Wednesday, April 27, 2011

So, you think your a coach?

This is more of a tirade then anything. Sorry, but I need to vent. My middle son plays AAU basketball. Before I go into it, I am going to say that AAU is not what it was when I was a kid. I won't deny there was a little politicking of Dad's who knew Dad's. And then there are coaches who pick athleticism over fundamentalists, hard working and coach-able kids. Heck, that still happens these days. What really bother's me is when coaches bark out commands and expect kids to get it.

"Screen away from the ball." "When you get in the post, drop step, seal the defender off." "After you pass, cut and then back out." "Make sure you box out." "When you get the ball, get in the triple threat position." "Use the baseline." "Make sure to yell Help if you get beat." "Make sure you set a pick for your teammate with the ball and roll off." "When your in zone and the ball is here, you need to be here."

These are all legitimate statements. Kids should learn how to do these things. These all have great purpose. However, they are yelled out without showing the kids why they should be doing this. They run here, and then they run there. They ask for the ball way out at the 3 point line, which none of them can make unless they heave it like a baseball. It absolutely aggravates me the ignorance and arrogance these guys have.

I was at a practice tonight where they told the kids to screen off the ball. This is done to create movement, to help get other teammates open. Screen off the ball? They can't even run a simple pick. If the kid makes the pick right, the ball handler doesn't wait for the pick to get in place. Why? Because he doesn't understand the kid is creating a "roadblock."

I asked my son tonight, do you know what a drop step is? Not that he should because he's always playing point but just the same, he's like no. Well, thanks coach for explaining it.

These kids are at the age where they learn by doing and understanding. Once a kid knows why he is throwing a pick or why he needs to keep the triple threat (Ability to pass, shoot and dribble) available and sees it work, they will trust it and do it more often. Oh, and if you show a kid to box out and little Johnny can see that he can box out Benny who is 30 pounds more then him, it will create confidence and be willing to do it.

Just because you can shoot a ball, doesn't mean you can coach.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A little Time off

I have decided to take a little time off from Facebook. The last couple of weeks, I have noticed I waste an inordinate amount of time on this social media site. Every night I come home, eat dinner, play a game with my youngest and onward to my little I-pad to play Words with Friends. As I watch TV, and wait for my fellow WWF play their words, I hop onto Facebook, looking for replies to messages, updates to posted comments and thinking of witty comments to post as my status. Yes, it's all really sad. My wife and I play a game of virtual scrabble every night from across the room. This is a bit odd, seeing we own the REAL thing.

Okay, I digress, this post was about going on a Facebook sabbatical. I have, well, I don't know how many friends I have (that would require that I go onto Facebook) but the reality is, I check the same 4 or 5 people all the time. And well, they're people I actually call to hang out with anyway. I have said all along that Facebook needs to have a cut and dry way of grouping people, such as acquaintances, friends, family, and colleagues. I have heard that there is a round-about way to do this. Although, I know there are some people that might take offense to how they are grouped, so it's just a little too late for that. I know I have and that's just stupid. I shouldn't care but it makes me think of elementary school. That in itself is enough to commit my self to a local psychiatric ward. I'll always have a self-esteem problem, just the way I am wired. Not to mention, I don't need to know what people had for breakfast, lunch or dinner or what their daily routine is. Are they expecting I might drop by? Well, then why don't they just ask. Also, I have gotten to the point that I actually think about what I am going to post sometimes, and who might see it... that's just a RED flag.

Another bone I have with Facebook is how they get you to unknowingly allow anyone to see or use your data. Ever try to do one of those questions or apps? In fine print it gives the party who created o sponsored it to have access to your data. Also, I don't know how many laptops I have fixed because they have been infested with Malware, seriously slowing down and degrading the performance of your machine.

Finally, Facebook has become just another place that people can talk about anything without having to really confront whoever they are talking about or too. Not to mention, words can never have the proper inflection in tone. What's even worse, as someone I know posted, "You can say no to someone or completely ignore them without having the awkward feeling." Just another cop out in my mind.

I do think there are some great uses of Facebook such as creating a page which promotes activities for people to attend without feeling pressured. It also is a great way to get your word out. Although, if you use a platform like Facebook to solicit donations for some cause, would you call these people?

For now, I am going to spend time with the people that I see everyday and Facebook is just going to have wait its turn.