Son, This Hurts Me More Than It Hurts You

Every new father has had the idea: If I can somehow start training him at birth, I can make my son into a world-class athlete. This tends not to work out well.

But the young father at Empty The Bench, tongue somewhat in cheek, is gonna give it a shot anyway, but he's gonna make his son a kicker.

That kind of composure doesn't just happen. You learn it, you work on it every day. So after he's done with his homework, Kirby and I will work on pressure situations and ignoring distractions. I'll set up in my lawn chair and get the hose and airhorn out, and he'll go to work. I'll randomly shout, sound the airhorn and spray him to simulate distractions. We'll turn on the steady stream so he knows what it's like to kick in adverse weather, maybe get some sprinklers going. If he can't make a kick with a hose in his face in front of some neighborhood kids or the girl he's got a crush on, how will he ever make a Super-Bowl-winning kick? Of course, I'll put down the hose in the winter, but hopefully mother nature will give us a hand between December and March. Once he gets good, in order to increase the pressure I'll have to throw out the occasional ultimatum ("If you don't make this kick, you're calling in sick to school tomorrow!").

Our father did this to us too, though it had nothing to do with training us to be a kicker.

Andrew Kirby, The NFL Kicker [Empty The Bench]
Whatever Happened To Todd Marinovich? [Wood On Sports]