Hear the Conversation 30:00 – 17.1 mb mp3
Spartan Dawgs Andre Hutson, Todd Duckett and Tim Bograkos talk with a parent and student-athlete who they’ve worked with at SNAPP.
Dominic Lee is a freshman football player at Okemos, and his dad is Mike.
Dom likes to be physical when playing sports, so he has gravitated toward football as his main focus.
“As parents, my wife and I never get involved in making decisions for our kids,” Mike says. “The only decision we make is making sure they’re going to be fully committed to the sport they choose.
“I think as a parent you have to know when to back off and say when. You still have to be a dad.”
“And you don’t want to be the kid who has the dad who’s always yelling at the coach and cussing him out,” adds Dominic. “But I think part of why I love football is that my dad taught me the right way to play the game.”
One of the aspects of SNAPP training that attracted Mike to the program is that the mental aspect of succeeding in sports is stressed as much as the physical aspect during training.
“The hard work is mentally tough on its own, but the instructors stress the nutrition aspects, for example, too,” Dom says. “What’s also cool about SNAPP is that they personalize the regimen for me and my needs.”
And the instructors are careful not to over train the athletes, says Mike.
“Parents have to have realistic expectations, too, and realize how much of young athletes’ success is determined by the hard work put in during the off-season when no one is watching. They tend to focus only on what happens on game day.”
The group talks about the pay-to-play trend in local high school athletics.
“Paying to play doesn’t give you entitlement to play, but when you pay out money you’re a consumer now,” Mike says. “But some parents think their kids should play at least a little if they’re paying money.
“This model will cave in on itself; it’s unsustainable.”