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Celebrating Fathers. The Royals girls on Raymond Royals.

POSTED June 14, 2013
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

The Royals Girls on Raymond Royals

Growing up, our father wore a lot of hats.  He was always our coach, even if it wasn’t his official position.  He would spend hours with us perfecting various techniques, whether it was form on a free throw, position on a corner kick, or location for where our kick should start for running.  He would officiate our pick-up games.  He was our chauffer, bussing us to a shoot-around at Tech or a Nationals tournament in Orlando. He was our biggest cheerleader, never missing a single game, shouting loudly from the sidelines.  He was our biggest critic, never afraid to tell us when he thought we weren’t giving it all that we could.

It was no secret that our dad was hard on us.  He pushed us harder than anyone else we knew.  There were days when we would get frustrated to the point of tears, because for our dad, it wasn’t that we should give it 110%; it was more like 200% was the acceptable effort.  This outlook did not just stop at sports, though that is where it was likely most prevalent.  Our dad used sports to teach us life lessons

One of the first things that our dad taught us was that if we wanted something, we needed to go after it.  Once when Jenn was small, she stalled a little kiddie snowmobile in the backyard.  She asked Dad to re-start it.  He told her that if she wanted to keep riding it, she needed to figure out how to start it herself.  Even at five years old, our dad was teaching us lessons in determination.  The same lessons would later be applied to learning how to do around-the-back dribbles in basketball, accurate penalty kicks in soccer, or how to break records in track

Our dad taught us that if we were going to do something, then we couldn’t do it halfway; we better give it our all.  Early in our careers we set goals; make the varsity team, set records in high school, play sports in college.  But once again, this all or nothing attitude was a life lesson.  Michelle got it in her head to be the valedictorian, and this was position that she held from 7th grade until the day she graduated.  She strived just as hard in her academics as she did in her athletics, never giving anything less than her best.

An innocent bystander or maybe even someone who knew our family might have overheard conversations or witnessed encounters and thought our dad was pushing us “too hard.”  But that “too hard,” paid off for each of us, as we each continue to succeed on and off the court/field/track.  For Sarah, years of pushing “too hard” turned out a Division 1 scholarship, two league championships and dual trips to the NCAA tournament.

It’s hard to think of a title for this hat our dad wears so well; this one where he teaches us all the little things we need to be successful individuals. Our dad played such a huge role in every success each of us have had, and he continues to do so every day.  We would not be the young women we are without him.  I guess the title for that hat is simply “Dad.”

Happy Father’s Day, Dad

Jennifer, Michelle, and Sarah

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