Never work with animals or small children…….

Anyone involved in junior sports knows that it can be sometimes frustrating, occasionally frightening, but most of the time lots of fun.  A few of us were recently sharing stories on the sidelines of some of the funny things that the kids will say to us, and thought it was worth sharing.  To protect the innocent, names of children and adults have been withheld.  One advantage of dealing with kids is you can get instant and very direct feedback.  Maybe there are some lessons in communication here…

  • At junior cricket, while doing a bowling demonstration to a group of 7-8 year olds, on how to hold the ball with correct seam position etc.  At the end of the demonstration the kids were asked if there were any questions.  Everyone just looked around blankly, and then one said "excuse me,….. can you live without a soul?"….

  • At junior tennis, we were discussing with the kids the importance of being safe and responsible, finishing with letting them know we want them all to have fun but we don't want anyone getting hurt.  One voice piped up from the back "yeah, too much paperwork".

  • At the mini-trains, a 3 year old announced to the other kids there "my dad drives the train, and when my Mum grows up to be an adult, she can drive it too"

  • At junior tennis, in the middle of giving a demonstration to a group of 3-5 year olds, one of the kids knelt down and started stroking the coach's shin. "Wow, look at your legs.  You have the hairiest legs I've ever seen".

  • At tennis, the session sometimes finishes the session with a hardest hit contest.  One of the boys was trying to swing so hard he was throwing himself off his feet and missing everything.  I told him he was trying to swing too hard. He stopped and said very deliberately "do you realise this is a hardest hit contest.  How is it possible to swing too hard in a HARDEST HIT CONTEST?"

  • During a junior tennis tournament, the match was level at 3-3 and deuce in a first to four match.  The coach told the players this was now the most important point of the match.  The server thought for a moment and replied "We are having problems with Falcons at home"

  • When travelling away to do coaching remotely, I thought I would break the ice with the kids by asking whether anything interesting happened since I last saw them.  Without hesitation, one girl said quite cheerily, "I have, my finger fell off" (it was true – she had an infection and lost her finger).

  • Unperturbed, coach tried the same question again next visit – "did anything interesting happen since my last visit?"  This time a boy piped up from the back "excuse me, yes, my father doesn't live with my mother any more"

......Ok, probably won't ask that question again…