A Thank You to All the Fathers in CoachUp Nation
(If you'd like to be featured here, submit your stories and memories to ShowDadLove@coachup and we'll add them before Father's Day!)
Last month, we detailed our favorite and most unique Mother's Day gift ideas, but now it's time to shine a light on the second half of your dynamic duo: the father. To many young athletes, their father is ultimately one of their first coaches, even if it's not on the field or court. From learning how to shoot a basketball or playing catch in the yard, our fathers have left an invaluable mark on our athletic careers, no matter how big or small.
Even for an NBA legend like Dell Curry, who stepped away from teaching his son at thirteen, there's no doubt that back-to-back MVP Stephen Curry has been heavily influenced by the work ethic and intangibles of his father. In order to help celebrate Father's Day, we asked our CoachUp employees, coaches, and athletes to submit their own stories of success and warm memories. Without further ado, here's a tribute to all our sport-teaching fathers out there -- thank you.
Tristan A, Boston University, Basketball
"My father has been my #1 supporter in sports ever since I started at 3 years old. He's a Hall of Fame College basketball coach and taught me the fundamentals of the sport at a very early age. He instilled upon me years of experience and knowledge of the game which helped me tremendously as a player. One of the things I admired most about my father was that he was the type of parent to sit on the sidelines and keep quiet. He never got aggressive or yelled, he just watched me play my game and took mental notes of what I did well and what I could work on. I will always remember the talks that we had in the car ride home after every game. Although these conversations sometimes got heated because of my stubbornness, they prepared and helped me perform better in the next game to come. While my dad helped me be a better player and athlete in many different ways, the top takeaway that I learned from him was to never quit. Until this day, no matter what I’m doing, I will never give up and continue to give it my all, and I thank him most for that lesson."
hard_workin_shooter0324, Instagram, Basketball
"My favorite memory is when I had my first basketball practice. He said I was an unnatural, but worked with me and gave me the best memory -- that is why I love basketball. He just talked and talked and I kept making hoops. I'll always love that memory."
Callie M, University of Pennsylvania, Cross Country + Track
"I placed in my first race when I was 10 years-old and, by the time I was 12, had committed to a sport that trained year-round and was in season for at least half the year. For the next 12 years, my dad provided unwavering support for my athletic passion by cheering me on both when I was succeeding and also when I was struggling. In addition to working full-time, he attended almost every single cross country and track race, including the ones that required flying to when I was running in college."
"When I decided to leave my college team, my Dad continued to provide unparalleled support by assuring me that I had acquired the necessary skills and knowledge to train on my own. Most recently, he cheered me on throughout the 2013 Boston marathon. Despite the chaos that occurred at the finish line that year, he (and my mom) met me at the end in the exact place we had agreed on the night before."
Caroline L, Harvard University, Volleyball
"My dad has been incredibly supportive my whole career in athletics, no matter how much talent I had or lacked. My dad drove me to and from my volleyball club 30 minutes away from our home twice a week for 4 years of club despite working a full-time job and running his own business. He put my dreams first and still comes all the way from Houston to cheer me on in my collegiate career here in Boston."
Coach Marina, Instagram, Tennis
"I remember well my first tennis practice -- we went to the group lesson and I couldn't do any ups or downs with a racquet and a ball. I would keep dropping the ball. After the group session was over, my dad took me to the park and he said 'until you make 5 ups and 5 downs in a row, we are not leaving.' And he was true to his word! ? It took me nearly 4 hours but I did it!"
Korie G, Baseball + Golf
"To set the scene, it was my last season of Little League, my dad was my coach, and my team was not very good. At age 12, Little League baseball is, unarguably, the most important thing in a young boy’s life. We started the season off poorly with a 2-4 record and, as a team, we were not taking the season very seriously. My Dad, seeing the lack of care, sat us all down at practice one day and gave us a choice: we just have fun and don’t care about our record, or we start working as hard we can in an effort to recoup our season.
Like most kids would, we chose the latter. Do you know how cool you are if you win your town’s Little League Championship? You’re the coolest. Lead by my dad, we started to win, and win, and win. Eventually, we earned a spot in the playoffs, and hoping to continue our momentum, my dad was faced with another decision. Being a town league, you have your assortment of talented and not-so-talented players. In the regular season, every player must play a certain amount of innings and get a certain amount of at-bats.
In the playoffs, these rules are wiped away and you can play only your top players if you'd like. That’s not my dad, though. According to my dad, a team is built on fairness and respect, not all-stars, and that’s exactly how we would play in the playoffs. We won our first playoff game pretty easily, so we were on to the semi-finals. This was the most memorable game of my life as we won in 10 innings and the winning hit came from a kid that probably wouldn’t have been playing for anybody other than my dad. We eventually went on to win the Little League championship to top it all off.
He taught me that through fairness and respect, you really are able to accomplish your goals -- you always just have to work hard. Ultimately, because of my dad, I was the coolest."
Haley H, Instagram, Basketball
"My dad never missed one of my basketball games. When I was in 6th grade and only played maybe the last 5 seconds of the game, he was still there to support and cheer me on. Then, all summer, he worked hard with me to make me better and in 8th grade, I went 4-4 at the 3-point line in the first half, and I looked up at my dad and he was standing up to cheer with tears in his eyes. He is always there for me and I'm so thankful for that."
Grayson WK, University of Puget Sound, Soccer
"Growing up, my dad and I lived in a house that had a long, skinny hall. We'd set up small soccer goals on the ends of the hallway and play 1v1 soccer against each other. We'd play hours of "soccer in the hall" and that's where I developed my love of the sport. He played a little in high school, so he got to relive his glory days with me, and teach me some of his moves. He never did go too easy on me and I think that's where I got my competitive nature from.
He's been my biggest supporter throughout all the years -- hours of driving to out-of-state tournaments, dealing with loud teenage girls in carpool, standing in the cold Pacific Northwest rain, and all the comforting after tough games. One of my favorite things about going to a University that plays its conference games close to where I grew up is having my #1 fan in the stands and him waiting for me after every game. He puts the classic soccer mom to shame."
fivestar_lineman, Instagram, Football
"My dad was with me every step of the way. In elementary school, we would wake up before the sun and go to the stadium to run and do drills. Fast forward to middle school, he would train me in football and track and then we would go to the gym as a family. Continuing to mold me into an elite athlete, in high school, there was countless hours of film study, weight training, district meets, regional meets, state meets, and national meets. And every time I looked up and even stopped to smell the roses, my dad was right there. He would drive 5 hours to UF from Miami to be at my home games. And then I had the pleasure to coach alongside him after college. So overall, no man can come close to him in my eyes, he is my G.O.A.T. Love you, pops!"
Katie C, Colgate University, Basketball: "My dad knew I had dreams to play in college, so he did everything he could to help me achieve that dream. He took the month of July off from work in the summers to travel with me to tournaments,and he even coached my team when the head coach stepped down. The opportunity to play Division I college basketball came as a result of his sacrifice and commitment to my game.
He taught me the fundamental skill set, work ethic, and confidence I needed to succeed at the next level. And when the time came for me to work with other coaches and trainers he made sure I was in the best hands possible. Now, he travels to my games and cheers in the crowd. Flying from the Midwest to the East Coast, he takes time off work, once again, to see the dream that I accomplished, one we worked on every year during my childhood. Even though I am the one on the court, living out my dream, he shares in every moment of it with me."
From everybody at CoachUp, thank you, dad!