The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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September 20, 2013

LEVINE: Being a part of the team

(Continued)

But my fears weren’t validated. We kicked, jumped, ran and some, including my daughter, picked grass.

I’m a big believer in organized and high-motion practices, so I brought my notecard (my grandpa, who utilized this technique often, would be proud) with a minute-by-minute breakdown of how practice would go.

It only took a few minutes of realizing that we weren’t going to make the schedule, but I didn’t employ Bob Knight-coaching tactics. It took an extra few minutes to explain why some people can’t use hands, while a goalie can. That’s confusing stuff for a youngster.

So, I went with the flow. And my biggest preparation of knowing that was the best idea, was being a parent of a toddler.

Nothing can prepare a person more for young children’s activities than having a toddler at home. I’ve learned I own more patience than I ever dreamt of, and I know that when a child is not paying attention, it’s usually more about how amazing that colorful leaf looks on that tree, rather than the dynamic speaking ability of the leader.

That all brings my team and me to Saturday. There won’t be an inspiring pre-game speech or constant calls for the officials to learn how to call the game (basically because the coaches are the officials).

Instead, Saturday’s game will be a time for controlled chaos with 16 kids all wanting to kick the ball at the same time.

Let the games begin.

Weekly picks

Like always, feel free to go toe-to-toe with me, and log on to www.clintonherald.com and click on the College Football Sweepstakes. If you do well, you will be in a drawing for a Dick’s Sporting Goods gift certificate.

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