C's peewee girl's softball season is in full swing, with several weeks worth of 2x-a-week practices behind us.
I'm fitfully fulfilling my duties as the reluctant Assistant Coach and helping out as much as I can by offering encouraging words and semi-helpful soft-balling tips - the latter of which is stretching the limits of my knowledge of the game and team sport dynamics in general.
I try to keep my copy of "Pee-Wee Girls Softball Coaching for Dummies" hidden from sight during practices as well.
The other Dad who reluctantly stepped up as Head Coach and I were blissfully struggling through the last few practices, gaining confidence in our coaching skills as the girls improved their skills, despite our complete lack of coachly training.
Then we made the mistake of watching a practice session of one of the other teams in our league.
Freakin' eh, bubba.
The advanced skill level of the players wasn't nearly as confidence shattering as the organized, confident, and boisterous coaching staff -- yes, I said STAFF, that were running the 7 and 8-year old future Team USA Olympic Softball team members through batting, running, and fielding drills.
Tommy Lasorda would have been impressed. We, on the other hand were rendered mute.
The other coach and I just grimaced at each other in an uncomfortable, "about to storm Utah Beach on D-Day" fashion and internally reminded ourselves that this was supposed to be fun for the girls, and not some high-pressured, perform-at-peak-or-die experience for the girls.
I spoke first and uttered, "We're not keeping score at the games, right?" more to reassure myself than anything.
He said, "We won't...but I bet they sure will be."