Seriously, that title was way too easy.
So, my new title is Coach. Ever meet an introverted coach? No? Me either.
Well I am redefining the role I guess. Like an idiot. Which is how I introduce myself lately, “Hi, I’m Coach Jen…cause I’m an idiot.”
Short story short, my son’s 1st grade baseball team didn’t have a coach, so the Rec sent an email to all parents asking for volunteers. Me, having the patience of a gnat, thought about it for 5 whole minutes (with no outside counsel) and emailed back that I could do it if NO ONE else volunteered. Well apparently, no one did. So, I took the job. Like an idiot.
I figure how hard can this be? Baseball’s not a hard sport right? You throw the ball, hit it with a bat, catch it with a mitt and repeat until everyone is begging to go home. BUT…did you know that there are different sizes of bats? And batting helmets? And kids for some reason don’t catch the ball, or hit it, or throw it naturally in 1st grade? Did you know there is a batting stance? A way to catch a ball? A way to throw it? Seriously. There is. All of these things I have not a clue how to do.
These poor kids. Remember the line in Clueless where the girl says her doctor said balls can’t go near her face? Well that’s the thought I have while teaching baseball to first graders. LINES FROM CLUELESS. There goes my social life. (hee hee see what I did there? It’s a line from the movie.)
I cannot catch a ball. Every time I catch a ball, I get an ear to ear grin, stop, point to the ball in my mitt, and exclaim, “Hey! I caught it!” in wonder and awe. This is not great when playing catch with a 1st grader, who isn’t really that impressed that his COACH can catch a ball. And they tend to get slightly annoyed when they throw the ball back to you and you miss it, oh say, 5 out of every 6 times it’s thrown to you. So you have to go chase the ball down, just to have them throw it again. Basically, catch with me is like playing catch with a dog. You throw it; I run after it and come back all panty and drippy, and only look confused when you throw it right back to me to do the whole process over again. At least I don’t bring the ball back all slobbery.
We’ve had two practices. The first one was chaotic, but not as bad as I thought. The parents are nice and very helpful, and none seem to be the ‘roided out, living through their kids type either.
Another big plus is my husband is in his element. He’s kind of taken the lead on this coaching thing, while I take the paper pushing aspect of the job. I am the organizer, he is the coach. Problem is he can’t make every other practice and will miss all weekday games because of work, so at some point, I will have to step up and be an actual coach. These are the days I might fail to live up to my promise to my son “not to embarrass him.” Not that this bothers me all that much really. A little embarrassment makes a kid stronger right? And in 10 years, he’ll look back not in embarrassment, but with pride that his mom cared that much to step waaaaaay out of her comfort zone to make something happen for her kid. OK maybe not 10 years, but maybe 20? 25?
Well, I do care enough. I want him to know I will support him even if it scares the hell out of me. And I need to get out of my comfort zone every now and again. If I don’t push myself, I will end up alone with a houseful of cats like all hermit-like introverts. And while that does sound slightly appealing at this moment in my life, I don’t want the police to find my half-eaten body six months after I’ve died because no one else cares to look for me. So basically, 1st grade baseball coach = not being eaten by my own cats. Don’t say I don’t have goals people.
Just a fair warning. You will probably hear A LOT of baseball stories until about mid-July. Bear with me. This is kind of a big deal for me.
Coach Jen OUT.