challenges and joys of parenthood, children. joys and challenges, coaching junior rugby league, crunchie chocolate bars, rugby league nz, sleepless in samoa, te atatu roosters, wolfpack

I Want your Power.

Can you beat the Crunch?
I covet the powers of a rugby league coach. Today I went to another of Little Son’s league games and I am in awe of the man who trains them. Imagine if you will – 13 boys all as hyper and (rotten) as my Little son.And yet, this man has them moving like a well-oiled machine. He speaks with a minimum of words and amazing things happen as a result. He says RUN! They run and dont stop until he says so. He says TACKLE! And they charge like rhinos on crack. He says, ‘STOP TALKING!’ and there is nothing but silence rippling across the field. One boy gets knocked down, winded and starts crying. The coach says, Get up! suck it in and run through it. Get back up and out there now! The boy sniffs, staggers to his feet and runs after the ball again. Pain is magically forgotten. Wow. The man doesnt gush with praise either. The boys win. Coach asks, “Do you think you deserve a cheer?” The boys nod eagerly, yes we won! Coach snaps, “No you dont! You let that other team score 2 tries! Double training this week! Running double laps, now!” And all the boys get out there and do it. WITHOUT COMPLAINING. My jaw drops. Coach doesnt have to bribe, wrangle, argue, convince, persuade or kiss-butt to make great things happen. The only positive reinforcement he offers is naming the Best Player of the match. Winner of this worthy honor gets a Crunchie Bar. And yet these boys are completely over the chocolate moon if they get the week’s Crunchie.

This team is unbeaten so far this season. They win every game with an embarassing number of points. This coach is obviously doing something right.

I am in lustful awe. I want his coach powers. I want them bad. Do you know what I could do with that kind of power?!

I would say to my Fab5 team, ‘Do the dishes!’ And dishes would get done. Without me needing to declare a ceasefire. Without me having to wade through a tangled web of warfare. ‘It’s your turn to do them! No its not, I did them last night. Yeah, but you didnt do them properly so i had to wash them all over again. Did not. Did too!

I would point to JB’s room and say, ‘Clean up this mess!’ And he would see exactly what I see – the week old lunchbox food, the dirty socks that are coming alive with microbes, the clothes that he artfully arranges everywhere EXCEPT for in the drawers or in the closet. He wouldnt ask in an aggrieved voice, “What mess? I just cleaned it this morning!” No, he would just nod and snap to it. Cleaning, vacuuming, sorting and then he would dash to scrub the bathroom too. Just because he wanted to impress me with his comittment to the team’s cleanliness.

And if a child got a cut, a scrape, a bruise,a bump – and came running with a sniffle for a bandaid. An extra cookie. A day off school. I would snap, ‘Suck it in! Get up and run through it! Get back out there!’ And they would.

Yes, if I had Coach’s power then the Fab5 would hang on my every word. They would try to read my mind. Anticipate my every wish. I would speak less and they would DO more. There would be eternal happiness and peace in this house. I want it BAD.

Im not quite sure how to get me some Coach power. I think I shall begin by stocking up on Crunchie Bars. (And then try not to eat them all myself.) Do you think JB would clean his room better if there were crunchies hanging in the balance?

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