Since we just celebrated Father’s day, I thought I would take a look at the role that fathers can play in their child’s athletic career. As a high school student and having a role in my school’s athletics, I can easily see the effects that my dad.
He was there to push me when I needed it and also gave of his time to throw a couple rounds of BP in those hot summer days; even going down to the street to throw the football around. A father’s role should be teaching and demonstrating how the game is played; the right way of course.
Every child in the world should be told that anything is possible and that the dream of going professional is possible, as long as they work hard. Sports teach life skills. Teamwork, perseverance, hard work, courage, and the list goes on. What sports should not be about is getting a full ride to college.
I really do believe that youth sports, especially a father’s role in them, have definitely improved. My dad tells me stories of his best games in little league. Having a grand slam and the game winning hit, then walking home to his parents to tell them about the game. Sure times were different, but I feel like they’re better now–parent’s are more present in their child’s lives.
I mean there were no $50 lessons or $150 equipment. Each team had three or four bats, a couple helmets and that was it. Again, times were different, very few parents were there every game. It’s a great feeling seeing your father in the crowd looking over when you make a great play. It’s a moment you’ll never forget. A moment that I truly cherish. It’s cool to know that your dad is proud of you and beaming from the sidelines. From every “you’ll get the next one” to “great play” and the occasional “come on man…you can do better.” Sometimes you hate sound of it, but in the end you know that he’s only on you because he knows you can do better.
A lot of the American father/son relationships are formed on the athletic field. Whether it’s hockey, soccer, football, basketball, or lacrosse you name it, a bond is formed. Sometimes a dad is your best friend at a tournament when it’s not going so well or your leader who keeps you in line and humble. Truly nothing is better than sharing a great win with your dad who helped make it possible. I look at the embrace every year in the U.S Open that ends on Father’s Day. One that quickly comes to mind would be Tiger and his dad–such a warming embrace.
I can not count how many times I’ve sat with my dad and watched the Patriots play every Sunday 16 times each fall. Or the time that the Red Sox finally made it to the World Series. Every NCAA tournament with Gus Johnson at the helm of every great call, or the Masters with Jim Nantz. We’ve had so many moments off the field that shapes the way our relationship is today.
Sports transcends reality, as we know it. So many people have had an experience with sports. It’d be tough to find an American who hasn’t had a coach or a team that has taught them something important. As I reflect on this Father’s Day, I want to thank my dad for taking the time to make memories for me. Whether its having a catch or playing 18, he’s always been there to teach me a lesson about life.
(Publishers Note: A Tribute all the fathers our there written through the eyes of Apex High Schooler, Andrew Mason)