"There were -- a few people who sent me -- you know, these thick packets with their views on health care and their idea on how to fix it. … So that kind of stuff I pass along to the right channels."
Robinson said his conversations with the president and first lady center on family, especially the kids. He and his wife, Kelly, recently added one more to their brood -- son Austin, born last month. He said he is a hands-on dad, handling some overnight feedings before heading out to daily 5:30 a.m. team practices. Robinson admitted he was a tough coach -- disciplined but fair. It's all part of his strategy to teach his players about life beyond the basketball court, to instill in them the lessons he learned from his parents, Fraser and Marian.
"My parents always had this thing that there is no such thing as peer pressure if there's parental pressure. I never had to deal with peer pressure. I never had any friends who could talk me into doing something that my parents would be disappointed in. Never, because it was the ultimate insult to me as a son to disappoint my mom and dad. I try and do the same thing with my players."
Robinson, who says his parents are his heroes, also mentioned another critical lesson that has become especially poignant for the first family, who now live under the biggest microscope there is.
"My mom always said, 'Make sure your underwear's clean, 'cause you might get hit by a car.' All that stuff that you do to make sure you live your life the right way. You never know who's gonna be watching. Well, who would have ever thought? Everybody's gonna be watching. … It's the same advice that old school moms gave people. You never know who's watching you. And -- and you never know where you're gonna end up, especially in this day and age."
Looking back on the first year for the Obamas, Robinson recalled attending the Inauguration, getting to play basketball with his son at Camp David, even bringing his team to visit the White House. He even had the chance to stay in the Lincoln bedroom, adding, "I couldn't even sleep, because I was worried about breaking something in there."
When asked as a coach what advice he would give Obama as a first-year assessment, Robinson said, "Stick with your game plan ... your overall philosophies and beliefs. Stick with 'em, because that's what got you to where you are. That's the first thing I'd tell him. And then the second thing I'd tell him is -- go with your strengths."
As for his sister's job as first lady -- it was no surprise to Robinson that Michelle would outline an initiative centered on children. Just last week the first lady unveiled her latest program, tackling childhood obesity, adding another facet to a platform focused on good health and eating habits.
"She has always been -- conscious of being healthy, even before she was in the spotlight. Her kids ate well. Her family always ate well. And it was something that we sort of took -- kind of took on as a family -- you know, when you see your dad go through a debilitating disease, it just makes you think about how you take care of yourself."
As the college basketball season ramps into full gear, Robinson remains focused on coaching. Oregon State is currently 9-12 and set to play the University of Oregon this Saturday. As for 2010, Robinson said he looked forward to more family trips and playing some basketball on the White House tennis-turned-basketball court.