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Suburban Dad: Find Time to Coach (Obama Does)

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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