Me and Grandpa
My Journey

Week 7: Down… Set… HUT!

If I asked ten average rabid football fans if they would like to spend a day with a coach who had worked on a high school and collegiate level for 44 years, probably all ten would have said yes, and they might be drooling. That’s what I got to experience today while I was with Coach Dudley Lytle, also known as ‘Grandpa’.

We started off  by watching a DVD of both NFL and college players kicking and punting, and we studied their form. It’s really amazing how many different styles they use, and yet all of them work. After a quick snack, we drove over to the elementary school and I started kicking and punting. I was the kicker and punter for my rec football team last year, but I had hardly touched a football since then, and the first few kicks looked like dying ducks. But as we went along, and he changed different things that I was doing wrong, we saw improvement.

Me and GrandpaAfter about an hour, Grandpa decided to rest and go home to have some lunch.On the way home, I asked some of the questions I had for him, like “what were some of your wisest/unwisest decisions” and “how did you make it through your teenage years”. He said that some of of his wisest decisions were marrying Grammy, going to Lee University (great environment), and earning his Master’s degree sooner than later (among other things, he got more money in his job). He couldn’t think of any bad decisions he had made, so we moved on to the next question. He said that the reason he made it through his teenage years was partially because there was hardly any smoking, drinking, or drugs, but mostly because he didn’t want any of it at all. As an additional question, I asked how he dealt with 44 years of having irate parents screaming at him to substitute their child for that other kid. He stated that the best way to handle such matters is not to  ignore, but to not answer, and he would also try to explain that the best and hardest working player gets the job; whether or not that’s their kid is not his fault.

Finished with lunch, we headed back out to the school. This time, my kicks traveled a lot farther, and I caught more hang time on my punts. Grandpa kept adding in new techniques and twists, and pretty soon I felt good about the way I was practicing. We ended around 5:30, Grandpa a bit tired of chasing balls and me having my hands full just trying to stay on my beat-up legs. But that was fine with me, because today I knew that I had gleaned knowledge that was worth any amount of soreness.


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