professional challenges

Being An All Pro Dad with Professional Challenges

Today’s post is written by one of our NFL Spokesmen, Dean Dalton. Dean is a former assistant coach for the Minnesota Vikings. He has two grown sons, has been married for 32 years, and has plenty of wisdom to share. Please enjoy. 

Years ago, while I was coaching with the Minnesota Vikings, I was honored to be invited to join the All Pro Dad team of NFL Spokesmen. I sincerely believed that it was part of my calling to join Coach Dungy and the fine gentlemen in the All Pro Dad family providing a vehicle of both resources and support to help educate and inspire fathers to become better Dads!

It all begins at home. With my wonderful wife of nearly 32 years, we worked together to raise two sons. As with all families, we endured the trials and tribulations that life would deal our family. Together we moved forward overcoming various challenges due to our focus on faith, our family love, and making decisions based on our values and principles. Here’s how being an All Pro Dad impacted one of my biggest personal and professional challenges.

Professional challenges impacting the family.

As a coach in the NFL, there is a competitive intensity that is difficult to match in other professional areas and the time demands become a big challenge, often pulling you away from family time. Teaming up with my wife, we worked hard so that I spent quality time and remained closely engaged with our boys nearly every day. After a very successful time coaching the Vikings there was an ownership change and the volatile nature of the NFL posed a new challenge to our family. After many years living in Minnesota, I was no longer a Vikings coach and to remain a professional football coach we would face the challenge of this unique profession and have to move our family to another city.

Keeping family first!

A major family decision was made and after thoughtful discussion, praying and reflecting on truly putting my family ahead of my professional ego, I decided to step away from coaching in the NFL, keeping our family in Minnesota to finish high school and while I pursued other professional opportunities. This was an extremely difficult decision. It was based on principles and values so that I was not an All Pro hypocrite but rather, in my case, could remain an All Pro Dad. Making your life decisions using your moral priorities brings a peace of mind to replace the stress of the challenge.

It was absolutely the right decision for our family. Our sons both flourished as they finished growing up in Minnesota, excelling academically in high school, extra-curricular activities, sports, establishing great circles of friends and, most importantly, they became strong individuals and respectful young men. Then off to college and four years later, respectively, after wonderful educational experiences, our sons are both strong leaders in their own fields professionally and they remain gentlemen in their personal lives. We are blessed.

Stay consistent to the finish line!

Making your life decisions using your moral priorities brings a peace of mind to replace the stress of the challenge.Realizing that I am a father forever, I continue to be “DAD” constantly engaging and challenging our sons to be great men and leaders. I still work on this by showing them how much I love their mother, supporting and understanding their individual directions for their lives, and making sure that we all get together as often as possible throughout the year for quality family time.