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?
Absolutely…I tried to involve both my boys growing up in what Dad did for a living and how important I thought my impact was as a coach.
What is the key to juggling fatherhood and your profession?
Time management! Without question it is so important to find the balance of the job and spending time with the people who are most important in your life. I never wanted my children to feel like I couldn’t find time for them.
What’s the hardest part about being a dad?
Watching them make mistakes and making sure they are safe. Sure mistakes are to be expected, but as a dad I’d love to make their life perfect and it’s just not feasible. Obviously, you want what is best for them so helping them minimize those mistakes is important. I’m a terrible worry wart when it comes to my boys.
What does quality time with your kids (daughter/son) away from “work” look like?
Anything really…it’s about quality more than anything else. We can play games together to fishing and everything in between. Whatever we feel like doing at the time. It’s not about what we do, but the quality of time we have together.
Biggest word of advice you can give to first time dads in the business?
Never lose focus in the thing that’s most important when it comes to the job and family. For me, it’s always family first and the job stays on the job. Try not to bring it home.
What is your most embarrassing public moment thus far as a parent?
I really can’t think of anything that was overly embarrassing. I’ve been blessed with two great boys and it takes a lot to embarrass me.
What are some helpful tips to balancing Dad time and work time during the season?
Easy, when it’s Dad time it’s Dad time and when it’s work time it’s work time. Don’t mix the two.
How are you like your Dad?
He’s way more patient than I am but philosophically I’m a mirror image. I hear my father in my voice all the time.
Bonus – Who was your coaching mentor?
Randy Wegner was the first coach I ever worked for and philosophy wise I emulate a lot of what he taught. Schematically, Bill Callahan and John Gruden have had a tremendous influence in what I see in the game. Bill taught me so much of what to see and how the game works in different situations and how to make adjustments.
About Michael Christianson
A graduate of Kuna High School in Idaho, Michael Christianson parlayed a successful collegiate playing career at Portland State and Western Oregon University into a coaching career that would take him to a Super Bowl victory with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002. Christianson coached with the Oakland Raiders as well as the San Francisco 49ers at the NFL level. Intermixed in his NFL coaching stints was time at the collegiate level with Nebraska and University of San Diego. Christianson now lives back in Idaho with his family, and enjoys a successful real estate business with Idaho as his outdoor playground.