Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Real Rulers of the Free World

Do you know who really controls the world? (And no this is not a conspiracy theory.) Coaches. Specifically football coaches. Thank you to my friend Diane for pointing this fact out to me while I waited an extra 15 minutes for yet another football practice to finish up. She's right! Coaches do rule the world. At least the worlds of parents with kids involved in any organized sport.

The calendar is packed full of practices and games. The kids are scheduled down to the minute. They know when they must be back home, have their gear on, water packed, and in the car with their helmets and cleats. Let's go! We cannot be LATE for football practice.

The little boys congregate in front of my house 30 minutes before their football practice even begins. They are all on their bikes, wearing their football pants, pads, backpacks containing their cleats, and sometimes even their helmets as they swarm around the cul de sac collecting other players on their team. Then they all bike off to practice at a nearby park. All in a big pack of miniature football players who already have it drilled into their psyche: Don't Be Late for Practice!

That's great and all as arriving early is good. A virtue perhaps. So now the boys practice football for 90 minutes or up to 5 hours depending on their age. The time has come to pack it in and go home. All of the Moms and Dads are waiting patiently in the parking lot or along the sidelines ready to leave. The end of practice has arrived.

Here is where the football coach decides he rules the world. He does not let the kids leave the field. No, he makes them complete a few more conditioning drills, runs them in dashes across the field, and gathers them into a tight huddle for a long talk. That's when you think it's done because they've already gone 15 minutes over and you have to pick up yet another kid at yet another practice at yet another school across town. You are already late.

The football coach does not care. He does not care that parents might happen to have a life outside of football practice. All he cares about is football and shaping these kids into decent players. So let's tack on an extra 10 to 20 minutes of practice time. Better yet—let's make finish times completely random as to thoroughly confuse and irritate the parents. They cannot do anything about it because if they complain, their kid may not play. Coaches rule the world after all. At least during football season.

I realize not every coach operates this way. But for those coaches who take over everyone's time— enough already! End your practice on time because people have lives! Even though I don't coach football, I do have a busy life and other responsibilities. I respect the coach's time and get my kids to their practices on time. Please respect my time, be true to your word, and end the practice on time for change!

If it sounds like I'm picking on football coaches, I am.

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