Tuesday, December 27, 2011

NBA, How We Missed Thee

In honor of the NBA's return to our lives, I thought I would post an e-mail conversation about the upcoming season I have been having with my buddy Phil Schneider over the past several days while he's been out in California. Phil, who may be the funniest comedian (intentionally funny division) I know who is not so employed, grew up in Berkeley as a big Warriors fan, so he knows the pro game pretty well. Without further ado...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Being back at the pool

I may have been a swimmer for more years than I was anything else except a basketball player, but I never really learned to love it. Sure, I was competitive and worked hard at it, but to me swimming was always something that kept me in great aerobic shape for other sports that I preferred. And so of course my first coaching job should come in swimming, as the interim head coach for the Valdez Torpedoes Swim Club. That was fairly easy, with only about 6 kids*, no meets to coordinate, etc. Once that summer was over, I figured that I was done with coaching it for good, because swim season at the school level (in most places) is concurrent with basketball season, and as has been stated in this space before, coaching basketball was the overarching goal.

Monday, December 5, 2011

When it all comes together

I didn't plan on becoming (primarily) a volleyball coach. I didn't play indoor volleyball at all after 9th grade, and my personal experience was mostly limited to a couple of beach volleyball camps in southern California and Woodberry Forest's annual beach tournament. I had the good fortune to spend some time studying under Dr. Marv Dunphy at Pepperdine, who I feel is not just one of the best volleyball coaches out there, but one of the best coaches (not to mention a fantastic person) in all of American sports. But even when I was learning from him, coaching basketball was the plan all along. But the first opportunity to really establish myself as a head coach came in volleyball.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Susan Keeler Smith (1957-2011)

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. - James 1: 2-3

How does one share the story of someone who became something of a medical miracle through continually exceeding expectations? How does one pay tribute to a person who had such a positive effect on so many people? How does one capture the indelible influence that a family member left on their life, mostly from three thousand miles away? Despite that distance (despite, even, never living in the same time zone), my aunt Susan served as one of the principal guiding influences on me throughout my young life, and affected me in a number of ways. Referencing the verse above, no one I know has gone through the trials that Susy did, or remained as steadfast and strong in resisting what for many would have been an easy excuse to give up. Although I do not possess my father's talent with the written word, I will try to describe how Susy influenced me throughout my life.