Wednesday, May 30, 2007

How intense is intense?

Had a great time with Kid 3 this weekend at a soccer tournament at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex.

There were teams from all over, all age groups, as far away as Illinois...even a couple of local teams.

There were 12 teams in our age group, 3 brackets of 4. The tourney is a round robin format. You play the other 3 teams in your bracket Saturday and Sunday, and the bracket winner advances with one wild card to a semifinal round Monday AM, followed by a championship game Monday PM.

We went 2-1 in our bracket, ending up in a 3-way tie for the wild card...we were 3rd best in that deal, so no go. The team we lost to, really layed wood to Coral Gables 6, Lakeland 0. Did I tell you Kid 3 is a goal keeper. He's pretty good if I do say so...that means that 6-nil score could have been much worse.

Anyway, another Miami team ended up rolling through their bracket too, so we saw a showdown brewing between the two Miami juggernaughts. Needless to say, we came back Monday, paid the admitance to see this final. Game ended 4-4...followed by a shootout where only one kid missed (5-4), and he hit the post with a over, our bracket won...and we saw some of the best 10 year olds in our part of the world play that afternoon.

All this sets up a couple of points. It was very obvious that as the talent and expectations increases, so does the intensity of the coaches and parents...and the skin thickness of these young children. At times, during the heat of battle, I felt like I was watching Parcell or Lombardi coach...and these kids took it in attitude, no talking back...just nodding of head and corrected was amazing. So, my question is how intense should we be?

Side bar: During our final game we played Cape Coral (SW corner of Florida). During the second half of a close game, my son is fielding a long ball in the goal box and up runs an opposing offensive player who bumps him kind of hard and the ball falls out. My son jumps on the ball, no damage done...dialogue proceeds as follows (I'm a fan, on the opposite side of the bench, close to the play):

Me: Hey Ref, that can't happen

(whistle blows, foul other team, free kick there)

Other Coach: It was incidental Ref!

Me: They're running at him all game, you better call them off and do something!!

Ref to Coach: No conversations with the fans.

Me to my son: If they come at you again, put a shoulder in their chest.

After the game I went up to the other coach and appologized..."Hey, I'm sorry I said what I did. I over-reacted...As the Dad of the keeper I guess I got a bit over defensive and shouldn't have. I'm sorry." He was very cool about it and apologized too - His son was their keeper, he understood.

Side note within side note: I never would have appologized in years gone by...I would have justified my actions...Sanctification in real life taking place...thanks God.

Now here's question two. At what point is it ok to start coaching your son to punish the other guy to defend yourself (think Catcher guarding the plate on a play at home)? Was I wrong in telling him to put a shoulder in their chest if the continue to run at him? How intense is too intense for competitive/select soccer?

A Holy Spirit Moment

See previous entry for background...

Paul says pursue Holiness, run the race to win, pursue Christ in all things...these things I take seriously and in context. I'm definitely not legalistic about it...these are heart issues...and if nothing else, I govern from the heart, especially when it comes to me.

So when Kid 1 and Kid 2 (both teens) inform me that one of my new favorite songs sports the "F" word in the chorus...I quickly retort "no way"...throw up all my anti-legalism, you can't rob me of my joy, chaff, and walk fight.

Then a few days later, early in the morning, I'm in itunes, alone.

Crank up song and listen carefully (although in this case care is not's the chorus right). I hear it, then again, and again. I google the lyrics, and there it is "f**k" print.

As for me and my family...this isn't grey at all. There's no holiness pursuit at all about this song, my heart is screaming to my mind, "what good comes of this?"

Not a whole lot.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Unhealthy obsession?

It started in middle school...with Billy Joel, The high school, it was Led Zepellin and AC DC, but they weren't that unique.

In college, it was Earth, Wind, and Fire and Run DMC...a little unique.

After college, every couple of years a new artist, Cake, Ben Folds Five, Jane's Addiction...

Lately, 2004 it was Superchick...2005, Switchfoot...2006, Third Day.

When I like a group, or a song or two, I wear it out...listen to it over and over till I know it, can sing along, but also until I can sing it independently. My wife makes fun of me...says I'm like a teenage girl.

It's happening now...started Tues. night during American Idol...Blake sang This Love...never heard it before, but liked it...alot. The next night, Maroon Five sang Makes Me Wonder...never heard of them, or the song...but I'm hooked now...listen at home, look for the songs on the radio, sing along in my's just how I'm wired.

But suffices to say, I may be the oldest Maroon Five groupy on that's unhealthy.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Look vs. Think

Let me start by saying I love my church, my Pastor, and what's going on inside me right now. (And there is no "But," coming)

This morning had a "wow" moment. Let me attempt to explain what happened.

You see, for the first 10 or so years of my spiritual walk, my attitude was virtually the same as the world (selfish, and leaning toward sin nature), but I "looked" different than others...well, I didn't drink and my friends did, I stayed clear of certain TV shows (but deep inside wanted to watch them) get the point...I dressed the part. I'm told now that this is one form of legalism.

The last 3-5 years of my spiritual walk, I've been much less consumed with how I look, and much more consumed with "what I think" or my attitude...and the behaviors have followed...those that matter, and some that don't...and the cool thing is, that it's a lot more behavioral changes, and some I'd never get to on my own (like going on a mission trip)...and all for the right reasons...

and, well, anyway...this morning, my Pastor did a magnificent job explaining what's been going on in me and why. It was pretty sweet.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Calling Your Shot...

There are a lot of good things in this cream, police, A/C...the list is endless. But there aren't many better than the feeling you get when you call your shot. I mean, when you get to be real prophet-like, stick your neck out, get razzed by your friends...and then several months later, strut in and subtly remind them of it...

...that is a fine moment...a good thing.

So, maybe a year ago, or so, I was having this discussion about overated athletes (it followed the discussion of "best coach in sport - active"), and I throw out Dirk Nowiski.

You'd have thought I killed someone's grandmother...Ah, man...You're crazy...He's awesome...

The rants went on...

Until now...

Mark Cuban will need to move him to win a Championship. You heard it here first.