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Why My Daughters Will Participate in Sports, One Way or Another

Without sports I would not be where I am today; therefore, my daughters will definitely participate in sports. There are at least three areas of my life that have greatly benefited from my involvement on sports teams: my family relationships, my work ethic, and my social abilities. Those are all areas in which I want my daughters to have every advantage, and being part of a team will help them gain exactly that.

My dad and I spent many Sunday afternoons watching various football and basketball games. These games are memories that I cherish and will never forget. Every spring, summer, and fall, my dad and I would finish the yard work and head to the driveway where we would play a few hours of basketball one-on-one. The games were competitive, but never heated. It was good quality one-on-one time that I got to spend with my dad, one-on-one time that many of my neighborhood friends did not get to spend with their dads. Even today, when I visit my dad, we will play horse in the driveway for hours. I want my kids to have the same amount of special time with me. I want them to look forward to that time as I did, and still do, with my own father.

Sports teach that practice is necessary in order to excel, and in order to practice effectively, there must be a desire to get better. I spent hours when I was younger shooting the basketball in the driveway as I practiced technique. The hours I spent practicing basketball carried over into my first job as a dishwasher. I practiced washing dishes and tried various techniques to help increase my speed enough that I became the first dishwasher/cook. When I worked in the oil field as a swamper, which is an atmosphere that makes History’s Ax Men and Discovery’s Deadliest Catch appear tame, I learned to treat the job as a giant basketball play. I memorized where each piece of equipment moved at what point in the oil rig’s relocation, which allowed me to bypass most of the verbal abuse given to greenhorns.

Most people who know me know that I am a very quiet person. I can safely say that ninety-percent of the friends I had growing up came from sports. Playing sports breaks the awkwardness I feel in social situations and allows me to make friends. In fact, I still use that technique today. Every Tuesday many of the local attorneys where I live get together to play basketball.  Because of those Tuesdays, I have been able to befriend most of them.

It is because of those benefits that I have encouraged Addie to be involved in sports. So far, she has participated in soccer and gymnastics. Soccer ended up being a dud as far as actually playing the sport, but overall it was a success. Addie, only three years old at the time, refused to kick the ball with the other kids on the team and instead demanded that I play soccer with her. I ended up spending each soccer Saturday thirty yards away from the other kids playing soccer one-on-one with Addie. That is a memory Addie still talks about today. I also take Addie to some of my Tuesday evening basketball sessions with the local attorneys. She roams around on the stands and cheers for me. One of the local judges has even made it a habit of constantly joking with Addie that she is not allowed to come anymore because he considers her to be my good luck charm. My gym has also had several kids’ events that Addie has participated in. Seeing her glow as several serious body builders at the gym shouted and cheered her on as she did pullups and lifted weights has been one of my favorite moments as a father. I also want Addie and Vivi to have memories of watching sports with me, even if that means I end up watching ice skating (knock on wood) or gymnastics.

It does not matter if my girls want to play basketball or if they want to participate in softball, I will support them in whatever sports they take an interest. The sports they play or the level at which they play them are not important. It is the care they give the sport and the time I get to spend with them as a result that is important. I want them to be able to look back at their childhood and remember the quality time they were able to spend with their dad, and I want them to be able to apply the skills they learn in sports into their own lives.

Here are some pictures of Addie and Vivi participating in sporting activities, as well as a few gratuitous pictures of me playing sports, complete with commentary from my wife, from when I was a kid:


  • Soccer star? 1 of 25
    Soccer star?
    Addie used to kick the soccer ball in the backyard for hours.
  • First day of soccer 2 of 25
    First day of soccer
    We decided to sign Addie up for soccer. This is her first day of soccer.
  • Not sure that’s allowed … 3 of 25
    Not sure that's allowed ...
    The first soccer practice involved a lot of this.
  • Addie and me 4 of 25
    Addie and me
    It also involved a lot of coaxing by me for her to play with the other kids.
  • Addie and me 5 of 25
    Addie and me
    She would only kick the ball if I was standing right next to her.
  • Goooal! 6 of 25
    Goooal!
    Addie would not kick the ball into the net unless I was the goalie.
  • Kickin’ it 7 of 25
    Kickin' it
    Eventually, Addie and I went off into the field by ourselves and kicked the
    ball around.
  • Upside down 8 of 25
    Upside down
    Addie probably does 100 handstands/cartwheels everyday.
  • The most coordinated kid 9 of 25
    The most coordinated kid
    The trainers at my gym, who said Addie was the most coordinated kid they had ever worked with, and Addie's love of cartwheels convinced my wife to register Addie for gymnastics at the Jaycie Phelps Athletic Center.
  • Flipping for gymnastics 10 of 25
    Flipping for gymnastics
    Addie doing a flip of some type at gymnastics practice.
  • Jumpin’ Addie 11 of 25
    Jumpin' Addie
    Addie practicing her vault skills.
  • Addie 12 of 25
    Addie
    Addie and her grandpa went to the Pac-12 Gymnastics Championship at the University of Utah this year.
  • Pac-12 Championship 13 of 25
    Pac-12 Championship
    Addie got to see girls who accomplished their childhood gymnastics goals.
  • Vivi and me 14 of 25
    Vivi and me
    Vivi, Addie, and I watch football on Saturdays and Sundays. Addie is still struggling to understand why we like the Denver Broncos ("the good Broncos") and why I gag when I see the Boise State Broncos ("the bad Broncos").
  • Addie and me 15 of 25
    Addie and me
    My girls have an assortment of Broncos/Utah gear they wear on game days as my good luck charms.
  • Vivi and me 16 of 25
    Vivi and me
    Vivi in her Broncos gear — Tebow threw the 90-yard one-play overtime miracle the day that picture was taken.
  • Addie and me 17 of 25
    Addie and me
    We took Addie ice skating. I held her scruff for two straight hours and she was sold. She is also a natural.
  • Like a fish in water 18 of 25
    Like a fish in water
    I take Addie swimming at the gym once a month and the kid swims like a fish.
  • Vivi, too 19 of 25
    Vivi, too
    We have tried to get both of our kids acclimated to the water as early as possible.
  • Soccer … for now 20 of 25
    Soccer ... for now
    Soccer was my first sport. I eventually dropped soccer for football.
  • Swing, batter batter 21 of 25
    Swing, batter batter
    I played two years of baseball. Then I learned it was easier to just take a nap on
    the couch.
  • Shooting hoops 22 of 25
    Shooting hoops
    Me in my Jr. Jazz uniform on picture day.
  • At least I had style 23 of 25
    At least I had style
    Here is me taking a free throw shot with incredibly bad shooting form.
  • Hut, hut, hike! 24 of 25
    Hut, hut, hike!
    Me on picture day in my Falcons football uniform.
  • Me and my dad 25 of 25
    Me and my dad
    Here I am busting out the Heisman Pose while in little league. My dad is in the background with a video camera.

Read more about my family on Moosh in Indy or follow me on Twitter!

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More on Dadding:

My Other Little Girl, Vivi

My Lovely Wife, Casey, but You Know Her as Mooshinindy

My Little Girl, Addie

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