For athletes, a coach is an influential element of their competitive life. For many boys, fathers are also the ultimate role models. So when fathers become coaches, the mix is often potent but not always.
The world of sports is littered with many stories of fathers who guided their sons or children to the height of sporting glory. But there are also many tales of those whose influences became overbearing and went overboard.
When the mix between father and coach is right however, the effect is positive. The story of Ghanaian swimmer Abeiku Jackson and his father Kojo Jackson is a perfect illustration. Kojo is Abeiku’s inspiration and coach.
He introduced Abeiku to the sport at a tender age and has guided him through the rank to become Ghana’s first ever male swimmer at the Olympics to the delight of his father.
“It’s an awesome feeling. It is great. To start wit, he is so small and to see him at the highest level is great,” father Jackson said.
As a characteristic of every coach, success is the main aim. It is the reason why they strive so hard to teach, nurture, help and train their athletes to be able to give out their utmost best to win laurels. Abeiku’s father is no exception. He believes he will not be moved by the exploits of his boy till he wins something at the Olympics.
“I believe by 2024 Abeiku will win a medal at the Olympics for Ghana and that’s where I will shed a few tears,” he remarked.
In a combative sport like boxing, it is the level of endurance and strength that counts. It also comes with a lot of discipline and a collective goal to succeed. Boxer Isaac Dogboe has had his father, Paul,by his side to ensure both discipline and drive.
He was introduced into the sport at age 14 and has been nurtured by his father as he seeks to become a world champion. He is not sure he would have been able to do that without his father.
The 21-year-old labeled his dad as one of a kind.
“He started with me from a young age, that’s at 14. It was just the two of us going through all the stages from the amateur to professional level so I still keep learning a lot from him.”
But every time Paul watches Isaac in the ring, he watches as more than a coach. He punches along and gets completely immersed in it. He paces up and down by the ringside, taking a gander at the action in the ring to see whether his ideas are being correctly implemented in there.
Isaac is a believer of himself but if there’s anyone who believes he can do even greater things, then it is his father.
His favourite aspect of coaching his kid, he revealed, is when he is pumping the boy up for a fight.
“I tell everyone that this guy is ready. He was born ready and is always ready. I believe in him and I know he can achieve big things for himself, the family and for Ghana”.
Ghana has been without a world champion since Joseph Agbeko and Isaac Dogboe is one of the guys who want to ensure that the naysayers have something to feast on for a very long time to come.
The sea might be stormy but with their fathers by their sides, Abeiku and Isaac can chart the rise to the top in their respective sports.
By Yaw Ofosu Larbi|3news.com|Ghana