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Showing posts from December, 2009

What I Learned At Ski School

We had our first family ski vacation after the Christmas holiday. Sara is quite adept on the slopes and is an experienced skier. For the rest of us boys (5, 7, 9, 12 and me the elder 40something), it was all new learning. I suffered through a day and a half finding my feet and learning how to maneuver the skis just to execute the most basic moves such as "the wedge" so I could stop and how to stand on an incline without shooting forward or ending up skiing backwards. I'm not going to kid you, I was a danger to myself and others on the slopes for at least the first half of our time out there in Colorado.
My ski instructor the first day was a grizzled veteran named Alice (sun-bleached hair, a weathered, wind-burnt face and a commanding voice that could bring everyone on the mountainside to attention with one bark). She repeatedly took my poles from me because she was insistent that everything I needed to be able to do could be mastered just by lifting my feet and turning m…

Parenting and Sportsmanship

Some thoughts this a.m. from Sioux Center, Iowa, where my oldest son, Tony (12) is playing in a Pee Wee level tournament:

The Lincoln kids won the game this morning going away. That was nice to see because they've already tasted their share of whalloping defeats this year. But they put together a nice game against a competitive team in their first game this morning. Some parents on the opposition were so upset about the outcome and about some of the calls that they were ranting about "taking it out to the parking lot," among other unsavory comments directed at officials or the Lincoln parents and players.

At Norris, we talk a lot about the value of sportsmanship and try to instill those values in our students. We work very diligently not just to supervise students but to also model and suggest to them appropriate ways to encourage and rally their peers and their school's teams on to victory. Not always an easy task - especially when officiating calls are question…