My kids love to play team sports.
You may have guessed that from some of the earlier posts. My older son is playing Pony League fall baseball. My younger son is playing football. They’re both having fun. (My younger son is likely having more fun as his team is undefeated.)
However, most of the time, I’ve watched from the sidelines. I’ve kept a scorebook. Being athletically inept when I was kid, I learned to take the one of Dirty Harry mantra, “A Man’s Gotta Know His Limitations.”
However, as the coach of my son’s baseball team announced that he would have a harried schedule and needed all the help he could get, I did the one thing I never expected to do. I signed up to be an assistant coach.
My son told me that the idea of me on the field freaked him out. I told him to get over it. However, I set low expectations in advance. I can definitely keep the book and can get on the field to run the bench if needed. And it really doesn’t take much to do soft tosses with a kid in a batting cage.
However, with the other assistant coaches out for a game one Tuesday evening, I faced having to actually get on the field and handle first base. And when the game was over and obligatory “good game” handshakes were exchanged, I fist bumped with the kids and the shook the home plate umpire’s hand.
And he called me “Coach.”
I have to admit I was caught off guard. I glanced left and right without turning my head, but I knew he was talking to me. It was weird feeling. It just didn’t fit. But, I accepted it and left the field.
I’ve been called coach once since and I handled it a little better. Though I may never get used to the term, I at least wasn’t surprised.
Now if I could only get used to getting on the field.