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Personal Trainer

08/18/04 12:00AM By Mary Barrosse-Schwartz
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(Host) Whether it's at the Olympics or the local gym, atheletes benefit from motivational support. Commentator Mary Barrosse Schwartz thinks that having a personal coach might be helpful in other aspects of life as well.


(Schwartz) There was a lot of loud cheering from the parents on both sides at my ten year old's recent lacrosse game. I was sitting near one boisterous Dad who was yelling directions to the kids from the sidelines. A lot of directions. "Cover your man!" "Mark up!" "Get your sticks out!"

Another male voice yelled "Hit him, hit him!" And a woman obviously looking for defensive support for her 10 year son yelled "Somebody help him!" Everybody had something to say - all at the top of their lungs.

And the kids just charged up and down the field, apparently oblivious to all the noisy advice. Somehow they were able to focus on what their real coaches told them to do - and to play the game. The kids played hard, but were excellent sportsmen. Lacrosse can be a rough game, but they played it skillfully.

The man near me obviously knew the game of lacrosse very well. I liked hearing about the game from this Dad, and asked him lots of questions about the rules. I learned that while he's the father of a boy on our son's team, he's also the lacrosse coach of one of the best high school boys' teams in Vermont.

And what impressed me the most was that he kept yelling "Have fun out there!"

So I've been wondering what it would be like to have a little cheering section of my own on the sidelines at home - something like a personal coach with advice and support in the game of life.

You know - I'd be sitting there at my desk trying to write and twenty feet away someone would shout: "Hang in there!" Or maybe, "Great keyboard technique!" "Good analogy!" Or even, "Nice try on that punctuation!"

There are experienced, successful people who can be hired to review your resume, your goals, and your career plans. But imagine having a household coach to stand in the kitchen and shout: "Saute that chicken, baby!" Or, "Way to go with the laundry, lady!"

Instead, I have a big silent dog who follows me everywhere - all day long. He doesn't offer advice and he's positively subversive when it comes to working at the computer on a beautiful sunny day instead of taking a walk, but he does seem to love everything I do. Come to think of it, he's full of affirmation. And I think there's an adult lacrosse league getting started, if I need more.

In East Dorset, I'm Mary Barrosse Schwartz.

Mary Barosse-Schwartz is a freelance writer who is researching and writing a book on healthy aging with her physician husband. She spoke from our studio in Manchester.
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