Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Talk Derby to Me

Somehow or other, this person who doesn't particularly enjoy people or parents or children or sports is now co-coaching a junior roller derby team. This happens because I enjoy incompetence even less and have an uncanny inability to ever say no when presented with a request to do something way out of my scope of expertise.
Of course, that's not a difficult feat, as anything beyond being snarky on the sidelines of monkey football/baseball/volleyball/basketball games, eating way too much sugar while drinking way too much coffee, and reading while studiously ignoring housework is beyond my scope of expertise.
However, apparently I fake having my shit together fairly well, because this is the second time I've been asked to help coach a child's sport. The first time ended a burgeoning friendship (have I mentioned incompetence is a major turn off?) and netted a second place trophy in the only competition the team participated in. I have super high hopes this time around.
First, I went into it with zero expectations for friendship. It helps that I didn't know a single soul when I signed my monkeys up to participate. Of course, I also had only a basic grasp of roller derby's rules, could barely skate myself, and had never coached on my own. But why should that stop me?
Google, if you've been living under a rock and therefore didn't realize, can fix everything.
Need to know coaching skills, drills, etiquette, tips, tricks, and secrets? Google it.
Want to improve camaraderie amongst these children who don't know each other and haven't learned to work as a team? Google it.
Wonder how to politely inform parents they're behind on their dues? Google it.
It's been several months now, and I've got a good grasp on the rules and my role as a coach. The kids are playing better and learned each and every time I see them. They also give every appearance of having fun, which I think someone said once was the idea behind kids sports, although I personally think the idea should be to play hard and win big, but that's a post for another time.
What Google, even with all its power, hasn't been able to tell me is how to learn to enjoy myself. Derby days bring terror sweat, inflamed bowels, raging headaches, and memory loss. I panic at the thought of interacting with all these short people who are prone to random acts of hugging. And the parents? That's even worse because I know how judgey I am, and can only assume everyone else is just as adept at secretly thinking I'm incompetent and out of control.
Which is how this whole mess even got started- I recognized the incompetent nature of my predecessor and mentioned it to someone who had the power to put my dumb ass in charge of the whole shebang.
Even as terrified and panic-stricken as I am about doing the derby, I'm even more territorial and possessive now that I have this amazing power.
Joke. There's no power. Just my name on a bankbook and my face in front of all these strangers.
I am, however, possessive of this team, primarily because I'm proud of the progress I see in them and knowing I had some small part in that makes my narcissistic little heart go pitty pat.
Also, it's clear to everyone that I'm doing a much better job than the person who came before me, and they tell me so. Again, my ego likes the stroking enough to make it worth explosive diarrhea and cold sweats.
It's all about pros and cons and finding the balance. Something I'm clearly excelling at.