Fresh Cuts Blog

Happy Father’s Day to all Coach Dads

Despite having a wonderful relationship with my father, our shared experiences never took place on or around a basketball court (that says more about my athletic ability than his interest in sports).

So it is with wonderment, gratitude, and maternal satisfaction that I watched from the sidelines as Thunder rolled onto the court this past winter with the ultimate trifecta of coach dads: Coach Pete, Coach Mark and Coach Jeff (also known as my husband). Undoubtedly, each father coach had a vested interest in seeing their respective daughters, Charlotte, Erin and Elizabeth excel at basketball.

The entire team was familiar—a group of fifth grade girls who played together for the past several years; a group who really enjoyed each others company. They were neighborhood kids. We watched them grow up. They were friends.

But this was the first time that this combination of dads was coaching together. Given their commitment to strategy, technique and practicing drills, it’s no surprise that Thunder took first place at the city league tournament. But that is not what I find satisfying as a mother.

I cherish how each coach was a dad to all of the team members. When Logan sprained her ankle, Coach Pete swooped her up in his arms to carry her to the sideline and Coach Jeff applied ice with the same care I had seen him give his own daughters. When Emily made her first basket of the season, I’m not sure if her parents in the stands or the coach dads cheered the loudest. And when my own Elizabeth had a tearful end to a practice, it was Coach Mark’s concern for her off the court that led him to write me a thoughtful email, making me aware of the situation.

You know, on this Father’s Day, I feel the blessing of my father, the father of my children and the fathers, like Pete and Mark, who extend the reach of their care and support, who give of their time and energy, who celebrate the achievements and provide the encouragement for our village children. There’s no playbook written for fatherhood, but some like these coach dads come by it naturally. Happy Father’s Day to all of the coach dads on and off the field.