Over the years I’ve received many gifts from my sons. But this one was my favorite.
It wasn’t game tickets, a trip or anything really expensive. Instead, it was something that I’ll cherish forever and is priceless to me – his thoughts about our sporting relationship as father and son.
He presented the following to me framed and in a newspaper column format.
“When I was three-years-old, my dad and I used to play floor hockey in the basement every night. I would beat him every time even if he let me win, which was an honor in itself. My dad and I also played basketball, baseball and football every night. I used to be amazed how far he could hit the ball, how high he could jump, and how long he could throw a perfect spiral. These memories allowed me to love sports and share that love with my dad.
As I grew up my dad coached my teams and I matured into an athlete as his player and son. I always loved having him as a coach because we could always have a long talk in the car on the way home about the game and the upcoming opponents. My dad also taught me good sportsmanship and how to be a part of a team. Even if I was the best player on the team and would just rather play alone, he taught me the importance of teammates. These aspects of sports taught me to respect the game along with loving it.
My dad taught me how to play every sport I know and continue to play today. Even if he now shies away from my slap shot, can’t dominate me on the boards in one-on-one, and can’t cover me in touch football, he knows he is the reason that I love sports. He continues to teach and coach me as a high school athlete. I think that’s the only thing that an athlete and son can ask for.
Dad…Happy Father’s Day!”
As you dads reflect on your relationships with your children, I hope sports are a vehicle for common ground like with my sons and me. Whether it’s playing or watching, no matter the game or season, sports can be a wonderful thing.
Happy Father’s Day to all dads and father figures out there.
Jon Buzby has been involved in and writing about youth sports for the past 30 years with perspectives as a parent, coach and board member. Jon is an award-winning writer and his latest book, “Coaching Kids Made Easier,” is available on Amazon. Send comments or future blog topics you'd like to see to JonBuzby@hotmail.com and follow him @YouthSportsBuzz on Twitter.