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Hockey Dad Tries out for Baseball Dad

BaseballBenchThe pace of baseball is completely foreign to me, the amount of rules stresses me out and my childhood memories of the game are less than glamorous.

But it’s not about me, is it?

It’s about my 6-year-old son who practically floats with excitement just being on the same field as all of his friends. The faces are even mostly the same, they are my hockey kids, only with mitts on their hands and caps on their heads. Their smiles just as I remember them from underneath their helmets. It’s becoming (painfully) clear to me that the sport itself is secondary to my little athlete and is more about playing with his friends.

So here I am, a hockey dad, and my son is playing baseball. Can I be a baseball dad too?

I don’t know the answer to that question yet, but you bet I’m going to try. It’s time that I put my own baseball cap on and get serious about this sport that is in my blood. You see, my grandfather used to scout for the Philadelphia Phillies and wrote a local sports column (I got the writing bug from him at least) called, Strictly Local. So, no more sitting idly by on the sidelines, it’s time for this hockey dad to shower his knowledge upon his son from the sidelines and maybe even teach these baseball coaches a thing or two in the process.

“Keep those knees bent, son. Head up and always be ready.”

Okay, that wasn’t so bad. I think it was even correct. Sure those same things apply in hockey, but nobody needs to know that.

“Great job! Way to swing that stick, er, bat.”

I need to focus a little harder here.

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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Brad the Dad, Dads Round Table

 

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Top 3 Rules of a Youth Sports Coach

20140308_092804As I turn the page on my first year as a youth sports coach, I’ve started to reflect on what I learned from this experience, which existing rules I want to keep and what new ones I should add to my repertoire.

I learned a lot this year, about myself and about being a coach. About myself in the form of the time commitment, personal dedication, and life balancing it takes to meet the responsibilities I have to my team and the hockey organization that entrusted me with these kids. I know I will always continue to learn more about coaching for as long as I coach, but I have to imagine this first year will go down as one of the more influential ones.

I look back on the way I was with the kids in the beginning by trying to answer every single one of their questions and address every single one of their concerns, to the way I was at the end where my expectations of them were that they did very little besides listen to myself and the other coaches and then apply what we said to the ice. From the way I would remind them that cutting each other in line during drills wasn’t how we did things, to eventually bumping such offenders immediately to the back of the line if they pulled such a stunt. From encouraging them to always have fun first, to encouraging them to always have fun first.

I developed as much as the kids did this year and the following are what I currently consider my top 3 rules as a coach.

1.   Have fun with your teammates

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Posted by on March 14, 2014 in Brad the Dad, Dads Round Table

 

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Why You Should Be a Youth Sports Coach

youthsptsStarting something new and unknown in life can be extremely daunting, but often, just as rewarding.

In the world of youth sports I would watch from the sidelines when my oldest son first started playing organized soccer and think to myself, “I can coach this.”

After that the only question was, “Do I want to coach this?”

Family, work, home. Most of us have them all and most of us struggle on a daily basis to find the balance between them. I’ve gone straight to soccer after work because of a time crunch and have skipped soccer to stay home with our little guy when he was feeling sick. If I was to be a coach, such speed bumps and stutter steps with regards to my attendance would be much less acceptable, if at all. So, at first, I hesitated and decided to prioritize family/work/home over heading the call of volunteering to be a youth sports coach.

A call that currently is loud and nearing the point of desperation.

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Posted by on November 18, 2013 in Brad the Dad, Dads Round Table

 

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The Role of Youth Sports in Raising Children

SoccerShotI can’t say enough about what being active in youth sports is doing for our son.

Still a freshly minted 6-year-old, our oldest recently faced his biggest athletic workload yet with soccer and hockey starting at the same time. Being new to the scene, my wife and I had concerns over whether or not he could handle playing two sports at once. Just last year we made a big decision to send him to kindergarten despite just making the cut-off age and thus the youngest kid in his class (My Kindergarten Son: An Academic Red Shirt), this year we had to decide if we should challenge him further by doubling down on sports.

As with any decision we make, my wife and I always want to do what we believe is best for him while also keeping in mind what he wants to do. We didn’t say, “You’re playing two sports because we’re those crazy parents and sick of all this free time we have on the weekends to chill out and would rather rush you around from field to rink and back again.”

No, that’s not how it went at all.

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Posted by on November 7, 2013 in Brad the Dad, Dads Round Table

 

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