There is nothing more exciting in parenthood than cheering on your kids in the things they do — sports, music, dance, etc. — and seeing them have fun.
Through the years I have worn many hats from Soccer Dad, Baseball Dad, Swim Dad, Cheer Dad, Marching Band Dad, Gymnastics Dad…the list goes on.
Of course you also show support by participating and helping out the teams and organizations.
I have painted soccer field lines, timed swimmers, worked concession stands, provided video of marching band performances, washed many cars in fundraisers and produced end-of-season cheer team and gymnastic videos.
All my kids started with soccer, and I cheered them on when they were kindergarten age.
At that age, it is more like mob ball, with the majority of the kids chasing the ball with no regard to positions and passing.
It’s all fun and gets the kids moving around.
Of course there were always some kids who would rather pick through the grass or stare at the clouds.
My youngest daughter during a soccer practice drill got bored and started doing cartwheels at the back of the line. Soon a bunch of the other kids wanted to try and then she was holding a cartwheel clinic much to the chagrin of the coaches.
During my son’s first soccer season, his team of 4-to-5-year-olds faced a skilled team that proceeded to run the score up to embarrassing levels as the opposing coach kept playing his best players and taking advantage of our team’s inexperience.
I went home that day with no voice, as I and my fellow team parents turned up the volume in cheering and shouting for our team and giving the other coaches an earful of how unsportsmanlike they were.
I am surprised we were not banned from future games.
Baseball brought new challenges to cheering for your kid especially when you have younger siblings to take care of at the game. I love baseball but it can be very boring, especially for my son’s sisters. While trying to watch and cheer for my son, we also had to keep the girls busy with snacks and activities.
I had never experienced cheerleading before and competition cheer meets were mind-blowing.
Just imagine a packed gymnasium of crazy passionate cheer teams and their families and friends cheering them on.
The enthusiasm and fervor of these kids was amazing and infectious. I was immediately hooked and I became a Cheer Dad Extraordinaire.
I wore my team shirt, shouted and cheered along and was
The stunts and choreography of all the teams was incredible. I have total respect for these kids and coaches. My daughter’s high school varsity team went on to win a national championship.
If cheerleading competitions were loud, swim meets were deafening! The cheering and shouting in the confines of an indoor swimming pool were crazy.
These meets were a true challenge.
The larger ones usually lasted for hours — sometimes all day — and you typically got to see your kid in the water for seconds to minutes, depending on how many events they were in.
When my son wasn’t wearing swim trunks, he was wearing a marching band uniform and playing drums.
It’s amazing how talented these kids are. I loved seeing them perform at the different stadiums, especially Met Life stadium, home of the Giants and Jets.
Gymnastics is my latest sport and two of my daughters have competed over the years. We have been able to travel to tournaments near and far, including a recent one at Disney World.
There is some real camaraderie among the parents as we cheer the team on at each meet, wear the team apparel and colors.
I continue to shoot video and have run the audio at some of the home meets and been the DJ and presented the end-of-season slide show.
I even got to meet Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez when she visited the gym for a fundraiser.
I was humbled when they presented me with the team parent volunteer of the year last season.
It was totally unexpected.
I do all this for my kids and the rest of the team or group they belong to.
Time goes by too fast to miss any of it, and I am so glad I am able to be involved in whatever way I can.