West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on the Sons and Their Fathers

This commentary deals with an athlete's impressions of his father as he grows older.

There are many supportive fathers in the sports world, who care about what their sons or daughters learn from competing in athletics. They view sports as a vehicle for preparing their kids for adult living. These dads see beyond the "winning-and-losing" aspects of athletics, focusing their attention on the character-building facets of competitive activities.

Sometimes, however, their off-spring fail to understand the wisdom such fathers have to offer. And more often than not, come to appreciate the advice of their fathers at a time when it is too late to express their appreciation. Consider the following anonymously-written description of what I'm attempting to convey in today's article.

4 years of age: My daddy can do anything.
7 years: My dad knows a whole lot.
9 years: Dad doesn't know quite everything.
12 years: Dad just doesn't understand.
14 years: Dad is old fashioned.
21 years: That man is out of touch.
25 years: Dad's okay.
30 years: I wonder what Dad thinks about this?
35 years: I must get Dad's input first.
50 years: What would Dad have thought about that?
60 years: I wish I could talk it over with Dad once more.

So, all you athletes out there, take advantage of this information. Tell your Dads how much you appreciate their advice, because someday it may be too late.

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Updated September 23, 1997