Teammate Tuesdays have become a welcomed time of reflection for me. In many ways, they have evolved into an opportunity to just pause and take a look back at the week that was—to take stock on where I am in life and where I aspire to go. Based on the feedback I get from readers, I am not the only one who has this experience.
Last weekend, Americans celebrated Father’s Day, and that holiday was the stimulus for my most recent round of reflections.
I love being a dad. I love EVERY single aspect of being a dad.
We spent Father’s Day this year at a family gathering at my wife’s grandfather’s home. He is a wonderful father and a fascinating man.
It is the story of his life and a true testament to the values and grit that earned his contemporaries the title of “The Greatest Generation.” (You can buy the book here.)
I could easily write this entire piece about him and the numerous attributes of his generation, but what I would like to focus on is what I observed while sitting around the gathering, watching the interactions of the other family members.
It was very clear to me that I was surrounded by good fathers. Everywhere I looked, I saw another good father. Uncles, cousins, nephews…they were ALL good fathers.
Instead of going golfing, or lounging around, or engaging in some other self-indulging activity—all of which are generally considered socially acceptable choices for dads on Father’s Day—these men were actively playing with their children and grandchildren.
They wanted to spend time with their kids. They wanted to give their kids attention. They wanted to serve their kids’ needs. That is how they wanted to spend Father’s Day.
These men were not just good fathers, they were good teammates.
Good teammates want to be around their team. They want to serve the needs of the team, and have little interest in self-indulging activities. It is never about them. It is always about the team.
Good fathers are good teammates, because they prioritize their family—their team.
I have to believe there is a ripple effect to being a good father. For my wife’s side of the family, the ripple effect certainly started with their patriarch, her grandfather.
His commitment to his family was modeled and copied from one generation to the next generation. And it continues to spread and affect his extended family.
When I got home that evening, I saw photos some of my former players had posted on social media of how they spent their Father’s Day.
Those photos made my heart smile.
I loved looking at them because I loved seeing the kind of fathers they turned out to be.
(Sometimes the hardest part of coaching is the 10-15 year deferment to see if the most important lessons you tried to teach and emphasize to your players took root.)
The interesting thing about the ripple effect is eventually those ripples meet the shoreline, or a wall of some sort, and start to reverberate back towards the origin.
For me, those reverberations come in the form of me being inspired by those players and learning from them what it means to be a good father. Indeed, good teammates grow up to be good fathers.
As a tribute, here are a few of my favorite Father’s Day photos from my former players:
A tip of the hat to all fathers who are also good teammates.
As always…Remember: Good teammates care. Good teammates share. Good teammates listen. Go be a good teammate.