Sports: Bringing Dads and Kids Together

Sports have always been a big part of my life.   I have played everything from soccer, baseball, football, to basketball.  My family has always been big into sports, whether it is watching our high school football team go to state and ultimately lose on a missed holding call on the last play of the game or sitting through watching my sister play in a weekend long softball tournament.  My dad was also my baseball coach from t-ball through high school.  He taught me everything from the fundamentals to the mental side of the game.  So you can tell, sports played a big part in my up-bringing.

Playing sports was something that my dad passed down to me.  He gave me an enthusiasm for playing baseball that would make it hard for Derek Jeter to do the same.  Baseball connected the two of us and brought us closer to each other.  It still does today.   The times that I enjoy the most are when I am spending an afternoon out at Kauffman Stadium with my dad.  To make the afternoon better, the Kid is there sharing in the experience us.  Three generations, sharing and loving sports.

My dad is now passing down the torch from me to pass down to the Kid.  While he may only be 3, I can see that one of the unbreakable bonds that we will share will be a love of sports.  I love playing soccer on the front lawn with the Kid and teaching him how to throw a baseball.  Every time I see him walk up to his baseball tee, I imagine him looking around the stadium, eyes all on him, counting on him to come through to win the game.

I can only imagine how much stronger that bond would be if I had a daughter.  As the Sochi 2014 Winter Games approach, there is a duo of father and daughter that are using sports to strengthen their relationship.  Bill Hendrickson a former ski jumper is passing down his love of ski jumping to his daughter and first time Team USA Olympian, Sarah in the first ever Women’s Ski Jumping competition in the Olympics.

Sarah Hendrickson Sochi Ski Jumper - The Rookie Dad
Image Courtesy of

In a Frosted Flakes survey, more than half (53% to be exact) of female student athletes say their dads were the single most important influence in creating their love of sports.  Dad was cited four times more often than any other influencer including friends (14 percent), moms (11 percent) and coaches (11 percent). On average, female athletes say that about half of their quality time with their dads involves sports.  Also, 85% of say that they feel closer to their dad than usual when they are playing or watching or talking about sports together.

Not every kid will be an Olympian like Sarah, but I can only imagine what her dad, Bill, is going through.  He is probably just as nervous, if not more, than his daughter.  The moment she climbs up onto the ramp, so many things will be going through his head, but as long as she is doing something she loves, in the end, he will be proud.

Like many fathers, I am always encouraged to see and hear stories about dads who are involved in the family.  It is becoming more main stream, and I’m glad to see brands like Frosted Flakes recognize this.   Frosted Flakes will feature Sarah and Bill Hendrickson in a television ad which will air during the Olympic Games.  In the spot, the two share their thoughts on their shared passion for ski jumping, and compare their personal records.

“We were inspired by Sarah and Bill’s story that shows how sports helps build the connection between dads and daughters,” said Matt Lindsay, director of marketing for Frosted Flakes. “We know that special moments happen when dads share what they love – whether that’s a bowl of Frosted Flakes, or their passion for sports, and that’s exactly what we saw with Sarah and her dad.”

I encourage all my readers to join Frosted Flakes in sharing what they love during the 2014 Sochi Winter Games by following @realtonytiger and using the #sharewhatyoulove hashtag.

Visit the Kellogg’s® YouTube page to watch Sarah and Bill in Sarah’s Start Story video, “Share What You Love,” to learn more about her journey toward the Sochi Games.

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