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Black Shoes and White ShoeStrings: "Around the Pole!"

I still look at this pole and cringe. I hated running around it.

When I was in High School, between every period in practice, Coach French sent us, "around the pole!" I hated it and thought it was a waste of time. When my Dad had been the head coach, he did the same thing. Coach French had been an assistant for my Dad and the tradition lived on with him.

One time I told my Dad I hated, "around the pole" and I thought it was a waste of time. In one of those moments when you realize your Dad knows more than you thought, he explained the pole to me.

The purpose of running around the pole was to get some extra conditioning while the position coach set up the next drill. It was a more efficient use of time than having the players stand there and watch the coach set up the next drill. It made alot of sense to me. And now some times if I need extra time to prep a drill... you guessed it.... I tell the kids to run around the pole (goalposts since now we are fortunate to have a practice field and no longer practice in the baseball outfield).

I took that picture of the pole tonight. It seems like that thing comes alive in July, reminding me of the past. To show the impression it made on me, I can remember the songs running through my head as I ran around the pole for the first practices in full gear my junior and senior seasons. I think it is absolutely insane that I remember those moments. For the old guys out there, here are my "around the pole" songs for practice #1 in 1981 Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers - A Woman In Love (It's Not Me) - YouTube) 1982 (Urgent - Foreigner - YouTube). Since I was really slow, I could get through most of the song in one trip!