As a coach, I deal with kids ages 16 to about 22. They come from all backgrounds. Some have money, some don’t. Some are interested in academia, some aren’t. Some drive cars, some take the bus to school. Some respect others, some are so disrespectful!
But the one thing I notice, the kids who give us the most problems are/were missing one thing at home.
That’s right. The undisciplined. The loud and the ones who refuse coaching. The ones who need to bring attention to themselves.
I can see it in their eyes. I can tell who has been disciplined in the past.
The minute you try to correct someone, they put up that fence. They get on the defensive.
“But coach, it wasn’t my fault!”
“Coach, coach, coach…I swear man, I couldn’t make class because I had to…”
The good old excuse!
Doesn’t matter which one, they find one.
How can you possibly tell a kid what to do on the playing field or try to correct him if he’s never been told not to do something?
I actually had a kid last year tell me four different times during the season he had to go to a funeral. Now I never once questioned whether he actually went or not but after the fourth time he used this excuse, my assistant coach said he sang at the funeral!
So the kid never was there! My assistant coach was the singer there, he never saw the kid.
I grew up without a father. He left when I was five years-old. I’m not here to bash him; he’s been long dead. Whenever I look at my nine year-old daughter I could never in my wildest dreams imagine leaving her. Even if things somehow didn’t work out between my wife and I, I would always be a part of my kid’s life.
I ask you, how does a grown man lose sight of the fact he helped bring a child into this world and stop being a part of their life?
I took a social psychology class in college, I learned all about why dads leave their kids. I also took a Family Development class at Michigan State, I understand what happens to kids when pops hits the road and is never seen again.
Plus, I have lived it.
Trust is a word that disappears. You, as a child have been let down by the person you love. The person whom you thought loved you. How do you trust anyone the rest of your life when the one of two important people in your life leaves you hanging?
Little did I realize I lost trust in my father when he promised me he was going to take me to the New York Mets-Cincinnati Reds baseball game for my seventh birthday. He told me he was getting tickets and to be ready. I waited and waited…he never showed. (Try and tell me I made that up…)
Things only got tougher.
As I grew into my early teens I began not listening to anyone! I despised an adult who tried to teach me right from wrong. Coaches tried to teach me how to play the right way; I told them I didn’t need to hear this from you.
Rebellious, standoffish, argumentative, feelings of being inferior, valueless, and lacking…just to name a few of the negative side effects sustained without having a father in my life.
It is a known fact that without a father around, the chances of failing socially and academically are very high. Higher than HAVING a father around.
I read a report that said there are 50% of children going to sleep at night without a father home to say good night to.
How do you justify leaving your children and never taking the time to call them, visit them or have them over your place? Isn’t your duty to explain to them as they get older what happened?
I grew up with a couple of kids in the neighborhood whose dads left them, but I recall them still being part of their lives.
Playing catch, going to a ball game, watching a movie, shooting hoops, taking them shopping for school clothes, attending a ‘Daddy-Daughter’ dance (don’t laugh, they have them here in Michigan). These are all activities vital to a child’s growth.
But fear not, not all kids turn out bad who grow up without a father, but it’s a difficult road. There comes a time when things get better over the long haul.
I found this study/material while doing some research…
Having a father at home is no guarantee that a youngster won’t commit a crime, but it appears to be an excellent form of prevention.
Research shows that:
• 60 percent of America’s rapists came from fatherless homes.
• 72 percent of adolescent murderers grew up without a father.
• 70 percent of long-term prison inmates are fatherless.
source: “Life without Father,” copyright 1996 by David Popenoe. Reprinted by permission of the Free Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Inc.