If you’ve read my profile, you’ll note that my wife and I were blessed with three children, all girls, who are now 14, 10, and 2 (yes, ol’ Clark failed family planning). The two oldest are very active athletes and love girls softball. The fastpitch variety. The oldest plays both tournament and varsity high school ball. The middle one is currently playing recreational league games, but wants to be just like her sister. Even the two year old likes to participate with her plastic bat and ball. Your ol’ pal Clark has even been their coach off and on over the years. Over that time, I’ve learned a lot about kids and how to get them to perform. I’m no expert, but I’ve learned a few things along the way. OK, OK…I know….get to the point, Clark!
My oldest’s varsity coach is a very disturbing coach. Her idea of discipline is screaming and running. I’m not talking about the kind of screaming that is just an increase of volume coming out of one’s mouth. I’m talking the brow-beating, beat down, self esteem crushing kind of screaming. The kind of screaming that makes you wince, even if you aren’t the target of the screamer. In her eyes, discipline means you must dislike me, but respect me. How can you respect someone when they are constantly screaming at you for following directions correctly?
Case in point, my oldest was benched for the first two innings of last night’s ball game. The coach, Ms. Screammette, decided that she would put my oldest in to play in the middle of the game, the 3rd inning, in Right Field. She told her this after announcing the starting lineup. In the bottom of the second inning, my oldest was sent by the coach to warm up her arm (it was a cold night). Five minutes later, Coach Screammette comes out of the dugout screaming at her “What are you doing? You’re on deck!” Flustered, my oldest ran in to bat, unprepared mentally and physically, striking out in the process. When the teams switched places for the start of 3rd inning, my oldest ran out to the outfield. Coach Screammette yelled, “What are you doing? You’re supposed to be at first base!"
We are the Grizzwolds, we come to expect this kind of "challenge".
I think you get the picture.