Today’s post was written by a female collegiate athlete whose father both inspired and coached her in sports.
There are so many young fathers who pray to have sons because they envision sharing a common passion for sports. They dream of being their son’s biggest fan, encourager, supporter, and provider when it comes to their athletic journey, but the reality is, not all fathers have sons, let alone sons who are interested in sports. Some of you have an athletic girl that needs her dad.
So many dads don’t consider that their daughters can be athletes too. They may not be the lead quarterback of a football team, but they can compete in sports like softball, basketball, soccer, tennis, track and field, and even golf. So, fathers, it’s time for you to get your heads in the game because your athletic girl needs you. Here are 5 things your athletic daughter needs from you.
1. Be Her Biggest Fan
Remember your daughter views you as her first love and hero. If she knows, without a doubt, that her father who means the world to her, believes in her, you have won half the battle. She is desiring for you to be her cheerleader on the sidelines, a supporter of her goals, and greatest helper to achieve her dreams. And to become your daughter’s biggest fan, she needs for you to show her your support.
2. Be Supportive
If your daughter sees you involved in her passions it will drive her to want to be the best she can be. My father made it a priority to show up for my golf lessons. He took time away from work to personally go out and practice and walk down miles of fairways hand in hand with me. He invested countless dollars so that I could reach my full potential. Your daughter is looking for you to get your hands a little dirty. Make it a priority to take time to help and instruct her, and lastly be her greatest encourager. By you doing these three things, it will give her a reason to push through the tough times she may face when competing in her sport.
3. Be a Motivator
If your daughter wants to become an athlete, you need to take the time to motivate her competitiveness. My dad motivated me every weekend by waking me up to go workout and jog with him. Within these activities, he made obstacles and competitions for me to achieve. Afterward, we would go to our favorite ice cream shop and talk about the progress that was made from the prior week. You can incorporate competitions in your daughters’ daily lives. These competitions can be as easy as who can clean their rooms the fastest or who can swim the quickest from one end of the pool to the other. Make the process of motivating your daughter’s competitiveness fun, enjoyable, encouraging, and rewarding.
4. Teach Her Perseverance and Hard Work
You need to teach your daughter the importance of grinding, hard work, and perseverance because without these three things, she will never be able to accomplish her goals, not only in sports but in life. I remember moments, where I yelled at my dad with tears down my face, “I’m done with this sport. I hate it. I don’t know why I play it even, I quit.” These were the moments where my father encouraged me not to give up. Listen to your daughter’s frustrations, hold her in your arms, empathize with her, but then make sure to build her back up so that when she walks away, she is stronger than she was before.
5. Celebrate Her
If your daughter sees you involved in her passions it will drive her to want to be the best she can be.My father wasn’t just my biggest supporter, he was also my biggest celebrator. He let me know when he was proud of me. He let me know that my score on the course, good or bad, did not define me. He let me know, even on my off days during tournaments, that he was proud of the way I handled my composure. He took me out on spontaneous dinner dates to show just how proud he was of me. In the same way, when your daughter accomplishes a goal of hers, make it known to her how proud you are. It’s the little, spontaneous encouragements and actions that will mean the world to her.