One of our favorite parts about working around and in professional sports for now a combined 20-years is the wide range of people you meet at games, workouts, in the gym or on the field…especially the guys who balance both “work” with fatherhood. Talking sports and the ups and downs about being a dad at the same time really doesn’t get much better, so that’s why — from sports writers, to players, stay-at-home dads, coaches, the divorced-dad, announcers, bring-to-practice-and-the-game dad, authors, the janitor and the GM’s, sports brands and sports business bros — we are rolling out this Sports Dad Series to help share those stories on the Same 8 Questions about juggling sports and fatherhood. Our hope — words of wisdom for new dads, veteran dads and the dads in pro sports to keep family first (right after you check the score of the game). Thanks for reading and make sure to stay connected with us on social (Twitter – Instagram – Facebook). – Wendell Maxey and Gino Pilato
Do your kids (daughter/son) know what you do for a living?
No, our little guy is just about nine months old. I do believe he has an early fascination with aspects of sports though, namely an interest with baseballs, basketballs, and footballs. We took him to his first basketball game at a very early age and has also been to a couple football games, he loves the big arena/field sights and sounds.
What is the key to juggling fatherhood and your profession?
I believe the key to juggling both is a strong effort on time management. I had to learn this over the last 7 years of working around the game, especially the NBA Development League and international basketball. You have to dedicate time for what is important, and if it is important enough you will make time for it. This goes for deadlines as a writer and even moving closer to the game on the business side. Obviously, family is atop that list, but a balance of time is what helps me the most in staying productive yet happy and a supportive parent.
What’s the hardest part about being a dad?
Knowing that I can’t have an off night or day. It is a full-time gig, 24-7 and sometimes that will wear on me. But, when I run into being overwhelmed with this aspect I remind myself that I will look back on this very moment and miss it someday, so best to stay in the moment even if it is a difficult one.
What does quality time with your kids (daughter/son) away from “work” look like?
We like to go outside if we can. Walks to the park, or anywhere outside. When we’re indoors I feel like meals are a great time to be together with the family. We always eat together and that also includes prep and cleanup, I think it’s a great time and that our little guy has a blast helping out.
Biggest word of advice you can give to first time dads in the business?
Your kid(s) won’t likely remember nor cherish the work you did with them around, but certainly will look back upon the time you spent with them away from it.
What is your most embarrassing public moment thus far as a parent?
At a celebration of life on my wife’s side of the family I was holding my son when at a very silent moment he decided to fill up his diaper in a very loud manner. Fortunately, it was received with laughter, but I was certainly embarrassed as I held him with a helpless look in the crowd.
What are some helpful tips to balancing Dad time and work time during the season?
Think of your day in periods of time rather than hard set times like 5:05pm. Because we all know your day can change in an instant, so you have to be flexible with yourself. Also, never have dull moments, knocking off chores or to-do activities will free up time and clear your mind when it’s time to work later.
How are you like your Dad?
I think my Dad and I share a quality of being personable. I always feel comfortable and felt comfortable in knowing my Dad will be able to talk to anyone under any circumstance. I feel like I can do the same and that it was passed down to me from my Father.
Bonus – Your favorite sports book…
Hoop Dreams by Ben Joravsky
About Gino Pilato
A graduate of Southern Oregon University, Gino Pilato covered basketball during his time in college and relocated to Boise, Idaho where he produced online content for the Idaho Stampede in the NBA Development League and gained extensive experience working around professional basketball. After becoming a Recruiting Coordinator for Scorers 1st Sportmanagement, he now serves as Director of Scorers 1st Scouting. Pilato is also engaged in a number of side basketball projects both on the media and scouting side including the “Same 8 Questions” with Wendell Maxey and the Sports Dad Series. Pilato lives and works in Boise, Idaho with his wife and son. Connect with Gino Pilato on Twitter.