Mya: Creating My Very Own Supernerd.

I have always dreamed of being a father.  You know the kind of dad that takes pictures of every second of their kids’ childhood?

That was going to be me.

The dad who invites family to the sporting events in an attempt to have the most raucous, screaming, embarrassingly loud section to root for their child. 

Yep, that was going to be me too.

The kind of dad who invites the family over to  screams extra loud when their kid brings home a good report card?

You know a dad like that right?  Me either.

I have been a coach for almost a decade and have had the opportunity to intimately converse with hundreds of parents about their children.  It surprises me that most times parents speak of their children’s scholarship potential it is completely and solely based on their child’s athletic prowess.

It is a very rare– a very rare instance when a kid’s academic skills are mentioned.  Never mind the fact that a teenager’s chances of getting an academic scholarship is exponentially better than attaining an athletic scholarship.

This makes me wonder:  why are the parents of school-aged children not putting more emphasis and focus on academic successes ?

Mya, my girlfriend’s six-year-old daughter, is now at that soccer, dance, softball team age and she’s raring to go.  She even wants to play tackle football, a development that I am obviously proud of  and am encouraging. 

She is trying to become a multi-faceted, well-rounded, eclectic, every-woman, and I am more than happy to facilitate her growth towards those endeavors.

What I am more proud of though, is the same tenacity she shows trying to perfect her golf swing she shows at the dinner table every night trying to master her homework. 

Yes, she is six and she gets pissed whenever she falls short of the high standards and expectations she has set for herself. 

She not only wants to outperform the boys on the field, but in the classroom.  I am more than willing to raise, demand, and push my baby to be a nerd.


It is no secret that simply having a bachelor’s degree is not going to be enough to ensure success and a comfortable life anymore.  It is even less likely for Mya, because she is black(she is actually bi-racial; her mother is white and fantastic role model and mother) and more so because she is female.  If you believe the statistics the odds are stacked against her.

Suffice it to say, because of the statistics, I am more interested in seeing her becoming the next Condoleeza Rice over the next Candace Parker. Candace might get a chance  to play for the team, but Condoleeza is more likely to own the team. 

Rick Santorum and  the GOP will have you think that Mr. Obama is a ‘snob’ for exhorting that everyone go to college.  We all know that there are people who are not cut out to sit in classrooms.  To  dismiss the idea of higher education as snobbish casts an unnecessary dark cloud of the hundreds of hands-on vocational schools and junior colleges that are set up to help the masses no matter the learning speed or handicap.

I know there will come a time when Mya is conscious of the social stigmas that go along with being a nerd.  When that day comes I will remind her that while she is worried about trying to land a date or secure her rep the world is still spinning, the difference between the haves and the have-nots is still increasing, and the job market is decreasing at the same pace as the requirements for landing a career is increasing. 

It all starts with me and her mom though.  I have to be mindful to loudly celebrate those honor roll report cards, those 4th place certificates for science fairs, and every merit badge she earns in Girl Scouts.  Afterall, if loud exultation is allowed for 300 yard drives, then me doing the Arsenio Hall dog pound whoop at an awards assembly should be embraced.

So, I’m ordering my Mya jersey, and my pink warface paint today, because there is a six-year-old who deserves confetti and Gatorade dumped on her for having a ‘green day’.  Maybe just the confetti… the Gatorade will be reserved for her first touchdown come this Fall.


2 Responses to “Mya: Creating My Very Own Supernerd.”

  1. My son and daughter both play sports in school and are very good at it my son is also in Rotc and my daughter in the choir but they will both tell you if their grades arent good they dont play or do any fun school activities my kids are honor roll students and have been since 1st grade I dont play when it comes to educating the mind even when all is stripped away they will always have an education to fall back on

  2. jborange Says:

    Actually a lot of athletes are as intelligent as they are talented.I read that Candace Parker was on the honor roll all through primary and secondary school.So was Chamique Holdsclaw.And in addition to being Kodak All-American in basketball while in college,they were also on the Academic All-American list.Maya Moore is a Rhodes Scholar.Lisa Leslie is part owner of the LA Sparks as of last year.There are also some athletes who were smart enough to get into ivy league colleges.Former WNBA player Allison Feaster is a Harvard graduate.So is current Knicks player Jeremy Lin.So you don’t have to be a politician to be highly intelligent.What I like about the WNBA rules is that while the men can choose whether to go to college or not before going pro,the women have to complete at least 3 years of college before they’re eligible to go pro.The women usually stay in college for all four years,and get their bachelor’s degree before going pro.Some of them even go to grad school and study for their Master’s during the offseason.And there are plenty of retired athletes who own their own businesses,like Michael Jordan,Magic Johnson,Cappie Pondexter,Venus and Serena Williams,and the list goes on.So your daughter Mya can aspire to be like Candace and Condoleeza.

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