Harrison High School
Steven Lenahan is the head coach for girls basketball at Harrison High School. He has two daughters: Kiley, 4, and Haley, 2.
“I would love for them to play basketball because it is a sport that I know very well; however, I just want them to be involved in something that will challenge them and help them develop physically, spiritually, mentally, and socially,” said Lenahan, who also teaches special education at Harrison.
“The way I get attacked everyday when I return home from work makes me think they might be professional wrestlers though,” he joked.
Lenahan, who has lived in Marietta for 16 years, has coached and taught at Harrison for four years. He said, “My expectations for (my children) in whatever they do will be high but realistic. Whether they decide to play sports or not, they will be expected to give 100 percent in whatever they do and to conduct themselves in a way that honors God.”
Spending quality time with family while juggling other responsibilities is one of the biggest challenges Lenahan faces. “I am very fortunate, though, to have an amazing wife who makes this much easier,” he said.
Lenahan said that teaching his daughters and making them laugh is one of the most rewarding parts of being a father. “I usually get to begin and end each day with a smile,” he said.
Mount Paran Christian School
“Being a father in today’s world is extremely important. It’s something that comes with a lot of pressure but it has a lot of rewards. The rewards outweigh the pressures. There’s no doubt about that,” said Joel Hazard who has coached varsity football and track and middle school basketball at Mount Paran Christian School in Kennesaw for 7 years.
The father of Noah, 4, Liliana, 2, and Elijah, 7 months, said, “I am definitely for my kids playing sports because it preaches everything I preach in the household — setting goals, working in a team environment, the ups and downs of sports translates over into the ups and downs in life.”
“(Sports) is just another arena to keep preaching what we’ve been doing at home,” said Hazard who is married to Lindsey Hazard.
Hazard, a 2000 Sprayberry High School graduate who moved to Marietta in 1997 from Rhode Island with his parents, wants his children to do their best. “My expectations for (my children) personally will always be high. What I expect out them will always be high not necessarily performance-wise but more so in determination and preparation,” he said.
Preparation is one of the most important things Hazard coaches outside the sports arena. “You’ve always got to prepare for whatever task is in front of you,” said Hazard, who also teaches freshman world history at MPCS.
“Having your kids look up to you and loving you unconditionally is one of the best things about being a dad,” he said.
“Being a dad is all worth it,” Hazard said.
Lassiter High School
Kurt Rinehimer’s two boys, J.D., 11, Jack, 9, play baseball and daughter Kate, 5, takes ballet and tumbling. He said, “It’s hard coaching your own kids.”
But Rinehimer knows the value of a good coach. “Outside my immediate family, my coaches and sports were the biggest influence on my life,” said Rinehimer who teaches mathematics at Lassiter and coaches JV and varsity baseball.
Sports teach life lessons. “In sports you have to learn from your failures to know how to succeed the next time,” the Marietta resident said.
“Sports teach you to work for a common goal. It also teaches you how to deal with success and how to be a good sport and being to be able to pick up your friends if they fail or lifting them up when they succeed,” he said.
Rinehimer who played third base for the U.S. Naval Academy is content with the way his baseball career ended but said there are many parents who live through their children. “If (my boys) decided not to play baseball I am fine with that as long as they’re happy. If they’re going to play (sports) I would rather them give it their all instead of playing just for a little bit or because their friends are doing it. I want them to do it because they want to do it. I want them to do their best,” Rinehimer said.
Although Rinehimer’s boys play organized sports, in particular baseball, Rinehimer said, “I’d rather them play pick up games with their friends out on the street and making up the rules and figuring it out themselves.”
“If they want to keep playing (organized sports) we’ll let them play. If they don’t want to play or play something else they can do that,” said Rinehimer who moved to Marietta with his wife Brennan from California after completing his military service.
“I think that in today’s date and age, coaching is a great way to give back. Teachers and coaches and parents are an important part of society in making it work.”
North Atlanta Soccer Association
Dave Smith, Executive Director of North Atlanta Soccer Association, has two sons, Parker, 15, and River, 13, who share his love for soccer.
“Soccer is my passion and they’ve grown up around it. I am excited that they enjoy the game and have the passion for the sport of soccer like their dad does,” Smith said.
Smith, who coaches youth soccer for ages 5 to 19 for NASA, as well as runs clinics for coaches, has had plenty of opportunity to observe how other parents handle their children and sports. “I’ve tried to apply that (observation) with the expectations I have for my boys,” the Marietta resident said.
“I would love to see them do great things with soccer but it’s something they have to want to do,” said Smith who played soccer in college and professional indoor soccer.
“If one of them came to me tomorrow and said they wanted to do something besides soccer I would support it as much as I do the soccer that’s for sure,” the husband of Kathy Smith said.
Both of Smith’s sons are mulit-talented athletes participating in other sports including golf, climbing, mountain biking, basketball and cross country.
Smith coaches that dedication and passion pays off. “I believe you have to love what you do, and if you do, then it’s easy to put time in and work hard at it and become better at it. (Parker and River) both work really hard at home and at practices as well. They both are thriving,” said Smith, who moved from Colorado to Marietta for work.
“The best part of being a dad is watching your kids grow and learn and excel when they apply effort to what they’re doing. It’s great just to spend time with them,” Smith said.
“I enjoy being with my kids. Whether we are hiking or skiing or whatever I get to be a kid again when I spend time with them and I enjoy that,” Smith said. .