For the past two weeks I've been running lacrosse camps in Utah and California. It always seems like a good idea, and then about the third day of camp you find yourself thinking of ways to discreetly kill off a couple of campers. I don't know what some parents are thinking. In their hearts they must know that as a child they themselves were not coordinated, and therefore, the chances of passing on a dominant gene of "motor skills" to their child is probably slim to none. I just don't understand how some parents can have such blind faith in their children. I think I told one girl the same thing for three days straight, and not once...no not once...did I actually see her make the change I recommended. I did, however, receive a lot of nods and looks of understanding right before she went back to the bad habit. It took everything I had inside of me not to pull her aside and tell her to count how many four leaf clovers she could find in the grass until the end of camp. Camille, or Camille's mother, if you are out there, please let the lacrosse dream die. It ain't gonna happen.
Of course, there are some great kids that come to camp, who you love and mold and coach and mentor and blah, blah, blah. But...while you try to enjoy them...the coordination deficient kids make you just question your existence. Therefore, as coaches, you have to think of subtle ways to get back at these kids. I know, what you are thinking, this doesn't sound like what Gene Hackman would say in Hoosiers, or Kurt Russell in Miracle or Terrence Howard said in Pride, a compelling story of black swimmers (I'm trying to relate to all my readers). But, it's the truth.
Therefore, bring on the Barnyard Game. This is both a wonderful and demoralizing game at the same time. I recommend playing it with any co-workers, friends, neighbors or acquaintances who severely bother you. By the end you'll have the last laugh and that's really what life is all about.
First, place all your annoying counterparts on a line and give them different animals. I recommend using: horses, cows, cats, dogs, pigs and sheep. (Make sure no one finds out what animal their neighbor has...this creates the fun.) Now, here's the most important part of the game. Seek out the individual you can't stand the most. The one person you could condone being beaten by a crazed homeless person, and give them the prized animal of donkey. (Do you see where I'm going with this?) Now, place all the people on the ground randomly around a field. Tell them to get on all fours, close their eyes, and in order to win the game, they have to find their fellow animals by making the sound of that animal. Nothing brings more joy to me at the end of a long camp than hearing a bunch of kids snort like pigs and bark like dogs in order to find their partners. Oh, and watching the one donkey roam around, sounding like a complete a##, trying to find no one.
This game is for all ages and recommended at all times.