The giggle party in full effect

I talked to Dana on the phone last night and realized I was getting behind on my funny stories from football practice.

I'll try to recap. I think something happens every day that either cracks me up or makes me proud to be a coach.

This week's highlights have included:

- A get-to-the-ball-drill + conditioning - where our corner was confused as to the fact that he was participating in the station and not being a stationary volunteer. He waved his arms in the air instead of running to the guy behind him, who was actually the target of Coach L's pointing. The stationary volunteers on the other side did updowns and ran with the defense, so it was all a little chaotic.

- In the same drill, coach L asked the kids to do an up-down, pop up and do a somersault and then get to the stationary volunteer he pointed at - with the purpose that sometimes you have to make it happen - someone might be in your way, you might fall, etc., but on defense you have to get there. My RT is built very solidly, sort of in the same way an elephant is solid. He is big, but part muscle, part bulk. His interpretation of a somersault was similar to a shoulder roll, but then again, you wouldn't see an elephant turning flips.

- Two of the boys that get sent with the offensive/defensive lines aren't usually chosen for things, but they had a big win early in the week. We were working on half-line for defense, so I would give a direction/block to four members of the offensive line, and the defense would read and go to their responsibility. During this drill, I sent player A (who is about five feet tall and is slight, but has decent fundamentals for blocking) and player B (who actively avoids playing football on a usual basis) to doubleteam block player C on defense (whose main objective is to eat lasagne on Wednesday nights and get in every now and then). Players A and B drove Player C back ten yards and flattened him. It was an epic block for them, and a good way to get them a bit of success.

- Our main TE wanted to play DT and Coach F was very adamant that it wouldn't be a good idea. As I've learned to persuade him in a certain way, I challenged his thought and said that the TE would want to do it until he was shown he couldn't. During Team Defense that day, he sent the TE in to block against a good offensive lineman. The TE was flattened. Coach F was smug. I was happy because the TE just wanted a chance and he was happier (not necessarily at being flattened) but because of the knowledge he gained from the experience. Actions speak.

- I have learned that being a coach is not nearly as fun as being a player when it pours rain. I wrung out my t-shirt and was still dripping. To be fair, it was the second day last week it happened, because the first I was out trying to mow the lawn and a storm crept up on me. I now have a jacket, so I'll call it a draw.

- I've learned that boys blow up a bit more. Some of them get ticked off when we ask them to not go full speed - so, for example, the offense can learn their correct blocking schemes and run successful plays. The defense is just asked to try to do their responsibility and not actually go full speed in blocking. We put in counter this week and last and the TE pulls in this offense. It's a slower-developing play, so he comes kind of out of nowhere and kicks the linebacker. The LB and he had it out a little bit, when he hit the LB and hurt him. The LB lost his mind, briefly, and decided he'd had enough of 75 percent. Every play after that he came like brimstone and smashed with the TE - a touch after the whistle. I went to get a drink after and the TE said something to me about feeling bad about hurting the LB. I told him the only thing I believed: "At least you were really playing football today. You made each other better." And they did.

- One of my C's asked me yesterday this: "Coach, what do you think about it if a guy has a girlfriend for 10 minutes and breaks up with her?" I said, "I'm not discussing relationships with you, but I'm happy to answer your football questions."

-I was walking past the boys to speak to the other coaches and one of the boys farted loudly. The solution, naturally, was to blame me. "Awwww Coach Smith......" Giggle. Giggle. Giggle.

- They giggled about my nickname on Thursday because the general consensus was "Who is Ro?" I'm sure there was a variety of re-naming and rhyming. They didn't know my first name, but I'm sure there was more of this: Giggle. Giggle. Giggle.

Mostly they are great kids. They say laughter is good for you.

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