Put Me In, Coach!
By Allison Adams 03-06-11 / Submitted to The Greeneville Sun on 03-06-11
It was an unusually warm winter night and even though we hadn’t yet replaced our window screens we decided to open a ground floor window – just about 18” – just large enough to allow the warm breeze to come inside, and allow our pup to be able to use the open window as a doggy-door to the deck.
We weren’t counting on the bird.
My son sounded the alarm - “Hey, mom – I meant to tell ya’ that there’s a bird flying around the living room.”
It was indeed an alarming report. Now, I love birds, but not if they’re flying around loose inside my house.
This was one of those times you think – golly, I wish I had one of those big butterfly nets.
I didn’t have one of those, so I grabbed the next best thing – a broom – and stepped into the living room to assess the situation.
That was when I realized that my son – who is normally a very bright individual – didn’t know the difference between a bird, and a bat.
A BIG BAT.
A big, nocturnal, placental, flying mammal with forelimbs modified to form wings.
A big one of THOSE was flying around loose in my living room.
I flung open the doors that lead from our living room to our deck, and I figured as the bat flit from one end of the room to the other I could use the broom to swat it out the back door.
I positioned myself in the middle of the room, raised the business end of the room in the air, got a good look at the rabid Pterodactyl and its erratic flight … and yelled for my husband to help me.
(A good coach positions himself along the sidelines where he can see the action, but not interfere with the game.)
Safely tucked away in the front hall, but with a clear view of the so-called “playing field”, he hollered out to me - “What’s your game plan?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” I hollered back in between swats, and while ducking to avoid the rabid, dive-bombing, 747-With-Fangs.
(A good coach makes careful observations and strategic changes to a game plan in order to improve the chances for success. Sometimes this means delivering harsh criticism to a player during the height of the action.)
“That’s a pitiful swing! You’re NEVER gonna connect! You’re too slow –waaaaay too slow! Awwwwe – look at that! It flew right by ya’! You’ve got to ANTICIPATE! ANTICIPATE!”
I have to admit I was a little distracted by the thought that I might become the victim of Foaming Barking Disease if that Rabies-Infested-Winged-Buffalo became tangled in my hair as it darted back and forth, and up and down, in between my wild attempts to swat it out the back door.
(A good coach eagerly offers a player helpful tips on proper use of equipment.)
“Choke up on the broom! Choke up! Keep your right elbow up! Close your grip! Bend your knees a little – NOOOOOOO! THAT’S TOO MUCH! Now – open your stance … and don’t forget to follow-thru!”
I tried to incorporate his helpful instructions, all the while keeping my eye on the Bat-That-Ate-Tokyo.
Maybe it was getting tired – after all it had been flitting from one wall to the next, non-stop, for what seemed like an eternity – but eventually it started flying lower …
“KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BAT! ANTICIPATE! ANTICIPATE!” hollered my helpful husband, from out of harm’s way, in another room.
… and I choked up on the broom, kept my right elbow up, closed my grip, bent my knees – just a little, opened my stance, ANTICIPATED, and took another swing with perfect follow-thru … and swatted that Rabid Beast out the back door.
(A good coach rewards a successful player.)
“WOOHOO! THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about! Way to connect! OUT’A THE PARK! See? Huh? I told ya’ – didn’t I? YEAH, baby! AWESOME!”
He swatted me on my fanny, said “Way to go, champ!”, and headed into the dugout – er, I mean, the kitchen.
He’s really just a coach at heart.