Written by Shannon Yang
Ever since junior Josh Radin was four years old, he has practiced sports with his father, Jon Radin.
“Basically every sport that I ever started, he was my first coach and helped me get the fundamentals of the game,” Josh said of his father, who coached his sports teams when he was younger, starting with soccer, then basketball, working their way up to T-ball, baseball and tennis.
Jon motivated Josh to always do better for himself and put in as much work as he possibly could. “Sometimes it’s harder for me to play sports by myself because of the lack of motivation, so it always helps to have my dad there with me as a teammate, coach and overall inspiration,” Josh said.
Over the years, the duo was able to start spending about two hours a day together when they would normally not, according to Jon. “Our teams would practice a few times a week,” Jon said. “I’d take him to practice, spend the time on the field coaching during practice and then I’d take him home.”
All that time together doing sports—including the drives to practices and games—helped Josh and his dad develop a whole different aspect of their relationship, as coach and player along with father and son. “Sports for me has always been a way to bond with people and get to know people or become closer with them,” Josh said. “So spending that much time together really got us closer.”
In addition to spending more time together, Josh and Jon got to see each other in different situations and learn sportsmanship skills when their team would lose. “It’s easy to work together when you’re winning,” Jon said. “Dealing with losing was a lot harder. But we learned how to work hard, not give up and get better.”
Though Josh now plays varsity sports and Jon can’t coach for him anymore, they still practice together for fun. One time they ran to the closest outdoor basketball hoop and played one-on-one against each other. They also competed together in a father-son tennis tournament, which they won.
For Jon, one of the most beneficial aspects of playing sports is that he can play them alongside his son. “I coached him when he was four, I coached him when he was 14 and when he’s 24 we’ll still be able to play tennis and basketball and everything together,” Jon said. “No matter what school he’s in or what it is happening in his life, we know that we can always go out and play sports together.”