A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

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Articles tagged with: youth sports

A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Monday, 12 Mar, 2012 – 12:49 | Comments Off
A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

Dear Sports Parents – about those cupcakes
Wednesday, 7 Mar, 2012 – 9:10 | 5 Comments
Dear Sports Parents – about those cupcakes

Dear Sports Parents,
The end-of-the-season cupcake cake was beautiful, and it looked delicious. I’m sure 90 percent of the team appreciated your efforts to make the last game special.
We are the 10 percent.
The one player who …

Wow. He’s getting good. When did that happen?
Thursday, 1 Mar, 2012 – 14:25 | Comments Off
Wow. He’s getting good. When did that happen?

I knew Big Guy had to be getting better because his belt kept changing colors but I’ll be honest: I hadn’t really noticed.
Despite sitting through almost three  years of the guys’ karate lessons, I still  …

I absolutely do not want you to practice karate
Thursday, 9 Feb, 2012 – 10:52 | One Comment
I absolutely do not want you to practice karate

In the almost three years since the guys started karate,  the pattern’s persisted.
Blow off practice then get upset when you don’t earn a stripe. Practice your little butt off for the next week or so …

Being a pint-sized super star is not always super
Tuesday, 24 Jan, 2012 – 13:39 | Comments Off
Being a pint-sized super star is not always super

He looked like Michael Jordan’s mini-me – or Kobe Bryant’s, depending on your generation – but with a shade more hair. Possibly with a shade more precociousness, too, since Jordan did, after all, get cut …

Big Guy at his best – when he’s losing
Friday, 22 Jul, 2011 – 9:37 | Comments Off
Big Guy at his best – when he’s losing

Big Guy had just gotten his little butt beaten badly, but he’d come up grinning so it was safe to broach the subject.
“So what did you learn today?” I asked. It’s my standard question when …

When second place is far more than the “first loser”
Monday, 20 Jun, 2011 – 14:00 | Comments Off
When second place is far more than the “first loser”

Big Guy’s latest trophy is by far his most impressive, though he didn’t grasp that right away. He did notice that it’s the biggest award in a collection that already borders on obscenely large, but …

Yes, it was a fun season
Wednesday, 30 Mar, 2011 – 10:27 | Comments Off
Yes, it was a fun season

It took Big Guy all of three minutes after meeting his coach to assess the coming flag football season – not that he’s prone to snap judgments.
“This is going to be fun,” he grinned. “He’s …

Epiblogue: Army morale spending and skyrocketing youth sports costs
Tuesday, 1 Mar, 2011 – 10:18 | Comments Off
Epiblogue: Army morale spending and skyrocketing youth sports costs

Just as I was in a mood to rant about proposals to cut Army morale spending anyway, they were handing out papers at last night’s soccer game alerting parents that registration is open for tee …

Somehow twixt September and now, he’s turned into a soccer player
Thursday, 10 Feb, 2011 – 11:36 | Comments Off
Somehow twixt September and now, he’s turned into a soccer player

I’ve always said that Boots would be better off in a dance class than on a sports team, because he’s turned every game he’s ever been involved in into a recital. If  I could find …

Big Guy’s big goal
Tuesday, 21 Dec, 2010 – 13:21 | Comments Off
Big Guy’s big goal

Mommy I have a goal, Big Guy announced last week.
What is it, I asked, fearing the answer would involve violence and mayhem performed upon his brother.
I want to be a brown belt by this time …

Are you ready for some football?
Tuesday, 23 Nov, 2010 – 14:34 | Comments Off
Are you ready for some football?

So remember a couple of years ago when I said that I don’t care what the guys do as long as they keep trying to be the best they can be?
I lied. You probably figured …

Can playing football cause suicide? Can sensationalism cause hysteria?
Tuesday, 21 Sep, 2010 – 23:49 | Comments Off
Can playing football cause suicide? Can sensationalism cause hysteria?

There are more than 17,000 football players each year in the NCAA’s top two divisions. Anyone know how many have been diagnosed in the past year with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disease typically found in …

The soccer coach who’s trying to kill me
Tuesday, 7 Sep, 2010 – 11:20 | One Comment
The soccer coach who’s trying to kill me

Wear shoes that you can run in on Monday, Big Guy’s soccer coach told me late last week. The parents are going to play the kids during practice.
Me? I asked with mock shock. Oh, I …

Determination
Thursday, 26 Aug, 2010 – 13:04 | Comments Off
Determination

How can the kid who can’t find his shoes in the morning lock his eyes onto a soccer ball as if they were guided by a laser?
Why is it that the boy who routinely turns …

A very special team
Friday, 11 Jun, 2010 – 14:20 | Comments Off
A very special team

There are teams, and then there are teams.
I grew up a Cincinnati fan, so the Big Red Machine era, of course, is one of my favorites in sports. But the 1990 Reds, who swept the …

Trying to get in the head of a 4-year-old
Tuesday, 1 Jun, 2010 – 14:15 | Comments Off
Trying to get in the head of a 4-year-old

Boots woke Monday morning with one of his best smiles,  leaping out of bed and downstairs for breakfast. “HOORAY!!” he cheered. “It’s soccer camp day!”
Even though he hadn’t been particularly enthused during the indoor season …

Holding it together when you’d rather fall apart
Friday, 14 May, 2010 – 14:08 | Comments Off
Holding it together when you’d rather fall apart

It was the equivalent of memorizing the Declaration of Independence but forgetting when it was signed.
Or, closer to home, it was like the time his mother concentrated so hard on learning to tap dance in …

And Boots stood still
Friday, 7 May, 2010 – 10:47 | Comments Off
And Boots stood still

(With apologies to Karma Wilson, whose “Bear” series is one of our favorites.)
When Big Guy got his yellow, he was one euphoric fellow.

Boots thought karate looked fun so he begged his mom a ton.

But Boots …

When the big people roar
Friday, 30 Apr, 2010 – 15:05 | One Comment
When the big people roar

Boots’ baseball season apparently has ended, not with a homerun trot or a pizza party, but curled up in a fetal position in the floorboard of a car.
I say “apparently,” because with more than half …

Neon orange, the new good luck omen
Thursday, 29 Apr, 2010 – 13:31 | Comments Off
Neon orange, the new good luck omen

I should know by now not to let the guys have any say in my makeup – the results usually turn me into a clown or a punk rocker.
For some reason, though, nail polish amuses …

Are the guys overbooked? Maybe. But I definitely am.
Friday, 2 Apr, 2010 – 11:45 | Comments Off
Are the guys overbooked? Maybe. But I definitely am.

Wednesday, sweet Wednesday. You have betrayed me.
Used to be, Wednesday was our … er, make that my day of rest because the guys never want to rest. That was back when there were only two …

A defining moment of falling short
Friday, 26 Mar, 2010 – 11:16 | Comments Off
A defining moment of falling short

We’ve had ample reason to celebrate Big Guy’s successes over the years, both in the classroom and athletically.
I’ve never been as proud of him, though, as I was this week when he failed, admitted his …

Dazed and confused? Then dance
Friday, 12 Mar, 2010 – 13:33 | Comments Off
Dazed and confused? Then dance

It was the second week of karate, and Boots was starting  his new sport the same way he’d started soccer.
He’d flop. He’d flit. He’d spin merrily and smile broadly. Then he’d look appropriately chagrined when …

It takes a village to coach a soccer team
Friday, 5 Mar, 2010 – 12:51 | Comments Off
It takes a village to coach a soccer team

She had the same reaction I did when she went to the pre-season meeting for soccer parents and found out that her 4-year-old’s team didn’t have a coach: This will never work.
The director assured everyone …

Discovering a skill you’d rather not have
Friday, 26 Feb, 2010 – 13:11 | 2 Comments
Discovering a skill you’d rather not have

Have you ever had the bad luck to be good at something you don’t like doing?
It happened to me once, between my sophomore and junior years in college. I’d accepted a summer internship as a …

The up side of soccer snacks
Friday, 19 Feb, 2010 – 13:46 | Comments Off
The up side of soccer snacks

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
I cannot change soccer snacks. Well, technically speaking I suppose I could if I …

Do I get my trophy yet?
Friday, 12 Feb, 2010 – 11:59 | Comments Off
Do I get my trophy yet?

Other than spinning around MarioKart-style on the court every time he gets bumped, Boots is just not that into soccer. Which is fine with me, because his spins are kind of cute. They play on …