Suburban Dad: Find Time to Coach (Obama Does)

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Marek Fuchs
Marek Fuchs Photo Credit: Contributed

Far be it for me turn into a scold… But , considering, who can resist? 

I serve on the local Little League board, where the typical just happened: as we were careening toward opening day, we found ourselves short coaches.  Some said they couldn’t as they “worked in the city.” Never mind that several who work in the city contort their schedules to be home one or two nights a week to, uh, coach. Others didn’t work in the city, but were, they assured, “just too busy.” Never mind that perhaps the busiest man in the nation finds time to coach, but more on that in a moment.    

Anyhow, to get enough coaching volunteers we had to beg, cajole, arm twist, bribe and extort. And we’re not the only ones forced into desperate measures.  It happens all over Westchester and Connecticut in baseball, softball, basketball and soccer. 

Granted: we don’t pay much: the precise wage is zero. And don’t let me give you a false impression. Coaching kids as they dizzily run the bases, jacked-up on sugary snacks or springtime or the moon cycle is not easy.  It’s not all about imparting wisdom or intricate technique. If I have to say, “Zachary, get off the fence,” one more time, I’m either going to laugh, cry or completely crack and climb the fence myself.  

But whether these parents who refuse to volunteer for coaching are too self-consumed or self-important or just want to avoid the lion taming aspect to coaching kids, let’s not let them plead busy anymore. 

After all, President Obama coaches his daughter Sasha's basketball team. And though, as leader of the free world and a candidate for reelection, he's a decently busy guy, ABC News reported an interesting fact. Coach Obama apparently hasn't missed a game all season. 

Politics aside, if he can fit it into his schedule, you probably can too. 

Marek Fuchs is the author of "A Cold-Blooded Business," the true story of a murderer, from Westchester, who almost got away with it. His upcoming book on volunteer firefighting across America, “Local Heroes,” is due out this year. He wrote The New York Times'  "County Lines" column about life in Westchester for six years and teaches non-fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College, in Bronxville. Follow him on Twitter: @MarekFuchs.  

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Comments (4)

I hope that my vote in November will assist him in becoming a full-time basketball coach.

Marek, I do hope that he is better at coaching basket ball than he is at running the country. Maybe if he spent more time doing WHAT he is supposed to do and stop running off an golf outings and vacation, the country might be better off.

I'm not sure Obama is the best benchmark for a "busy guy" last count he had managed to squeeze in 92 rounds of golf and 11 vacations in the last couple of years. I wonder how many of the parents can compete with that? I expect there are plenty of parents who would LOVE to have the time to volunteer, but prioritize holding onto their jobs so they can pay the mortgage and put food on the table!

Come on--I'm hardly one to jump to the defense of politicians, but from Bush to Obama, presidents are always taking manufactured flak for taking vacations or playing golf. Fact is, they are working whether they are at Camp David or Washington. Whatever you think about these guys politically, their schedules--especially when they are running for reelection--are pretty packed. There are a fair number of demands on their time. Yet Obama coaches...and if Bush's daughters played sports, I bet he would have carved out the time too, which is more than you can say for a lot of the rest of us. Best Wishes, Marek