My life beyond football

Jacob Bairdblog

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a football in my hand. Some kids used to sleep with stuffed animals, I slept with a football, underneath the poster of Barry Sanders with his signature addressed to me – one of my most prized possessions. Safe to say, my life revolved around football as a kid. Part of my dad always hoped I would come around to hunting and fishing and that we would have something the two of us could grow closer through. It just wasn’t my thing. Once my dad realized how much I loved football, he decided to invest in it, not because he loved football so much, but because he loved me enough to invest in what I was passionate about. He spent much of my childhood coaching my youth football teams, driving me to practices, training camps, and games. It is worth mentioning that due to football season being in the fall, this often meant missing out on his hunting time for me. As a kid, you take some of that for granted and don’t realize the sacrifices your parents make until you are older. An even better example of this is my father leaving the corporate world to start a sports training facility.

To most people, the Dome is just another business, equipped with a group of coaches and staff to teach sports. To me, the Dome is a representation of my father’s love for me and his willingness to sacrifice countless time and money to create an environment for his child to succeed. He surrounded himself with the best coaches and instructors he could find and equipped me with the tools necessary to be able to improve my game. I remember waking up before school to go get a lift in at the Dome and then returning later that night to do speed work after classes were done. But the Dome wasn’t just a place where I could improve the physical tools needed to succeed. My dad knew that football would come to an end someday and that the lessons I learned through the sport would be what I ultimately carried with me for the rest of my life. Because of this, he used football to teach me life lessons in a way that I related to and that stuck with me to this day.

I am now a Senior in college, reflecting on the effort my father put into the Dome and what I see is a representation of his love for me. I see it in his decision to invest his career in something that his child would benefit from. I see it in the commitment he had to making sure I was equipped with the physical tools I needed to succeed on the field. I see it in his commitment to having the best coaches surrounding me and guiding me. I see it in his desire to help me grow as a person and a leader through the lessons he taught me using football. My hope for you is that you are able to experience all that the Dome has to offer in the same way. The same passion with which my father invested his efforts to help me succeed, he puts into everything he does. As your child spends time at the Dome, I hope that they will feel the same love that I did through the staff and the lessons learned through their time there.

Over the next few months, I am going to start making a series of these blog posts, highlighting different things the Dome has to offer. Hopefully, through this experience, you will get to see an inside look at some of the people and things that make the Dome unique! My goal through this is that you can start to see the Dome through the same lens I do and view it as a way for your child to experience the same love that I did during my time spent at the Dome. Because of this, if there are any specific topics you would like to know more about, please shoot a message to and I would be happy to create a blog post on it!