Saturday, January 17, 2015

From the Coach's Wife's Desk

 I sit here thinking, contemplating on even publishing my excerpt during the season where we have such victory yet defeat.  Defeat in fans, parents, fair weather friends, and even issues at home when the HOME team needs the coach and the "HOME" TEAM needs the coach as well.  I'm often asked to cross my Ts and dot my Is check myself and remember where I am from before I speak. My head coach prefers for me let things roll and take it with a grain of salt, ignore it, and leave my witty sarcasm out of my discussion.  Then I remember that so many times as a single mom and dad, a hospice nurse, a patient who awoke from a coma scared, a rehab patient who became friends with her therapists, a person with so much physical and emotional pain, a person burdened with Narcolepsy and Cataplexy and multiple sclerosis, and a person that  has been on every socio-economic level from making fine as a single woman, to losing weight working 2-3 jobs to feed my kids, to the person everyone Sat with just because of who I was at the time, back to homeless and hungry due to working myself to death as a single mother and not having the choice to stop or to rest.  After remembering all of that and realizing this is why give had the same friends a lifetime, why I was the trauma and ortho docs favorite yet most sarcastic patient, why my mom who lives far away and my step dad are bored when I return home after a visit, why friends know I will be truthful, and always admit what I said.  Also why people know there aren't skeletons in my personal closet because I am not ashamed and pull them out myself so you have nothing to say.  It takes the fun out of talking about people when they have already spilled the beans lol.  Then I read  the name on my blog. I realize I can say whatever I want. In my blog I am the head coach this is MY HOME COURT, Like real life my players are my readers :) some are on board with my game some aren't. And just like readers have the choice to read another blog, players have a choice to play for another team, simple. I have no pity for ones that say impossible. I attended a high school which I adored and wanted My kids to attend the same. My oldest was an outstanding basketball player and did not make the team at my large and prestigious alma mater. As a parent, I don't assume my child should make teams, make all-star, and definitely start on a team.  Once my son was used for one purpose and it was not that I knew he was capable of so much more but HE KNEW...he was repeatedly brought off the bench to shoot his mean 3 and put the team back ahead. What a chore for a mere sophomore who adored playing B team because all He wanted to do was play but he did it. No qurstions, no whining to me for he knew my reply.  I moved him from my alma mater across to another town were this is exactly what the coach did with him. My child was a minority at that HS but like I always told him....there is no place to belly ache you wanna compete? Dig in and earn that spot put in extra time at the gym....mission accomplished, however the situation remained the same.  Some would have pulled the race card or put it all over MySpace lol.  Going to play for the blue map, after my child always being called in to dig the team out of the hole, didn't get in hardly at all if at all. With the student section screaming "put Barnes in!"
I assured my son he helped them get there,chin up. It wasn't til after this team got kicked out of basketball camp twice for fighting or stealing that my son chose not to play with these type people any longer.  He said he was not playing and verbalized that this school in his credentials may hinder him from attending the very college they were stirring up a ruckus.  I knew his love of the game so I switched schools once more to a small county school on a mountain top that didn't stand a chance.....of course my kid was the star and took them to victory many Times. However the other side of that is another son awesome at football but loved basketball also and looked up to his brother. Now this brings me to my entire reason for this blog.
     I have an issue with my coach being accused of playing children lucky enough to be born to certain parents, living a certain lifestyle, or being wealthy. Because first of all, my entire household believes a kid has nothing, their parents may, the child however doesn't have one red cent. Money does not win ballgames. Of course except in the NBA when you practically "buy" the best players :D okay now that we are clear on that let me sarcastically paint another picture for those who don't understand ..... I was taught better by my all American mom and dad who taught me to work and work harder, no handouts and nothing worth having is free.....I hate not everyone is taught this growing up. I'm sorry for that, really.  What wins games in high school is just the simple remedy of talent + hard work + strategy + some God given natural talent + knowing your opponent + desire to win, and like him or not,  just some Damn good coaching. They don't teach the real coaching tactics in college. Its experience, having been there. It is a "calling." I can rest easy knowing that when my coach stands before God he will have plenty to discuss after fulfilling his purpose :) Not once has he questioned it or tried to rebuke his calling. I will never forget the anger and hurt I have felt in the past with my coach being accused of being biased, prejudice, or favoring anyone, and the best....and most humorous ......trying to please certain parents.  Lets revert back to my football player that LOVES basketball. HE just happen to be the age where my coach was the head coach and was holding tryouts.  So proud of my coaching tactics and skills.....wait I mean parenting skills.My son said how nice and easy if I were automatically on the team because of " who I am but I know I got to hustle and I also know I'm not quiet the player as some of my peers," how mature.  Well my coach aka husband cut this child, my child, how dare he, how could this be?? Know why cause He needs to WIN. WINNING KEEPS HIM EMPLOYED AND FOOD IN MY FAMILY'S MOUTH, A ROOF OVER OUR HEADS, THE POSSIBILITY OF MY DAUGHTERS GRADUATING FROM A SCHOOL THEY ADORE, and remaining happy for the first time since losing their biological father a little over a year ago.  It means I continue medical treatments for my illness.   This coach is coaching more than just a game on the court.  I am sick at times and need a coach myself, but mine is coaching elsewhere.  Many days of collapsing, spasms, pain.....I want MY coach here coaching to keep me at the level I am and not worse.  He's coaching his life passion but yet coaching my girls way of hopefully remaining in one place. When they cry about a father gone and need the one here known as daddy also, he is busy with others' children.  So I get horrifically offended by the selfish, childish, comments made before realizing that court and that gym is only a small fraction of my coach's life.
     I wish I had a dollar for every hurt feeling, sad and happy one, every regret he has because the game got so intense that his intentions are lost, and for every tear I've seen him shed for what a player may be going through that he shares with his coach, my coach. I would be wealthy, wealthier than I am in witnessing it first hand.
     Last, when my coach is slandered, verbally or on social media, I have to wonder, what are you teaching your kids? Its ok to gossip, point fingers, or even cyber bully? I can tell you it is the exact message that is being sent.  I fail miserably at messages I send my kids time and time again. Because although I come from a family and a school that exemplifies class I am still me. I have a short fuse and the desire to defend my family with the fight of a tiger. As a young mother 25 years ago I had been known to take it outside or ask one to take a seat or I would gladly show you to your seat.  But not until the verbal attack on my kids became physical or intimidating or vulgar to my cubs.   Like TNT.... I had a very hard time teaching my kids that education, class, knowledge is triumphant over temper when mine is so short,  no tolerance for BS, immaturity,drama, bullying, stupidity, etc.....but I met a coach.  He taught me that extra part of class I was lacking. That part where it's ok to be bossy, sarcastic, witty, and stand up for myself and my kids, my family and friends, and what I believe in.  He taught me that even though a majority of my views are legit and right on.....not all of them are and it is ok to think other people's views are just as legit in their homes
     In closing, before you hide behind social media or a church door or a cell phone, camera, whatever your poison, know that my baby girls hear things and their feelings have been hurt and for that reason it became my business! But without the sarcasm or the things I would like to say I will close in a thank you. Thanks coach for teaching me things later in life, things my poor parents never could enforce because I was then an adult out on my own and allowed so many obstacles and triumph to make me hard. Thanks for instilling the piece of class I lacked, of walking away at times as opposed to wasting my breath that falls onto deaf ears.  Thanks for constantly butting your head against a brick wall called stubbornness when trying to have your sweet compassion rub off on me and for teaching Me sweet revenge and being a mastermind revenge queen wasn't sweet after all.  Off the record thanks for staying with me through my wreck,coma, and long rehab when we thought I may not walk.......thanks for asking for my hand, love you BIG.  YOU didn't have to saying as you came into our lives only four months prior to that day. Thanks for coaching and loving us through.  Most of all thanks for loving me the assistant coach, even though here is my court, my team, my way.......
     And as for the lovers and the haters. Team is team and every player matters. My coach finally instilled this in my boys who always said who cares if we win a ring if I never play......
I knew this when my youngest boy, the one who didn't make my coach's team, in good spirits says...during and intense time playing football for MSHS says " our WINNING football dynasty is only as good as the scout team!!!" haha love it. And such truth  from such a young man.  With that said I think an awesome bunch of kids are learning what winning feels like!

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