his parents. He explained that it's not that he didn't want to play in college but the odds were so stacked against him that it wasn't really worth pursuing. The reality was we lived where kids don't typically get considered and he does not fit the profile of someone that gets recruited. We went back and forth and he reviewed the rosters of all the smaller schools he applied to, and those kids went to prep schools . . . or were first team all state for multiple years . . . or were 6'10" . . . or were from Chicago . . . etc. And we reviewed that a slew of good kids that played in our area never latched on to a college either and didn't get to keep playing.

He was much more grounded in reality and pretty much knew a long time ago it wasn't going to happen and he's ok with that. We asked what his favorite basketball memory was. We were expecting winning championships or state titles. Or a big scoring game. Or playing in front of large crowds and knocking down a game winning shot. Nope. None of the those. His favorite memory was in a practice with no one watching . . . when he beat current Portland Trailblazer Wenyen Gabriel (6'9") in a game of one-on-one. (He went to a high school in a neighboring town and both he and our son played for the Rivals organization).

 

Charlie Steiner

Footballguy
We had a long talk about basketball before he got hurt and he was dealing with things way better than his parents. He explained that it's not that he didn't want to play in college but the odds were so stacked against him that it wasn't really worth pursuing. The reality was we lived where kids don't typically get considered and he does not fit the profile of someone that gets recruited. We went back and forth and he reviewed the rosters of all the smaller schools he applied to, and those kids went to prep schools . . . or were first team all state for multiple years . . . or were 6'10" . . . or were from Chicago . . . etc. And we reviewed that a slew of good kids that played in our area never latched on to a college either and didn't get to keep playing.

He was much more grounded in reality and pretty much knew a long time ago it wasn't going to happen and he's ok with that. We asked what his favorite basketball memory was. We were expecting winning championships or state titles. Or a big scoring game. Or playing in front of large crowds and knocking down a game winning shot. Nope. None of the those. His favorite memory was in a practice with no one watching . . . when he beat current Portland Trailblazer Wenyen Gabriel (6'9") in a game of one-on-one. (He went to a high school in a neighboring town and both he and our son played for the Rivals organization).
My only experience is with baseball, but my impression is that there are soooooo many schools out there--including NAIA--that a talented ballplayer can play on a collegiate level. Maybe it's more competitive because basketball has fewer roster spots than baseball, but there's always a place for talent.  He may have to start in community college, but as the old saying goes: if you're good, they'll find you.  As for looking at who's already on some team's roster, unless you know the kids, I wouldn't put much stock in their 'pedigree'. When my son started at his school, most of the kids on the team had one sort or another 'accomplishment' in their HS career. Just like in HS, the coach doesn't care about what you did before you got there, it's about what you will do while you're there with the talent you have and the work you put in to make it better. Quick-ish story about my son: When he arrived at college, they had starters for all 3 outfield positions, but the starting center fielder wasn't doing some of the 'little things' my son had been coached to do and/or just did by instinct from the time he was little.  Biggest example, in their first game that year, an opposing player hit a grounder up the middle and the center fielder got in front of the ball but let it just roll to him and then he picket it up and tossed it back in.  Up to age 12, my son was throwing out the runner at first on a hit like that the batter wasn't hustling, so to see such a nonchalant approach at that level, I told my wife after that play "if {insert my son's name here} isn't starting by the end of the season, something's wrong." Sure enough, one of the other outfielders got hurt the following week, my son came in and never returned to the bench, moving over to center field shortly after that. The other kid is a step faster but IMO relies too much on his natural talent to get by.  His speed covered a lot his shortcomings (led the team in on-base percentage but couldn't bat his weight) the year before my son got there. I just think that based on what your son has accomplished so far, he still has a place somewhere on the next level. 

 

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