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WonderDad of the Week – Derrick Kosinski, Veteran on MTV’s “The Challenge”

Our WonderDad of the Week is Derrick Kosinski, a singe father of 1 son, podcaster, influencer and a veteran on MTV’s “The Challenge” where he’s been competing on and off for nearly 16 years.
How do you balance being a podcaster, television personality and Dad?

Well the 1st thing is getting your son to understand that leaving the country for 2 months with about 20 minutes of phone time each week to “film a Challenge” and “doing a podcast” for almost 2 hours a few times a week isn’t you just disappearing for no good reason. My son is 10 now, but at the beginning of this experiment/hobby turned amazing job opportunity, it was a struggle. Sometimes when I leave to do a “Challenge Mania LIVE” once or twice a month, it still is. He plays flag football, baseball, and basketball, I help coach all 3 teams and I think it’s still a gut shot for both of us when I have to miss any of those. Personally, I don’t even like missing practices where I get to help coach, teach, and prepare these kids, including my son, for their next battle. I think the key to helping balance all these fluctuating emotions is positive communication tactics, involving all parties including my son, his mom (my ex-wife), his grandparents, his coaches, teachers, and even close friends when I’m not around to help him understand, that when daddy is away for some time, it’s because this is how daddy makes money and this how we pay the bills. And because daddy has a weird, but flexible job, he can be around A LOT more, pick him up from school, volunteer at his school sometimes, make time for cool stuff, play a season of NBA PLAYGROUNDS 2 (NBA JAM), and help coach his sports teams is because he has to leave the room for a bit, leave the state, and even leave the country, at times. He understands now, and we make it work. ?

Given what you know about being on TV, if your son wanted to be on TV how would you guide him?

Given what I know now about being in “this type” of TV, I’m hoping as a parent, he doesn’t have the same amount of crazy stories to share a casting director at 19 years old as I did. Lol. But then again, I would know he had lived an interesting life up to that point and had a lot of fun. Lol.

If I were to guide him, I would have gotten his pretty little face in casting directors hands in Pittsburgh long time ago, because he is a handsome little fella. At this point, if he wanted to pursue television, I’d start out from the ground up-Professional headshots, acting classes, and hope that I have a connection or two in the casting world that could help get that cute little face in front of the right people.

If it was reality TV we were shooting for, I think he’d make a great addition to a Polish/American Hillbilly’s Family based show. Lol. ?

What’s your favorite activity/way to bond with Derrick Jr.?

Playing sports and playing video games with my growing 10 year old is my favorite. Baseball and flag football is just starting back up, so tossing the football on the run is a lot of fun and I just bought a bucket of balls at Dick’s and had an awesome time this past Sunday pitching to him and watching him crack balls to the best of his ability. We even bought one of those overgrown frisbee’s and let that baby fly a bit. Also been having a lot of fun playing a season of “NBA Playgrounds 2” with him which is the modern day version of “NBA JAM!” ?

Favorite/funniest memory with Derrick Jr?

Every day I get to spend with him is my favorite! We’re constantly growing and learning together-about life and each other. I’m not sure I can be “exact” with this answer. I feel like my favorite moments are when my son is with and spending time with my family in Chicago, particularly my parents and my younger brothers. We live in West Virginia and I always wish they had more time together. Trips visiting feel short and undercut even if it’s a 5-10 day trip a few times a year. It just makes me so happy to see them interact. Little D always seems to feel the same too, always asking when we are going to go back. We have our Easter Trip planned and art very excited. We’ll be bringing our baseball gear and we’ll be at the park-“All the Boys.” A few proud dad moments was when D scored 19 points, 10 rebounds in the first game of last basketball season and recently his last baseball practice, he played catcher all practice, didn’t get to hit, had about 5 minutes left in practice, he said he hadn’t hit yet, they rushed his catchers gear off, one of the coaches managed to make an adjustment in his swing and that boy RIPPED SOME SEEDS. I didn’t even know he had in him. We ended practice on that note and he said he had fun. I couldn’t be more proud. I’m hoping to help him get to the all-star game this year. We’ll see, he’s got some pretty good kids in front of him.

Who are three other dads that inspire you the most?

Well, I’m going to give 4 dads because 2 of the dads are brothers and I just can’t separate them with this question. Lol.

Bogi and Leonard’s (L.A.) kids are the same age as my son. They’ll all be playing flag football on the Raiders this flag football season. L.A.’s son will play QB. Bogi’s son will play RB, his step twins be WR’s and my son will ironically play TE. I’ve also won a few Men’s State Flag Football Championships with the dads. They do a great job with the kids.

Jeremy Donai is a Professor at WVU and our kids have played together in basketball, baseball, and football in the past 3 years. We are not currently on any teams together?! But he’s always kept in line with sports and kept me updated. Summer time pool sessions with the kids have been automatic must do’s over the years!

Brian Silvers is one of my best friends, an incredible dad, someone I lived with post divorce, and helped me get on my feet. His son only plays baseball at 11 years old and is one of the best players in the state at in that age group. Seeing this happen at such a young age is truly a father/son combo inspiration.

Follow Derrick on Instagram @derrickmtv and be sure to check out his podcast “Challenge Mania”.


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