As a background of my story, I married my wife and her son was 2 years old. Her son instantly became our son from the moment she said I do. From that point forward I have spent my life doing everything that I can to make the both of them happy. One thing that has brought joy to both of them almost equally was little Zach playing soccer. This year, 2015, was Zach’s second year playing and he was more excited than ever to get back on the field. Our first year I was an assistant coach, helping to teach him and his friends the basics of the game I was there from start to finish helping him grow. This year, however, I was unable to help coach due to an intense work schedule. I had to sit by with the rest of the parents cheering my child on with the feeling of no direct impact. With this, I took on the persona of the person I never really understood, the average 'sports dad’.
I was the guy, with 2 to three others by my side, coaching my son from the side lines, telling him to pick up the pace, move left, chase the ball, and 'get in front of it' so energetically that my wife would occasionally just stare at me in awe. 'Calm down’ and 'it's not that serious’ were often muttered, not that I was getting angry but because I was so energetic with everything I said. The whistle blows, time for the kids to get water. My wife opens her arms and expects Zach to run to her, ready to cheer him up after Dad's obnoxious yelling from the side line. 'Come here little man’ I yell, water bottle in my hand waving him towards me. My wife stares in frustration and worry as Zach runs to me. I am sure she is worried how I am about to interact with him, but I am not worried in the least, the only thing on my mind is what I am going to say to my son in that moment. My wife stares, anxiously awaiting for me to speak. I grab my son and pull him in for a hug, 'Good job little man, way to chase the ball. I am very proud of you. Remember to get in front of it when trying to stop it ok' I say as if I hadn't been yelling for the last 15 minutes.
'What was that?’ my wife asks. 'Just 'cause I am yelling to him doesn't mean I am mad. I am excited and I want him to do well’. I smile ‘I am very happy. I am not weird, this is just what dads do’ I let her know and begin to continue the ritual.