For some reason, whenever I play sports with my boys, someone gets hurt. Case in point, we were out on ‘the green’ the other night playing baseball. Not rugby where people pile on each other.. Not American football where you can get your leg snapped. It is baseball.

First injury was a line drive screamer that missed the glove by a fraction and was caught by a forehead. Next injury was a high pop fly which missed the glove by six inches and was caught by an upturned forearm. I almost took a screamer in the head while pitching (I was standing too close as I was trying to lob them in, no more). Turns out baseball is a vicious sport. Not as crazy as when my moron high school buddies would run around the yard shooting each other with their BB guns, but still, dangerous.

Which is why I was really nervous about attending a family flag football (American) camp on Saturday. The boy’s school ran the multi-hour camp to see if there would be interest from families. It was run by Sweet Feet Academy, a new business run by a few ex-pros. The coolest thing about the camp was that parents could join in and play. Only a few did (Narda and I did) and it was a ton of fun and believe it or not, no injuries!

It also brought out another UK cultural observation. In Canada, when I was coaching the boy’s soccer team, if a child missed a kick or something I would say ‘Good try’. At the football academy and at the boy’s tennis lessons, I have noticed that the coaches say ‘That was unlucky’.  What is interesting is that the statement shifts the thought process from ‘I made a good try but failed’ to one which externalises the miss. I have read about this often, how resilient leaders externalise failure, moving it to situational variables, learning and going again. Small comment, big difference – I like it. No more ‘good try’ comments.

On the humorous side, I caught every single ball during the drills but during the game, dropped a few. On the second pass that I dropped I heard smart-ass-sideline-dad yell out ‘HA. That is two fumbles …’ Couldn’t be because I was more conscious of not squashing the five 10 year olds at my feet than catching the ball …. For the record, I caught that one.

2008 May 03 Michael making the catch 1

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