FIRE UP FRIDAY – So today, on Fire-Up Friday, I thought of a basketball coaching moment when I was not only fired-up, but also exasperated. One of our girls, who lives on the upper east side in a huge townhouse close to the park (didn’t know this at the time, but learned soon thereafter), said that she had to miss practice again. She’s a sweet kid with way too much on her plate to the point where it’s impossible to keep up with the calendar. I dealt with the bar/bat mitzvahs and school recitals, exams and sinus infections. And then there was the weekend where they had to drive to Iowa to pick out their dog from the best breeder in the country. But what now I said after more news that she would not able to attend practice?
Her father said, “She has to go to tea and crumpets with her mother.”
“WHAT?” I shot back. “Tea and crumpets,” he said.
The other private school girls sat back, and grinned, thoroughly enjoying the fact that they knew I was going to lose my filter. “I don’t even know what a crumpet is, and I really don’t care right now.”
“It’s a social thing at her girls’ school that they do,” her dad said.
This is insane, I thought to myself. Am I amongst a gym full of girls who view themselves as debutantes from the 1900s, and I didn’t know it all this time until now?
“She’s coming to practice,” I said firmly. But I decided mid-sentence that I should not tell someone how to live. So I softened it by adding, “They can bring the tea and crumpets here. I’d like to try one.”
“I’m not sure about that,” the dad said.
“Okay, fine. She can go late with mom. I’m sure they have a tea warmer.”
I can’t even remember what the kid decided. I think she opted for practice. Just the thought that it was okay to miss practice for that particular event was beyond reason to me. I’m not even sure the girl wanted to go. I don’t think she could even make up her mind of what she wanted. It seemed her life was just keeping up with what was booked for her, and she didn’t want to let anyone down.
I’d like to say thank you to all the parents who will be traveling with their kids (or letting them hop rides with friends) to our away tournament this weekend. I also think it’s great that the kids are giving up other things to focus on improving their games and being a good teammate. It takes a lot to make this all work. Parents and kids had to sacrifice time spent elsewhere to make it all work. It is much appreciated and we’ll do our best to make it worth all the time and effort.