My First Hero

PLAYSOCCER Spring 2018 – Quentin Holmes

Saturday mornings in Michigan during the early 90s meant two big things for me: time with my dad and soccer games at the park. I remember the mad dash around the house to eat breakfast, find my uniform and cleats, and load gear into the car so we could meet up with the rest of my team before our big game.

At that time, my dad, Charles Holmes, was a rising executive with the Boy Scouts of America in Flint, Michigan, and he kept a pretty busy schedule. Despite the constant outside calls for his attention, my dad strived to make time for our games and volunteered as an assistant coach for my AYSO soccer team. My father stressed good sportsmanship, working hard, having fun, learning, and growing no matter the outcome of the game.

My favorite memory was with our 1992 championship team. We went undefeated. I’m glad my dad was there to enjoy that season with my teammates and me.

That year was even more special because it turned out to be my last year playing soccer. My dad was a big believer of keeping his children active and always encouraged us to try different activities. Other than soccer, some of the activities were Cub Scouts, BoyScouts, basketball, baseball, and youth groups at my church.

Years later, here I am, an entrepreneur and father of two young children of my own. Now, I have so much more admiration for the example that my father set so many years ago. There are great demands on my time, and some days I’m so busy that I’m not sure how I get anything done; but the example that my dad modeled in making time for me and my teammates still lives in my memories and drives me today to set a similar example for my four-year-old daughter, Zoe, and two-year-old son, Caleb.

It was also the driving force for me to write my first picture book, “Sporty Lou: Soccer King,” the story of a father and son playing together in the backyard, learning the fundamentalsof soccer. With Sporty Lou, I want to help young parents and children experience the joy of learning soccer while inspiring parents to be active throughout their kids’ soccer journey. The times and memories formed during these formative years are priceless and develop character and values that last a lifetime.

I’m living proof that good men and women develop foundational roots for success within the AYSO program. They offer avenues where quiet heroes, like my dad, can bestow years of wisdom inside the confines of a soccer match.