Athletes celebrate special bonds with their fathers

Published: Jun. 19, 2022 at 11:03 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - For many athletes in central Texas, “Dad” doubles as “coach” or “biggest fan”.

In fact, if your family is anything like mine, Dad is always coaching - whether that is with a clipboard on the sidelines, or sitting up in the bleachers.

The truth is, no matter what your sport, or how big the crowd is, Dad’s voice always seems to stand out above the cheering.

Harker Heights quarterback Dylan Plake agrees, laughing and telling me, “Yes, I hear him cheering me on, but I mostly hear him yelling at me. Telling me to throw a better ball or stop pouting when I am down.”

Dylan’s dad, Kenneth, confirms this, “It is tough love! I always push him. I see his potential, so I want him to give 110% and show everybody else what I see.”

As good as dads are at pushing their kids, many of them aren’t always great at congratulating their kids.

Ryan Johnson, whose son, Tyler, is a receiver for Heights, admits, “I don’t tell him too much, but I am very proud.”

Johnson even tells me what many other dads have told me in the past - it is more satisfying watching your child succeed in sports than it was when the dads were the ones scoring the touchdowns.

Johnson explains, “It is 100 times better. Just to know that you have a little part in his success, and just to watch him absorb information and grow with it makes me a proud dad.”

That pride goes well beyond football. The dads explain that much of it is rooted in watching how their child grows and matures as a person and a leader along the way.

That said, they still make sure to take note when their child makes a mistake on the field so they can fix it later.

Dylan laughed when I asked if he ever thinks about what his dad is going to say to him later when he has a bad play.

“Every single one of them, but it is a growing experience. I take his feedback with pride and keep working.”

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