Monday, August 11, 2014

64 x 12, 13,14 (Coaching)

It's been a long time. Somehow I'm coaching
basketball again. First game of the season, for
some reason I've missed all the practices, haven't
met any of the kids. I call them
over and ask them to tell me what
they already know, what questions they have before
the game begins. They want to know about
foul shots, why they can't make them. "Well,"

I say, "you probably can't reach the basket
from the foul line yet. You could jump,
but then you'd go over the foul line.
But there's a way. Any of you ever heard
of Rick Barry?" (Blank looks, shaking heads.)
He led the NBA in free throw percentage
Using an underhand shot from between his legs.
If you use it, your friends and opponents

are going to laugh at you. But once
they see those shots going in, I guarantee
they're going to stop laughing fast. Let's see
how it goes today. Tomorrow at practice we'll
start working on foul shots." The kids look
at each other, look at me. They're not
quite sure about what they've gotten into. Neither

am I, until crows outside wake me up.

Process Reflection:

Kind of fell into this one. The basic plot line of the dream is true to life; I did wake up this morning from a dream pretty much like this. There were a lot of interesting oddments in the dream that I had to edit out because of the self-imposed constraints of form (for example, that one of the players was a younger sibling of a student I actually had about 30 years ago and had not thought of in years) but what is here was all in the dream, including Rick Barry. Originally thought I might gesture at the dream in just 64 words, eight lines and eight words per line, but it kind of ran away with me, so I just stayed inside the form and kept it going. 

I remember one season when I used to coach back in the day, I told the players that if they couldn't hit 50% of their free throws in practice shooting the regular way, they would have to the diaper shot in games. They didn't like it, but they did it, and our team free throw shooting percentage did in fact go up that season. Why this is all showing up in my brain at age 67 at 5:30 in the morning, I have no idea.

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