Because it is Father's Day, I thought I would give a shout-out to all the dads out there. Almost everyone has had some kind of father figure in their life. Whether it was your biological father, stepfather, friend's father, or even a coach, we all have had these figures to look up to in our lives. For many of us, our fathers were the ones who got us into sports. From youth soccer or tee ball, we eventually found the sport we loved to play because of our Dad. My Dad and I's relationship has evolved around sports, it's a common language we can speak.
Playing sports from the youth level throughout high school, you knew your Dad would be the one to never miss a game. Even after a long work day, your dad always would make it to your game. He was the first one to let you know how well you did, but also the first to tell you what you did wrong. Sometimes you might had thought that your Dad was more into the game than you were. You would get embarrassed when your Dad would be the one who would almost get kicked out of your youth basketball game because he was yelling at the referee too much. Rivalry football games sometimes seemed more tense in the stands between the parents than it did between the players on the field. I feel bad for my future children, because I am going to be the same way when I become a father. Referees beware.
As athletes who have played or are still playing a sport, we can appreciate the tough love and criticism from our fathers because we knew they wanted the best for us. They might not have always been the loudest fans in the stands, but they were always the ones to come congratulate you after a win. They taught us how to fall down and get back up by ourselves. We learned to listen to authority and to win with class. These characteristics not only applied on the field and in practice, but outside of sports as well. If you see your Dad or that father figure in your life, make sure to thank them for all of the sacrifices they have made to make you the person you are today.