Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Being a Football Dad Without Being a "Football Dad"

My son Layton tore it up a couple of weeks ago when the Vandals beat the Lindale Eagles.  He shut down a really good receiver, had some amazing open field tackles, and basically played like an animal.  My son Holden had his first seventh grade game recently too and he did great.  He had an interception, and caught two passes for 35 yards.   In Texas, football is king and in small towns it certainly feels that way.  I have probably had 15 people I barely know tell me this week how good my boys played.  I am excited they are doing so well, but am really asking God  to keep me from being one of those dads that lives and dies with every play.  I hear them in the stands - questioning every call made by ref and coach alike.  I see them stalking practices like a scout. I don’t want to be “that” dad, but I see I could be that dad in an instant.  I have coached my kids in at least one sport a year since they were in kindergarten.  I have been to the games where they had their greatest triumphs and to the games where they have had their greatest defeats.  So, how do you pull back?  How do you become one of  those great dads who is cheering their kid and his team on and not cheering “their” team on?  How do you let go?  I always want my boys to know I am behind them, but I also want them to know that THEY take the field.  “We” are not playing this Friday.  “They” are.  “We” didn’t win last week.  “He”, his teammates and coaches did. 
You know, our Father is like this. He cheers us on.  He is always there for us in both victory and defeat, but our Father never insists on any of the credit.  He watches and He cheers, but He cheers just as loudly in the defeat as He does in the win.  Our Father remembers He is growing a man and not a football player.  God, I want to be THAT kind of football dad.  I want to cheer them on.  I want to keep it all in perspective.  I want to be as excited about the valiant effort as I am about the victory.  I want my boys to make great memories and I want any memories they have of me related to football to be of me smiling from the stands.

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