Coaches can learn, too

If there is one thing I hate, it’s sitting in traffic. If there’s one thing I hate worse, it’s sitting in traffic knowing I’m supposed to be somewhere already. That’s where I was tonight at 5:30 pm. My baseball team had a game then, but I was two miles away, stuck in road construction.

Normally that would be enough to have me fuming. I hate being late for things, especially when those things are dependent on my being there. Especially when I knew it was my fault. I didn’t leave work early enough, but chose to talk to a co-worker who had just returned from a long vacation.

As traffic on the freeway slowed down and game-time approached a little birdie told me I’d probably be better off getting off at the exit after the one I normally use, even though it would be a little past my destination and a little bit of a backtrack. For some reason that stretch of road flows better. But no, I used the same old path as usual. I watched 5:30 tick past knowing I’d screwed up.

I arrived ten minutes late. The game was already in progress, as the mother of one of my team members had coached before and was willing to fill in. Problem solved. Everyone was happy.

Oddly enough, so was I. As I said, usually such an occurrence would have left me cranky and embarrassed. But I chose not to be. I told myself I would do my team no good if I arrived all upset and uptight over something that was largely beyond my control and unforeseeable. I would get there when I got there, and life would go on. And by golly, it did!

So last night was something of a victory for me. With any luck this lesson will stay learned. Sometimes you just can’t help what happens to you, and there’s nothing to be gained by getting upset. And it certainly would not have done any good being grouchy with the kids. Or my family.

If I manage to learn this one lesson, then coaching my son’s team will have been well worth it.