A Great Reminder - Father/Son Jersey Night

I was honored to be a part of another Father-Son Jersey Night yesterday. It was the third annual one for the Lloyd Memorial High School boys basketball team from Erlanger, KY.

Over the years some coaches have opted to only include Seniors in this life-changing event. But last night was further confirmation that it is extremely helpful to have the event numerous times over the course of a kid's life.
Before the event I had the chance to speak with one of the Senior Dads for about 10 minutes. This Dad had kind of a rough relationship with his son before the first jersey night ... and that first event changed his life. 
I cannot begin to tell you how rewarding it was to see the smile in this man's face, the glow in his eyes, the pride for his son ... the gratitude and the passion for a relationship with his son now forever different.
As I was giving the intro talk to the new Dads experiencing this for the first time, one of the Senior Dads said among other things, "Guys, no worries. This is going to be one of the best nights of your life." Made my job pretty easy (smile) as I encouraged them to tell their sons that they loved them, they were proud of them and what they were great at.
A number of the Senior Dads talked about how important this night was to them. One Dad was in the middle of a business project out of town. He flew home 2 days early just so he could participate in this. He told his boss, "I'm not missing that. Period."
Another Dad, whose son failed to tell him about the event until 5:30 PM - the event was scheduled for 6 PM ... he was in the middle of an emergency job ... called his boss, told him he needed to leave for about 30 minutes ... "I'll be back and I'll stay all night if I have to, but I'm not missing that. My son is a Senior."
Another ... "This event is a great reminder for all of us that we need to affirm our sons more often. We praise our sons tonight, we tell them that we love them, but if you're like me, I forget about it ... this event reminds me to make this more a part of my life. To tell you the truth I'm really going to miss this event. This is my third time and I love it and I know my son loves it even if he won't admit it. Thank you coaches for changing all of our lives."
Being that the Seniors were well accustomed to the event, we asked them to affirm their Dads in public as well after their Dad gave them their jersey. 
Now THAT was emotional.
Yes, my heart broke for a few boys who do not have a Dad in their life but they had other wonderful men step in and represent them ... the majority of the men were coaches.
Further proof of the impact that you coaches make in so many lives.

Virtue = Strength,
Lou Judd