Weekend Plans With NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith
When DEMAURICE SMITH isn't busy negotiating on behalf of thousands of current and former NFL players, chances are you can find him on a youth sports sideline somewhere in Maryland. Smith, NFLPA Exec Dir since '09, also moonlights as the head coach for his daughter’s basketball team, as well as his son’s basketball, baseball and soccer teams. In addition to sideline duties, this weekend marks a milestone for the Smith family, with his eldest daughter donning cap and gown for her high school commencement. Family time is paramount for Smith, and he finds weekends offer the best time to cherish it.
DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL: My daughter graduates from high school this weekend, obviously a big day. She’ll be going to Kenyon College out in Ohio. She’s my oldest; she’s 17, my son is 13. When you have a 17-year-old daughter, I think she would rather us be incredibly small, virtually mute and unnoticeable as possible. But of course that’s not going to happen. But still, a parent’s job is to embarrass their kids as much as possible. We’ll have a big party for her, all the folks that have been really close to her since she was a baby. My parents -- they live about 20 minutes away from us -- so a big party at the house. We’ll party until we probably get in the car and drive to Ocean City.
TIME TO RE-LAX: My son is in a three-day lacrosse tournament in Ocean City, so I’ll be leaving at midnight to get up to Ocean City. He has a ten o’clock game on Saturday morning. He’ll play six, seven games over three days. We’ll get there late Friday night, early Saturday morning. Youth sports for us are always a family thing; our daughter will come, my parents will come. My parents still don’t miss any of our kids’ games. It’s all family, all the time.
KICKING & SCREAMING: I was lucky enough to coach my kids. I coached ELIZABETH all the way up to this year for basketball. I coached her girl’s team for seven years, and then coached my son up until two years ago. I got to coach my son actually in three sports; soccer when he was a kid, and baseball and basketball when he was in middle school. I coached my daughter’s recreational team for seven years. Coolest thing I’ve ever done.
YOU GOT GAME: The best way for me to prepare for the week is to use the weekend to virtually decompress. For me, if we’re not at a sporting event for our kids, my son and my daughter and I are in the backyard on our basketball court playing hoops pretty much all weekend. My daughter is probably more competitive on our basketball court at home than my son. As we say as a coach, “They get at it.” I have two rules. One, don’t hurt daddy. And the second rule is when I make a call, that’s the call. There’s no challenging the call, that’s the call.
SUMMER READING: I take a reading stack. So all the stuff that I’m supposed to read while I’m on a plane that I never do read, I go through my reading stack pretty much on Sunday afternoons after church. I’m really into getting your head back straight. I’m usually going through a couple of books at once. I’m reading a great book now called, “Nickeled and Dimed.” It’s a reporter’s story about living and working in America on minimum wage. I’m finishing up JON MEACHAM’s book on the biography of THOMAS JEFFERSON. If you had to class most of my books, it’s somewhere between probably seventy percent nonfiction, and the rest is classical fiction.
CLIP & SAVE: I have my daily reading list of the three newspapers -- the Wall Street Journal, N.Y. Times and Washington Post -- The Atlantic, Harper's, and I keep a healthy stack of stuff now. I will not profess to being the most high tech of persons. So I end up cutting out a lot of articles, stapling them. At the end of the week I’ll probably end up having twenty-five, thirty articles. My daughter tried to teach me what Instapaper was. I can figure that out, but then it’s turning the iPad on that I have a problem with. I’m still a clipper.