Editors Note: This blog is part of a special series on dads which originally ran in 2012. Because it is timeless we are sharing it again.
Being the father of an athlete is a challenging yet rewarding role. At MomsTEAM we think sports dads deserve to be honored, not just on the third Sunday in June, but for an entire month. So we have designated June as National Sports Dads Month and invited some veteran sports dads to share their wisdom by responding to a series of questions (the same ones we asked sports moms in May).
So far this month we have heard from a former Major League Baseball general manager, a former professional soccer player and longtime soccer coach, a Minnesota hockey coach and safety advocate, a pediatric sports medicine physician, and a sociologist with an expertise in gender and sports.
Today we hear from orthopedic sports medicine doctor Scott Slattery:MomsTEAM: Were you an athlete and what sports did you play as a youth (under 19)?
Slattery: Yes, I played tennis, basketball, and baseball.
MomsTEAM: What is the most rewarding aspect of being a sports dad?
Slattery: The most rewarding thing is to see the look of happiness on your child's face when, after a lot of hard work, they achieve some their goals in sports.
MomsTEAM: What lesson has your sports active child taught you?
Slattery: Helping my child deal with setbacks and failure has given me a new perspective and helped me deal with similar situations in my life.
MomsTEAM: What is the most important lesson your child is learning from his/her sports?
Slattery: That perseverance and hard work are as important or more important in achieving a goal than natural talent.
MomsTEAM: If you could "flip a switch" and change one thing about the culture of youth sports what would it be?
Slattery: The perceived need to specialize in one sport at an early age. This often reduces the fun factor of sports in youth and can lead to burn-out and overuse injuries.
MomsTEAM: Brag a little: what have you done to make sports better for kids? Please share.
Slattery: As a sports medicine physician I volunteer my time at many local events. Also several years ago I started a comprehensive concussion management program, as there was a great need in our region to have a physician willing and able to evaluate and treat concussions and make safe return to sport decisions.
Scott C. Slattery, MD is a board certified orthopedist with a subspecialty certification in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine at the Washington Orthopaedic Center in Centralia, Washington. He serves as team physician for Centralia College and provides sports coverage for local high schools. An active member of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Physician Pool, Dr. Slattery and his wife, Kristin Kuhlman Slattery, MD, have two daughters and a son. You can follow him on Twitter @waorthopaedic, like him on Facebook and by visiting the website.