And, just like Lindy, I have to be a little sneaky -- OK, maybe A LOT sneaky -- to capture a few memories. See the kid in the blue shorts and white shirt at the center? That's Jack. Just to the right, standing in the next row over in orange shorts and a black shirt is Charlie. The team had lined up to learn their warm-ups and calisthenics routine. The older boys led the group by shouting, "HOW DO WE DO THIS?" To which the rest of the team shouts, "TOGETHER!" Then the leader commands, "TEN.... LOUD... JUMPING-JACKS... READY? BEGIN!"
I am sure Jack and Charlie imagined practice would be all about throwing the football and knocking people down. Huh-uh. THIS is where you begin, boys.
Later, I asked how they liked their first practice. They said they really liked it. Then I asked if they were tired. Their words said no. But their voices said yes. They were beat.
And just like their coach said, I reminded them that the hard work they put in now will show up later in the game, when it counts.