It’s been more than a year since kids have played a football game. Here, soccer dads reveal what they miss the most about watching the sport.
For over a year now, a lot of team sporting events, especially those involving players under 18 years old, have been put to a halt indefinitely. These are some very tough times for the young athletes, especially since this is a crucial stage in their development as players. One sport that’s been hardly hit by the restrictions brought upon by this pandemic is soccer aka. football. The youth players had to resort to Zoom training sessions and have missed so many opportunities to play in local and international leagues. Most of all, they miss their teammates and doing what they love most.
In celebration of Father’s Day, we talked to some dads whose kids are youth football players. We want to know what they love most about being a soccer dad and what they miss the most about watching their sons play the “beautiful game.” Here’s what they had to say:
1. Rudy Villar
I have 3 sons who play football — Miguel, Carlos and Louis. It becomes our bonding time in a unique way. Kids may not say it all the time but they love it when their fathers watch their games (as long as they don’t play coach). There is a sense of pride for them to know that their dads are there supporting them from the sidelines.
What do I miss most about football BC (Before COVID)? Definitely the interaction with other parents. We have made some amazing friends throughout our sons’ football journeys. We miss all the football get-togethers, the birthdays, the Christmas parties, especially the after-parties. That always becomes an excuse to celebrate, win or lose.
2. Mike Andan
It’s the sport that I played and loved since I was a little kid, so seeing both my sons, Carlos and Lucas, on the pitch playing the beautiful game gives me absolute bliss. It also gives me security and peace of mind knowing that football will provide them the discipline, confidence and grit needed to succeed in life. It’s really more than just a game.
Since the quarantine and football life has been put on hold, I’ve really been missing the whole process of preparing for the actual games. As a parent, I am able to help my boys with their physical and mental state before a game, and talk about it afterwards. It is a very rewarding feeling to have this in common with them and I really love the time I get to spend with them, bonding over a sport we are all passionate about.
3. Milo Aljama
The best thing about being a football dad is being able to watch my sons, Basti and Ranzo, grow and learn from playing the sport. It’s amazing to see them get better throughout the years and improve as players. But to me, it’s much more impressive to see them thrive off the pitch and learn things that they can apply in their everyday life — such as being hardworking and respectful of other people. I can say that football has been great for both of them and for our family.
The thing I miss most about being a football dad is the live games. The energy and excitement when watching my boys compete is something that I really want to see and experience again after this pandemic is over. And of course, seeing them doing what they love, because that makes me happy.
4. Pete Unlay
For me, the best thing about being a soccer dad is being able to spend time with my son, Pio. To be able to share the joys in his triumphs and to learn from his defeats, those are priceless life lessons. This is also something that my wife and I are able to support him with because we know how committed he is to the game.
Through my son’s participation in various football teams, I have met co-soccer parents from different schools and clubs and we haven’t seen each other in so long. I miss them and I miss watching our kids play together.
5. Luigi Pastor
Being a soccer dad gives me the opportunity to show my sons, Santino and Enrique, that I am supportive of their passion. Football also helps me to teach them life lessons such as discipline, independence, humility and commitment.
Since youth football has been suspended, I have been missing the euphoria and the excitement that the games bring. I miss taking pictures of my boys and their teammates. I also miss my co-football parents and the camaraderie formed among us through this sport that our kids love to play.
6. Ping Kamantigue
For me, I love seeing my son, Mio, playing a sport that I myself loved playing as a kid. Watching him play and supporting his football dreams are opportunities I am grateful to have. Going to his games here and abroad, have become family activities that we all enjoy.
I miss watching the games. I miss all the action, the intensity and adrenaline rush, and just being with other soccer dads and moms. I also miss seeing my son improve his game each time he hits the pitch. Watching him grow and mature to become a better team player has been such a blessing.
7. Raymond Ordoña
Probably the most wonderful thing about being a soccer dad is just being around the kids. It’s really a blessing to have super great times on the sidelines (even if sometimes it gets competitive). The family bonding, the entire youth football community — it’s just an awesome enjoyable atmosphere all for the sake of our kids’ development. All our kids played football (currently my son Raymond Jr. is the only one still playing) and it’s really great to see them grow and learn so many values. The discipline they can apply on and off the pitch is unparalleled. And witnessing all of this while having fun and playing the sport they love is priceless.
I miss everything about football. It’s hard to describe right now, but the feeling of togetherness, the parents cheering, having picnics during games, bonding with parents from other teams — it’s just incredible. The high fives! Yes, the high fives! Oh, and did I mention the sangria?
8. Jec Cuasay
The best part about being a soccer dad is the quality time I get to spend with my son, Juamee. By supporting him in what he enjoys doing the most, whether it’s baseball or football, I get to show him that I am behind him all the way. Through his love for sports, it allows me to step up and strengthen our bond as father and son.
Before COVID, trainings and game days were things that even I looked forward to. And now, what I miss most about football is the interaction between the kids and their parents during and after games. We have become like family looking out for each other’s kids and roughing it out under the heat of the sun — all for the love of the game and because we are thrilled to support our son’s team.
9. Basti Lacson
Being present for important events in my son, Mateo’s life (football for example) shows him that I appreciate what he holds valuable — that I walk the talk. I often impart wisdom regarding discipline, hard work and teamwork. When I watch his games, I show him that I wake up early, I too have the discipline to watch the whole game, that I hold my tongue even when I disagree with anything. Being a soccer dad also allows me to see my son’s personality, how he deals with setbacks, losses, as well as victories. A team sport is difficult because it means having to deal with multiple personalities and watching him navigate through that is also a learning experience as a parent.
I really miss the smiles on our sons’ faces when they come together to train and play. I miss the routine, the discipline and the camaraderie amongst the boys and of course, us parents.
10. Mon Tupaz
Witnessing my boys, Nicolo and Luigi, find something that they are so passionate about and wanted so badly to excel in is the most rewarding thing about being a soccer dad. Unlike most kids who have been playing since they were really young, my boys had a late start. I never dreamt of being a football dad (a basketball dad maybe), but when I saw how dedicated and determined they were, I was all in. Watching them learn and get better while having fun and enjoying themselves makes me happy. But, seeing them experience everything together — as teammates and brothers — makes me even happier.
I miss the early call times, driving them to trainings and games, and even getting sunburned. Their weekend trainings and games became rituals. I miss the pep talks I give them, traveling to different places and I really miss all the soccer parents who have become our friends.
Being supportive parents
These dads deserve all the accolades for “showing up” for their kids and for giving them all the support they need when it comes to their chosen sport. Soccer moms are just as amazing, but there is something special about the bond of soccer dads and their sons (perhaps it’s because the dads are less emotional and loud, LOL). It’s true what they say that behind every successful athlete is a supportive and loving parent who unselfishly gives their time, efforts and unrelenting words of encouragement. Not to mention, financial support especially when it comes to trainings and traveling for tournaments.
With youth football still on pause, these soccer dads do what they can to make sure their kids feel hopeful and optimistic that they will soon get to play again. And they will. Because as they say in the soccer community — football is life!
From the Modern Parenting team, Happy Fathers Day to all of you amazing soccer dads out there.