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Just Call Me Coach

“Coach Chris”. That’s what the kids are calling me these days and I have to say that it feels pretty good. I guess you could say that I was destined to take on this role. You see, I was raised by one of the greatest coaches to ever step on a field. That man was my father and also my hero.

Truth is, I didn’t even sign up to be my son’s coach for his first year of T-Ball. It was only after we received an email from the league telling us they were short that I decided to throw my name in. I don’t have an official reason for why I didn’t sign up in the first place. I rationalized it by telling myself and my wife that it was because I was way too busy to take on coaching two nights a week, but I knew what the real reason was.

It’s been almost 6 years since I lost my father and while a lot of things have become easier, this is the one that I have been dreading most. He had coached me in multiple sports for as long as I can remember. We traveled a lot. We won championships together. He helped me develop my skills, not only as an athlete, but also as a man. Sports were the major reason for our great relationship. It was our bond.

It’s not that I didn’t want to coach and share that bond with my son, I just wasn’t sure I was ready for the emotional overload that was going to come with it. As it turns out, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. As I grew older, I often wondered what had compelled my father to put so much effort into something that seemed to come with nothing but high costs, upset parents and the stresses of dealing with a team full of kids. I found the answer.

It has only been half a season so far and I already love every one of the kids on my team. They all have different skills and quirks and smiles that make each one of them unique and amazing. The innocent joy on their faces when they catch the ball or win the game of freeze tag, is something that changes you. It changes your whole outlook on what is important and I like to think that this was a secret that my Dad would have shared with me had he still been round to see this.

As for my son, I try not to be too hard on him. I know exactly what it feels like to be the coach’s son and it’s something that he is going to have to get used to because I’m not going anywhere.

My Interview on Family Matters With CJAD800’s Ric & Suzanne

CJAD800

This is my latest appearance on “Family Matters” with CJAD800’s Ric & Suzanne. In this month’s podcast, I talk about the Canadian Soccer Association’s decision to ban scores and standings in leagues with children under the age of 12.

We also discussed the Rehtaeh Parsons case and why it’s so important to talk to our children about bullying and consent. It was a difficult conversation but it’s one that all of us need to take a lot more seriously.

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Who Wants To Win Their Very Own Fathead? {Giveaway}{CAN/US}

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One of the coolest things about blogging is that I get a platform to share some of my favourite things with my readers. Today will be no different as I am teaming up with one of my favourite companies and a recent contributor to my Movember campaign, Fathead, to bring you an awesome giveaway!

Don’t know what a Fathead is? Have no fear, as you’ll be begging me for one of these by the end of this post! I have been a fan of Fathead ever since I received my first one, a Miami Dolphins helmet, back in 2008. I’d show you a picture of me hugging it but it got wrecked in the infamous move of 2010…Totally my fault too, they are actually very durable. Here’s what it looked like when I got it though.

Miami Dolphins Helmet

What started out with just a couple sports logos and life size player images has turned into hundreds of different genres of Fatheads. There are Fatheads for the sports junkie, Star Wars fan, dinosaur lover and even the Disney princess aficionado! The best part is that you just peel and stick them to your wall. I do recommend that you use two people for this process though, as some of them are trickier than others. Check out how happy my children were to get their very own Mickey & Minnie Fathead’s this Christmas!

Mickey Minnie Fathead

On to the giveaway! Fathead is graciously allowing me to giveaway one of their amazing products (up to a $100 value) to one of my readers. Giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the USA and will close at 11:59pm on January 20th.

To enter, all you need to do is visit the Fathead website and tell me which Fathead you would like to win.

Good Luck!

About Fathead LLC

Fathead LLC is the industry leader of graphics products for large & small spaces – led by authentic, officially licensed sports & entertainment graphics. Fathead gives fans the opportunity to feel passion For Real by bringing their favorite inspiration to life. Fathead wall graphics include the signature line, REAL.BIG. – life-size, high definition wall graphics of athletes, stadiums, logos and fan favorite entertainment characters. The art and décor line features murals of classic & modern artists while custom Fatheads, available in vinyl or gallery wrapped canvas, put the customer in charge. For the space constrained, Fathead’s product line also includes Big Heads, Street Grips, Fathead Juniors, Teammates and Tradeables. Fathead Business Solutions provides unique signage and décor alternatives for companies and universities. With in-house design capabilities, Fathead customizes and installs interior and exterior graphics with expertise across a variety of materials – from removable vinyl to aluminum and acrylic. Based in Detroit, Michigan, Fathead manufactures all products in the USA and Canada for purchase worldwide. Fathead carries thousands of images and maintains over 500 license agreements with leading consumer brands across many industries and professional sports leagues. For more information, visit www.Fathead.com. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Fathead. FOR REAL.™

Soccer Kid

A Father’s Insecurity: What If My Son Hates Sports?

I’ve always been an athletic person. Even in my older, chubbier dad years, I still feel like I can hold my own on a sports field.

I got this from my Dad. In a bittersweet and cruel twist of fate, I lost my father on the same day my wife found out that we were pregnant with our first child. Regrettably, I never got the chance to sit down and talk dad stuff with him. I didn’t get to ask him questions about my youth, or his for that matter and that’s one of those things that you regret as a son and father.

From the young age of 6 and maybe sooner for all I can remember, my dad encouraged me to take part in sport and I gladly obliged. Really by the time I was a teenager, sports was all I knew and I loved the feeling of being able to excel in something that I knew made my dad proud. He didn’t force anything on me, I truly enjoyed the time it afforded us together.

He coached almost every team I ever played on and when we weren’t at the diamond or on the ice, he always made time to ask if there was anything I wanted to work on in my respective disciplines. He went as far as building a rink in our backyard every year and also making a huge net for me to take batting practice in the garage. We grew very close through sports and when I found out that I was going to become a father, I couldn’t help but hope for the same type of result with my son.

Flash Forward to today, my son is almost four years old and is more than ready to start carving his niche in the world. Obviously I would love for that to involve sports but I worry about the prospect of him not wanting anything to do with it. After all, sports is really all I knew growing up, so naturally I have a lot to offer as far as coaching and experience go.

I have also developed a love for music, but as a singer with no formal training and no instrumental skills, there’s really not much I can teach him other than a brief history of rock and roll and what I learned from the Foo Fighters documentary. So that brings us back to sports as my main source of expert knowledge to share with my son.

I’ve started trying to get him into sporty things. I tried to get him to watch hockey with me but without Lightning McQueen or Buzz Lightyear on either team, my efforts fell by the wayside. I still remember the first day he asked me if I wanted to go outside and play hockey, I beamed with joy and shot outside so fast that I forgot to bring him with me. The hockey game lasted 5 minutes before hide and seek became all the rage.

Now we’ve begun soccer lessons and I can’t tell if he enjoys it or not. I know he has fun at it but I wonder if it’s because of the sport aspect or because he has a couple buddies in the class. He’s starting to understand that when the ball or puck goes into the net, he’s done something worth celebrating and while I try to make a big deal out of his goals, I also don’t want to look like one of those crazy parents at a sporting event that makes their kid and themselves look ridiculous.

The point of this article is not to criticize my son on his ability or interest in sports, it’s to shed light on my insecurity that if he decides sports aren’t for him, what do I have to offer him as a father? It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot as a father who doesn’t want to fail his son.

In the end, no matter what he decides his path will be, I am going to be supportive (unless he chooses a life of crime I suppose). I also want to be able to help him grow into the kind of person my father has helped me to become, regardless of his life choices. And I guess I would just feel more confident if that life included something tangible I knew how to teach him, other than life necessities such as using the toilet and brushing his teeth, which my wife and dentist will attest to as being things I’m not even that good at, lol.

Thanks for letting me share a little bit of my inner workings with you. It feels good to put it all down in writing, even if no one reads it. I often wonder if Mom’s struggle with the same insecurities that us Dad’s do? They always seem to have such a level head about everything and look to have it all put together as natural parents. If I had to do half the work my wife does or that my mother did, I think my head would literally explode into tiny pieces.

If you have anything you want to say about this topic, please feel free to leave me a comment below. I check and respond to them all and love hearing from everyone.

Cheers!