Thank You, Mr. LaRoche

By March 25, 2016 No Comments

Once upon a time a little boy and his father were playing outside. A rare occasion due to the father’s demanding work schedule. A few minutes into playing catch, the son turned to the father and asked, “Dad, how much money do you make an hour?” A bit taken aback by the question, the father responded: “Why do you ask?” Instead of answering the son asked once more: “Dad how much do you make an hour?” The father then deliberated for a minute on whether or not to answer, and finally responded: “Son, I make $50 an hour.”

The little boy then went to his room and came back several minutes later with $20 in his hand. He said, “Dad, can I borrow $30?” The father gave him a perplexed look and said, “You have $20 in your hand, why do you need to borrow $30 more?” The little boy looked up at him nervously and replied, “Because then I’ll have $50 dad and can buy an hour of your time.”

I’ve read different versions of this story over the years, but one current news story brought this back to mind. I’m of course talking about the recent retirement of Adam LaRoche. If you’re not familiar with this story, you can read it here. There are valid points which I completely understand from both sides. This post isn’t about who’s right or wrong. Rather, it is about why Mr. LaRoche should be applauded and why society should appreciate him.

I’m tired of seeing stories in the news about men who don’t take care of their children.

I’m tired of hearing and reading about men who walk out on their little boys.

I’m tired of seeing and hearing about young males growing up in fatherless homes.

I’m tired of young males not having their dad spend enough time with them.

One of the biggest problems we have in our world today, is not enough men who are real fathers. Any guy can help create a child, but it takes a real man to help raise one and be an influence in a young boy’s life. So, it really bothers me when Adam LaRoche is criticized for wanting to spend as much time as he can around his son. LaRoche should be applauded for giving up a job so many covet. His decision was not about money, it was about family.

I understand not everyone is in or will be in a situation similar to Adam LaRoche’s. But that’s not the point. It’s extremely refreshing to see a professional athlete have a relationship like Adam and Drake LaRoche. There are several professional athletes who are great fatherly role-models too, such as: Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, Kurt Warner, and Albert Pujols. However, these positive examples are not talked out enough, and this is why the LaRoche story is refreshing.

Too many men today spend too much time away from their family, whether it’s work related or not. Adam LaRoche is an example to all fathers out there. He is not the type to be out at the bars all the time. He does not put work above family. He wouldn’t spend the weekend at the golf course, or doing other things his family couldn’t be a part of. He’s there with his son and realizes you only get these times once in life. 

I love my job as a teacher and a coach because it gives me the time I need to spend with my children. It gives me the opportunity to create my most important legacy in life, which is what I leave with my children and how I raise them.

I’ve recently made a decision to step away from coaching football in order to be there more for my family. Going August until March is difficult with two small kids, and they are beginning to be involved with their own sports. I will continue to coach basketball, but felt this was best for our family at this time. It’s “no” for now, but not forever.

Hats off to you Mr. LaRoche for being a shining example of what a true father and man is.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Adam LaRoche in the Washington Post on his decision to retire from baseball:

“I will leave you with the same advice that I left my teammates,” he wrote. “In life, we’re all faced with difficult decisions and will have a choice to make. Do we act based on the consequences, or do we act on what we know and believe in our hearts to be right? I choose the latter.”

As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!


Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization. Message him for details