Breakdancing, Basketball, and Other Distractions


The son that you see on the front page of my blog has been known to say some very interesting things.  As you might be able to tell by the picture he seems to have a lot going on in his head.  Unfortunately when it comes to playing basketball that is not a good thing necessarily.  As a guy who has coached a lot of sports in my 20 adult years I stand on the sidelines trying to figure out if I am the parent that applauds my child no matter what he does, or whether I am the parent that will be yelling at my son to please “PAY ATTENTION”.

As I know my parents read this blog I have to mention my youth little league experience if not for them for myself so that I can understand my child better.  It was 1985 and break dancing was all the craze.  Young Bart Lesco has spent his t.v. time watching “Beat Street” and “Breakin’ 2: Electric Bugaloo” on his parents new VHS player.  Since VHS was not cheap or easily accessible we had to rent it from our local video rental store.  Bart’s older cousin Cory was becoming quite the break dancer, carrying around his ghetto blaster and his refrigerator box.  For those of you that don’t know the cardboard is a ready dance floor when all you have is pavement.  Bart wanted to be like Cory.

I had just returned from a vacation in which my parents took me to my first baseball game in St. Louis.  A game that defined for my brother and I who our teams were going to be for the next 10 years while waiting for our beloved Rockies; the Cardinals and the Dodgers.  What young Bart remembers most though is seeing the break dancers set up their cardboard on the cobblestone in old St. Louis.

All of this brings me back to right field, RIGHT FIELD.  For those of you who played little league, right field was reserved for the kid that could not pay enough attention to be of any benefit to the game.  I like to think that is was because of my boredom that I was breakdancing, but the reality is probably that I was put in right field because I was breakdancing.  Doing “The Human Wave” and “The Robot” are not terribly helpful in catching fly balls.  Please ask my parents if you want verification on this.

This brings me back to watching my sons basketball game last night and getting frustrated by my son hopping and dancing down the floor on one foot.  I was getting so frustrated by his lack of focus I wanted to run out onto the court and hold his head turning it from side to side so as to follow the balls path.  I told him one time that they call the game basket”ball” and base”ball” because the game is about THE BALL.  Incidentally I was not the only parent on the sideline feeling this way.  We had a support group right there on the sidelines.

On the trip home from the game I asked my son why he was dancing around on one leg and here is what he said “well it is one of two options:  either my leg was bothering me, or there was no reason at all”.  As we were listening to the radio he hears the word “widow” and asks what that means.  I said that it is someone who has lost their spouse.  At this point he responds “dad I have an idea, I think that people that become widow need to just go out and get another spouse”.  Sometimes I wonder that my son can walk at all with all the thoughts that are around to trip him up.


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