He and I, Not Me and My

I’m a coach. So, whenever people discover we have a 12-year-old son his athletics always come into question. People are always blown away that I really couldn’t care less if my son plays a sport. “He’s my math-lete, dagnabbit!”

Photographs by Julep Studio

Fortunately for my son, he isn’t growing up where I grew up. He has options. Survival isn’t one of his daily objectives. His father grew up in a single parent home, was an apartment kid (never had to cut a blade of grass), went to seven elementary schools, was smart but lacked guidance, was the man of the house at age 5, had a parent that didn’t support his dreams and dictated to him what he should do with his life. I vowed that my son would have the freedom to be a drama nerd, choir geek, athlete or weirdo with an off-color sense of humor. Wherever his God-given gifts take him. Because I am who I am, I see his gifts and want him to nurture those gifts before he even knows of them. It’s frustrating too, but I have managed to avoid being an overbearing dad. 

For me, sports were an escape route. Sports kept me grounded and focused and also provided me with mentors that I needed to lead me. I just so happened to be really good at sports. I was a natural. My baby boy is not and that’s okay. He has a superior brain. Moreover, I don’t want to put any undue pressure on him. His school’s curriculum does enough of that. 

So for anyone that wonders why Coach Dez doesn’t force his son to play sports, his ticket lies within. He has a better chance of becoming a Rhodes’ scholar than running a 4.4s 40, broad jump 11.2 feet, or have a 39- inch vertical. 

I WILL live vicariously through him. He will do extraordinary things that I could never imagine. I don’t need him to be like me … I need him to be HIS BEST SELF.



Desmond Dunn is husband to Tiffany Dunn and dad to two great kids: Micah (12) and Keilyn (6). He received his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Southeastern University. Desmond is a private sports coach and teacher. Desmond and his wife also enjoy mentoring young people in their youth group at church. Anytime Desmond is not working or coaching, you can find him playing a game with his son or taking his daughter on a movie date. 



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