Friday, January 09, 2009

Boys Basketball Practice - A One-Sided Conversation

Boys Basketball Practice - A One-Sided Conversation
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2009

"Okay, boys. Put down the basketballs, I want you to do some warmups, and then you'll do some layup drills. First, let's do some jumping jacks."

"No, Evan, hands go up when your legs spread apart. Make an X, and then make an I."

"No, an X. No—like this. Do you know what an X looks like?"

"I know you're six. That's why I figured you knew what an X looked like. Reese, don't be the Hulk during jumping jacks."

"No, the Hulk does not smash jumping jacks."

"Okay, boys, run one lap around the gym. Ready, set, go."

"No, Jack, the other way. Go the other way. There you go. Travis, Jacob! Quit shoving each other. Reese, don't smash Travis and Jacob. The Hulk doesn't smash his teammates."

"Okay, bring it in. Come here, guys. Let's do some — guys, come here now, please!"

"Let's do some layup drills. I need two lines. Buddy, you shoot the ball, Jacob, you get the rebound and pass it to Reese. Ready, set—Kevin, quit dancing around. Okay, Buddy dribble the ball. No, dribble it. Okay, now shoot. Shoot—aww, good try."

"Jacob, get your hands out of your pocket. Get the rebound. Great, now pass it to — no, Jacob, don't shoot the ball. No, don't dribble—ooh, Buddy, you're not supposed to tackle Jacob."

"That's right, Evan, that's only for football."

"Jacob, pass the ball to Reese. Travis, pull your shorts up."

"Because you don't pull your shorts down at basketball practice."

"Because there are girls on the other side of the gym. Reese, don't smash the ball. The Hulk does not smash a basketball."

"Evan, don't start showing off for the girls."

"Because they're, uhh. . . sure, Jacob, they're icky."

"No, boys, your moms aren't icky. They're women."

"Your mom is a what, Kevin?"

"Kevin, don't say that. Do you even know what that means?"

"I don't care if your dad said it, that's not what you should call your mother."

"No, I didn't know your mom left your dad."

"No, I didn't know she was living with your dad's brother."

"It's still not appropriate."

"Just because."

"That's the best answer you're going to get."

"Buddy, stand up. You don't need to sit down."

"Because we've only been practicing for five minutes."

"Now we've only got a few more minutes before we're going to scrimmage another team, so let's concentrate."

"No, I don't think we're going to cream them."

"Because I've been watching you kids play."

"Huh? No, I didn't say anything."

"I need five of you. Two of you can sit out for a few minutes, and then we'll sub you in."

"Buddy, Evan, Reese, Jack, and Jacob, you're starting. Put on these jerseys."

"Let's go, Panthers. Play some defense."

"Reese, stop guarding Evan."

"Because he's on your team."

"Okay, Panthers, pass the—Reese, don't smash the other players. You're not the Hulk."

"Buddy, don't guard that guy. We're on offense."

"Time out! Do you guys remember what offense means?"

"No, it's not what happens when you want to get down from a fence. It's when we're trying to score a basket. Offense tries to score, defense tries to stop the other team from scoring."

"Yes, you can dribble."

"Or pass it."

"No, you can't kick it."

"That's right, Evan, that's soccer."

"Okay, let's go, Panthers. Get out there and do your best."

"Nice pass, Jacob. Okay, Jack, let's — no, no, the other way, Jack. Our basket is the other way."

"Good shot, Buddy! Great job!"

"Halftime. Good job you guys. Kevin and Travis, why don't you guys take a break. Who wants to sit out?"

"You can't all sit out."

"No, we're not losing."

"Because the score's only two-two. We're tied."

"Five minutes. We're just doing a short scrimmage."

"Okay, Evan and Reese, you guys sit out for a while. Kevin and Travis, you're in."

"Everyone get your hands in here. Give me a 'Go Panthers' on three."

"No, Jack, you shout Go Panthers when I say three."

"Not that three."

"Not yet."

"First, I have to count to three."

"Not yet!"

"One, two, three. Go Panthers."

"No, three comes after four."

"Forget it. Just go out there and play."

"What's that, Mrs. Johnson? Just five minutes."

"No, it only seems like two hours."

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  1. Ok, Erik, which one is your son? :)

    This probably one of the most amusing renditions I've seen for a youth sports practice (all inclusive). My youngest son (now 13 and has 6 years of experience under his belt) plays ice hockey, but watching the coaches try to keep the kids on their feet on skates and going in the right direction with the puck when they were little was always hysterical.

    God bless the parents with the patience to be youth coaches! You all have my respect & admiration.

  2. Thank you very much.

    "Buddy" is my son, although that's not his real name.

    And unfortunately (actually, fortunately, nearly all of this never happened. I was at my son's basketball practice the day I wrote this, and was inspired to write it. I would yell a few helpful things to my son once in a while, but his coach does a good job.

    Me telling him not to sit down happened, as well as a couple boys who would guard the other player while they were on offense, actually did happen. The rest is complete fiction.

  3. Erik - Absolutely hysterical! Mike coached our sons in Little League for years. The 7-year-olds were pretty close to this, even in a 'slower' sport like baseball.

    I could hear the (exaggerated) conversations all over again. Thanks for the memories!


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