Ever hear a coach say something horrible and/or hilarious? Send your submissions to OverheardSP at gmail. Or submit for future editions about things overheard at a game, at the gym or terrible sports gifts you've received.
My first week of the freshmen lacrosse camp for my high school team, we had three kids who stood out for different reasons. One was very loud on the field and got made fun of; one was really soft and weak when it came to hitting; and one cradled a solid five times between each pass.
Keep in mind this is our first day over the summer at a new school with varsity coaches breathing down our necks. To the kid who made fun of the first boy the coach said, and I quote: "If you think talking on the field isn't cool I will put weed in your locker and get you suspended!" To the second boy he said: "You are playing to soft, I am going to give you a puppy, let you raise it for a year, and kill it!" To the third kid he simply said: "Hitler cradled, cradling is evil," and walked away.
I played hockey growing up and often at the end of practice we would play duck hunt. (This is a game where all the players start at one end of the ice and skate as fast as they can to the other end. The coaches are positioned along the boards at center ice and shoot pucks at the players as they pass between the blue lines. If you're hit, you're out and become a shooter.)
My coach was a little imbalanced and you could always tell what kind of day he was having based on how hard he was shooting. On this particular day, he was really ripping the puck and one hit my friend in the helmet, knocking him out cold on the ice for about 20 seconds. When he came to, he asked my coach what had happened and coach said: "You didn't skate fast enough." I should add that we were 11 years-old at the time.
I played football under a legendary coach who had come out of retirement to lead our historically successful team back to the promised land. The ability to motivate is allegedly what makes a great coach, and ours typically inspired us by regaling us with the weirdest allegories I believe any coach has ever delivered.
The most priceless: He'd tell us about this time when he was a kid growing up in the country, looking for his grandfather, who was nowhere to be found. He looked everywhere, in the house, out in the field, in whatever passed for a garage back when the names of cars all started with "Model". Finally he looked behind the barn. Lo and behold, there was his granddad, jacking off. "Grandpappy, are you jacking off?" he asked. "Nooooooo, I'm just jackin,'" his grandfather replied. He never said whether or not the allegorical grandfather kept on doing what he was doing.
When I finally figure out what this means, I'm either going to experience an end-of-Highlander-like catharsis where I instantaneously comprehend everything in the universe, or I'm just going to say, "Oh, okay", and hopefully have a pretty nice day after that.
Note: I told this to my one teammate's older brother, who played on our legendary 1984 team, and he said "It is a parable about age. He can no longer "jack off" — he can only 'jack'…without the off." Which sounds plausible, but then why would our coach be telling this to a bunch of 16 year olds? And the answer, of course, is that we needed to jack off now, on the football field, before we were all just jackin'. Probably.
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Send your "Overheard From A Coach", "Overheard At The Game" or "Overheard At The Gym" or embarrassing sports apparel and memorabilia you have owned stories to OverheardSP at gmail.