Stepping out of my comfort zone on Father’s Day weekend

We signed up weeks ago, my 9yo son G- and I, without me really thinking about it. A Father/Son basketball camp at the University of Colorado, Boulder, with CU Coach Jeff Bzdelik running the camp and all the CU men’s basketball team players involved. Sounded like a great “bonding experience” with my son, right?

It was great fun. Really great fun.

outside cu basketball
What I didn’t think through was that just maybe I wouldn’t be ready for my half of the camp: I’m not an athlete and never played any organized sports at all in high school or college.

Predictably, the day after, I am sore as heck after two days of doing the same drills the team players do, playing one on one, two on two, three on three and four on four scrimmage games, and running around having a great time and using muscles that weren’t quite ready for the burst of activity.

Okay, I’m not 22 and I’m not an obsessive athlete like so many people I know here in Boulder (people who haven’t been here have no idea of the zeal with which locals engage in their favorite physical activity, be it bicycling, rock climbing, running, marathons, etc. I’m pretty sure we have more professional athletes and Olympians per capita than any other city in the United States).

We spent an hour during the second afternoon, just us Dads, a local high school basketball coach and CU Coach Bzdelik, talking about how to coach boys, how to be supportive while trying to get them to excel and be their best, and how to focus on attitude and effort because that’s really all we can demonstrate and teach anyway.

What surprised me during that time, though, was that at one point someone asked “who was on a high school or college athletic team?” and I was the only man in the entire room who didn’t raise his hand. I thought “nope, I was in marching band so I could avoid sports, and didn’t do any organized sports at all in college” but didn’t say anything.

Later in the conversation it became clear to me that about half the men in the room were basketball coaches, high school, junior high, and informal leagues through the YMCA and Rec Centers.

So there I was, for an entire weekend, trapped doing drills and playing basketball with a bunch of older athletes (median Dad age was probably 40) and keeping up. Damn. When did that happen?

Of course, keeping up often meant that we guys were all equally out of breath and sweating profusely after a three minute two-on-two, but at least I kept up and even sunk a sweet three-pointer during one game. 🙂

More seriously, the CU Basketball Camp really was great fun and it was fun to step wayyy out of my comfort zone to do something that I’d never have done by myself: go to a sports camp. I know my son had a wonderful time and will remember this for the rest of his life.

Oh, and Coach Bzdelik, the rest of the coaching staff, and, most importantly, the CU men’s basketball team were delightful to hang around, supportive and wonderful with the boys, whether they made a shot, tripped up, totally got directions wrong during drills, or had to watch us old guys run around! My compliments to them all, they’re fine role models for our boys!

Here are a few pics to give you a flavor of this fun weekend:

boys shooting basketball
The little guys in this pic are the sons, the tall guys? That’s half the CU mens basketball team. Y’know what? I think they had a great time coaching the little guys and a few good laughs with us dads too!
Oh, the boy down? The boys ended up just as exhausted as us dads. Which made me feel good too. Or shouldn’t I admit that? 🙂

cu basketball camp boys drill
A line up of boys just moments before they were going to start yet another drill.

cu basketball players
As you can see, the CU players messed around, taking shots and showing us their slam-dunk technique. How do they jump so high that they can hang on the rim? Oh, that’s right, they’re 6’8″ or taller!

knutsen shoots
Some of the CU players had fun playing one-on-one with the boys too. This is CU team star Levi Knutson demonstrating his shooting technique to my son, who was sure he’d be able to dribble the ball between Levi’s legs. He didn’t.
My thanks to the CU basketball team for a great weekend!
Happy Father’s Day. Now, get out of your comfort zone and have some fun.

4 comments on “Stepping out of my comfort zone on Father’s Day weekend

  1. Dave, thanks for writing this post. Fun to imagine you running around the court amongst these athletes 😉
    Especially thankful for what you shared from the coach about supporting our boys – focusing on attitude and effort. Always a good refresher/reminder!
    Happy Father’s Day, Dave. I’ve seen you parent “in livin’ color” and very encouraged. Mucho props to you, Papa!

  2. Terrific post Dave!
    You really conveyed so much here, it seems like we were there too!
    Thank you, and congrats on enjoying this experience with depth and growth 🙂
    And Happy Father’s Day!

  3. Great Story Dave. it’s amazing what we can do when we step out side the usual same old – same-old.
    Great life lesson in this cool weekend! Ya never know what you can do – or what you’ll enjoy till ya give it a shot!
    Happy Fathers Day Amigo!

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