The following is a post by our founder, Chris Krause, who regularly contributes to this blog. Chris, a football alumnus of Vanderbilt, founded NCSA Athletic Recruiting to help every gifted athlete get the resources they need to play their sport in college.
I had the rare opportunity this week of taking my son Christopher to watch my alma mater, the Vanderbilt Commodores, play in the championship game of the College World Series, where 11 NCSA Athletic Recruiting alumni were able to compete this year. Vanderbilt played a hard game, but came up short by two runs to the University of Virginia. While the Vanderbilt loss wasn’t what we were hoping for, at the end of the day, I realized that I–and anyone who pursues their dream of playing their sport in college–was the true winner.
I can’t talk enough about the power of sport. And I didn’t know I could feel it any stronger — until I began the journey to Omaha with my son.
From the start of the trip, I had former teammates, friends, equipment managers, and coaches, texting and calling about the game. “Where should we meet up?” “I’ll pick you up from the airport!” “We’re in section x,y,z for the game.” This one event brought me together with people I haven’t seen in years, but when we do get together, pick right up where we left off.
And this time, I got to bring the next generation into the fold. My son heard stories about his Dad, witnessed the power of laughter and friendship, and made friends with their kids, all because I became a student-athlete at Vanderbilt 30 years ago.
And I didn’t even play baseball.
Sharing these experiences with our children is the number one lesson for sports parents to remember.
Realizing how deep my pride runs as an alumni was something special I discovered on this trip. Knowing that my Commodores were in the running to do something special, and knowing I could share it with my son, made making the trip a no-brainer for me. It wasn’t about the cost of going, it wasn’t about the travel time and logistics to set-up, it was the fact that my brothers were battling it out for a back-to-back championship, and I needed to be there to show my support, to Anchor Down, and to cheer them on.
I was in Omaha for 24 hours this week, and it is a trip I will never, ever forget. I got to see my son in head-to-toe black and gold cheering for nine innings of baseball. I got to share with him a piece of my past and some beautiful people I didn’t know I’d ever see again. I got to share my mission of Athleadership, empowering ourselves and others through the life lessons of sports, with people from across the country.
And the vehicle behind it all? Sports. My decision to become a football student-athlete in Nashville all that time ago.
I will be forever in debt to the game of football, to the power of sport, and to Vanderbilt University for the joy they have brought to my life since the day I set foot on campus, especially now having the opportunity to share these roots with my son Christopher. Four years of football and earning a college degree has truly been the reward of a lifetime.
You can help your child learn from the life lessons of sports. Our scouts can help you identify what they need to succeed as college athletes; the best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.