Thank You Dads For Being There For Us!

It is good to be back and writing again! Being a player and a coach this season has taken up a more considerable amount of time that I had anticipated but I am happy to be able to write this post in honor of all those Dads out there.

Thank you to the fathers that are there for their sons and daughters. Especially when we can get outside and play and learn different sports together. Times like these in a child’s life can instill great character traits as they grow and mature. Building traits such as hard work, discipline, consistency, perseverance, grit, and most importantly good sportsmanship and teamwork. It builds the bond between child and parent as well. I can recall so many great days out on the ball field and enjoying the game I love with my dad. 

I was one of those American kids that told their dad at a young age, 8 in my case, that I wanted to pitch in the Major Leagues. As I grew up, we used to watch baseball all the time together let alone spending hours practicing by ourselves, with our teams, and playing games. I feel like the best thing my dad told me was “Son if you want to do that it will require a lot of hard work, but I will help you as much as I can as long as you put in the work.” The biggest takeaway from that was not only his willingness to help me but he did not deter me from my dream. He always encouraged me, told me it was achievable and did whatever he could to help me progress towards achieving that goal. Along the way we set up little milestones we
wanted to achieve. Whether it be throwing a little harder, making the varsity team as a freshman, getting a college scholarship to play, or getting drafted. He had a way of helping me take each step while setting newer and higher goals.

We cannot attain greatness by being comfortable or content

One of the things I may be most thankful for was how tough he could be on me. I understand it a lot more now that I am older. At times he would yell and get frustrated with me and as a kid there would be times that I would cry or give in to the situation. I now know that he saw that I was not giving my all, practicing as well as I could, or playing the best of my ability. This friction or what some people may call tough love is what helped refine me and push me to get to new levels.   One of my favorite memorable quotes is “Champions are made when no one is watching.” This quote has stuck with me to this day even though there have been times in my life where I forgot to apply it but it is very true. Putting in the time and work is not always a glorious thing people typically only see the success or failure on the field, they do not know the sweat hours put in behind the scenes.

"Champions are made while no one is watching."

Michael Jordan

Another thing my dad taught me was the drive to learn! Self-education can be better than a classroom. He had very little baseball knowledge when we first started that journey to the MLB. He spent so many hours watching, listening, learning, and talking to those he thought could help. My dad would then apply specific training to help me improve. You must be a student of the game as you move up in levels including the jumps from travel baseball to high school to college to the minors and finally the big leagues. Even when I had played a couple of years for the Cincinnati Reds I was constantly learning and refining my game. It is a process that never ends in any aspect of life, and it is a tool I am very grateful for being taught by my father. I am very thankful for the fathers in my life. Along my journey I have been blessed by having some amazing host families in the college baseball summer leagues, and the minor leagues. These people open their hearts and homes to care for young baseball players as they chase their dream, and I was influenced by many of the dads in those households.

Another father I am so blessed to have is my father-in-law. He has been such an awesome addition to my life. From the support of my career, my marriage to Megan-Kate, or quality time hunting and fishing it has been so wonderful to add another dad to my life. I am of firm belief that family does not need to be related by blood but if there are people that will love you, care for you, push you, and support you then you have struck gold. Thank you again to all the fathers that have helped impact my life. Thank you, Dad, for all you have done for me. I love you.

#FollowtheNarrowPath  #narrowpathsports #pitcher #pitching #coaching #baseball #baseballlife #hitting #baseballtraining

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About the Author

JJ Hoover
JJ Hoover was an American professional baseball pitcher from 2008 to 2021. He has played in Major League Baseball for the Cincinnati Reds, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Milwaukee Brewers. Hoover throws four pitches: a four-seam fastball (91–94 mph), a curveball (76–79mph), a slider (81-85mph), and a changeup (85–88mph). JJ has taught pitching and baseball globally, and more recently in Cincinnati, Ohio for Narrow Path. Hoover now resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife of seven years, Megan-Kate Hoover of Reel Rescues. JJ is a devout Christian.