In all the books I’ve ever read about fatherhood, I have yet to find one that listed “agent” as one of the duties. Maybe the world has changed and evolved since those books were written. Maybe it’s just our town, but based on what I’m hearing, it’s everywhere. It’s a little crazy, but it is what it is. I am my kids Dad and I’m also their agent. For a small price, I will be your kids agent too….(not true). The great Jerry Maguire once said…
I will not rest until I have you holding a Coke, wearing your own shoe, playing a Sega game *featuring you*, while singing your own song in a new commercial, *starring you*, broadcast during the Superbowl, in a game that you are winning, and I will not *sleep* until that happens. I’ll give you fifteen minutes to call me back.
Have you ever felt like that when it comes to your kids? Have you ever been involved in the negotiations of their sports teams and choosing where they’ll play, what they’ll play and what name will be on the front of the jersey? I have. It’s honestly one of the toughest parts of parenting so far….and my son is 11 stinking years old. We’re not negotiating big contracts, free agent visits, college recruiting or minor league deals, it’s just local sports and it’s stressing me out.
The crazy thing is I totally understand it. I see why so many teams, leagues and opportunities exist. I understand why parents want to move their kids from one team to another and want to put their children in positions to succeed, be challenged and yet still be with their friends. It’s very much a game of musical chairs and when the music stops playing, you want to make sure your child has a seat somewhere. It might not be the situation any of us ever grew up in, but it is the situation that exists nonetheless.
What I’ve learned this time around (we’ve done this a few times now) is to keep them engaged in the process. Don’t make your decisions in a vacuum. Consider all of the options and allow them to be an active part. Impart wisdom where necessary. Remove the emotion. Be the parent. Allow them to be children. When you plug everything into the equation, pray that you made the best decision. Last but not least, let them play. Let them play now because tomorrow these decisions will be much bigger. The communication and teaming together for these decisions will be the foundation of the much larger ones in the future.
It may not be in our job description, but we are the one that knows our little athletes the best.