Monday, April 14, 2014

Advice for sports dads

Gordon Marino is a professor of philosophy at St Olaf College and trains boxers. He had some advice for dads in the Apr 4-5, 2014, WSJ.

He says there is nothing intrinsically wrong with wanting to live through your kids. His athletic career ended with an injury, so he started with the sports with his sons when they were young.

Although neither lad made it to the show, he says his obsession had upsides. Still, when his son scored six touchdowns and he cried--he saw his son's realization that this meant an awful lot to dad.

You need to be realistic, he advises. Kids develop at different rates. One of his sons was great in Little League, but didn't shoot up in his growth spurt and then had to pitch 60 feet. He was so adamant with the boy that eventually the youngster quit baseball.

Be honest with yourself, he tells dads. This may mean more to you than to your kid. Develop some other hobbies.

My dad did this--put his skeet shooting hopes on my brother--who went all the way to the Oly tryouts but did not qualify. Dad was furious and my brother was crushed.

Sports are supposed to be fun!

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