People In Sports

‘Go have fun and no pressure’ assumes you may not

June 19, 2012

Tournament lacrosse - Turf field venues in Pennsylvania from West Chester to Downingtown were teeming with girls' lacrosse talent last weekend with teams from Texas , Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, Florida, New Jersey, Chicago and the Eastern Shore of the Delmarva Peninsula. The older 2013-14 Eastern Shore team was coached by Zen Master P.J. Kesmodel and the younger 2015-16 team by Dave Frederick. Kesmodel's team won the championship in its division while the Frederick team lost to a New York squad by a goal in the championship game. I was with the younger team on Sunday and watched the girls play four full 50-minute games from 10.a.m to 4 p.m. Intellectually, that sounds crazy and ill advised, begging for an overuse injury. Can any animal look more tired, beleaguered and cranky than a teenage girl awakened at 6 a.m.? Speaking of googling ACL injuries in young women, I found this, “Females have a biomechanical disadvantage to males when it comes to ACL strength and stability.” Now, I'm not orthopedic surgeon John Spieker, which is a comparison that would make him wince in pain, but that has proven to be pretty much if not absolutely true. If you think a teenage athlete awakened before she's ready is a tough person to deal with, try one with an ACL injury. Preventative stretching and strengthening exercises are the key but no guarantee of injury prevention.

Climbing hills - “Have fun out there and remember to do your best because college coaches are watching and also remember 'no pressure.'" The pressure on young athletes to perform can lead to an implosion and sudden rejection of the entire process, because there comes a point when enough is, in fact, enough. Summer camps and travel tournaments where canopies and coolers rim the pitch where players perform are fun if you don't have to play bunches of games over three days but just sit in a webbed chair sucking down bottled water and eating hoagies. Note: water with a hoagie is as offensive as throwing away a hotdog bun.

Foot Locker - This re-lax ref's dogs were barking after three days and 10 games and no one needs their barefoot in the park picture taken by some sneaking photographer but seriously that doesn't look like a working man's foot; they tend to be discolored, cracked and dry with hammer toes. Who invented feet anyway?

Olympics of Mind - Back when my 35-year-old twin sons were 9, they were drafted onto a Little League baseball team where the starting infield was made up of Olympics of the Mind veterans which meant on a grounder with runners on base and less than two out they had no idea where to throw the ball, assuming someone caught it. Last Sunday I watched Cape's Corrine Cannon play four games of lacrosse as a defender. I know she's smart and has a theatrical/comedic side, but that girl can play and play smart, and her dad Gary is 6-foot-5 and played football at Villanova and Delaware so watch out “a star is born” may be made into a musical?

Snippets - The Gold All-Star team football scrimmage is at Milford on Wednesday night at 5:30. I showed up a week early last Wednesday because I am that guy. Who was Robert of “Robert's Rules of Order,” because someone needs to find and smack him. Ordinary people sit around tables and members of boards and play "Rules of Order” games quite often at the expense of actually communicating. Yes, I was at a Cape school board meeting - begging for something - and told them, “I am the king of informality,” to which Board President Sarah Wilkinson replied “You never followed the rules in your life; no sense in starting now.” Don't forget the informal and friendly recognition and induction of Tom Hickman into Legends Stadium will be Sunday, July 15, at 10 a.m. in the Cape High cafeteria and later will move to the field house. All friends of coach Tom Hickman are invited and yes, he will be there. Can I get a second on that? The Cape baseball job has been officially reopened and Dave Doherty is no longer the coach. I saw Dave last Saturday morning at the Milton Irish Eyes 5K. I have known him 25 years. He was supporting his wife Linda who ran in the race. Neither of us talked baseball but rather pond fishing and how we'd each look better pond fishing sporting a ball cap with fishing license pinned to the back, bottom fishing for freshwater carp. Cape baseball has been chewing up coaches and spitting them out like boiled wieners; I can name three over the last six years. Next question: Who wants that job? To quote the late Milt Roberts, “Not this gobbler.” Go on now, git!