Skip to main content

News | Washington Commanders -

Soon-to-be dad Mike Sainristil excited to create memories and be a role model for daughter


Now that June is here, Commanders rookie Mike Sainristil is eagerly waiting for the moment that will change his life forever. The former Michigan cornerback is so close to welcoming his first child.

"It could be any minute, any day this week," Sainristil say. "I wouldn't say I've been scared. I've been more anxious like, 'When is it gonna happen?', 'What day is it going to be?' 'Where am I going to be?' 'What's going to be going on?'"

It's been the quite the couple months for the 23-year-old who, in addition to gearing up for fatherhood, is getting ready for his first season as a pro. In this busy but uniquely special time, the impending arrival of his daughter has highlighted for Sainristil the importance of being where his feet are and striving to be the best person he can be.

Emotions are running high with the any-minute-now nature of the pregnancy, but the overwhelming feeling for both Sainristil and his partner Seliana is excitement.

"I know that she [Seliana] is super ready to give birth, and I'm ready to be there and be super supportive," he said. "I'm just ready to meet our daughter, see her for the first time, hold her for the first time."


With Seliana being this late in her pregnancy, go-time is anyone's guess and that means having a plan in place is crucial. This has been particularly important as Sainristil's new pro schedule is rather full, and he isn't able to have his phone by his side at all times.

"If I'm at work, she knows to contact Alexis [player development assistant Alexis Dotson]," Sainristil said. "Alexis will get to me right away."

And when he's not at Commanders Park, Sainristil is "always right by her side." At home and at work, he is navigating two spaces that are beckoning his best self.

This time in his rookie year is about learning what might be considered a whole new language which means he needs to be "on" whenever he's in the building. Then, when he's at home with a very pregnant Seliana, he's constantly mindful of what he can be doing to help her and the environment baby girl Sainristil is about to enter.

To be what he needs to be as a football player, partner and a future dad, Sainristil is challenging himself to identify where his focus should be put at any given time and to not have one space impact the other too much.


"Biggest thing for me is just being present wherever I am. If I'm at home, being attentive at home. If I'm at work, being attentive at work," he said. "Just being 100% all in wherever I am just so I can give the most of myself to what I'm doing at the time."

Just like the rookie has teammates that he'll be looking to learn from in a football capacity, Sainristil has plenty of people around him to give advice as he gets ready to step into this fatherhood chapter.

In fact, more specifically, there's been a noticeable wave of girl dads on the Commanders roster over the past year. John Bates, Sam Cosmi and Mike Davis all welcomed baby girls last season. Benjamin St-Juste is also expecting a girl.

"We get to go through it together," Sainristil said with a smile.

There's a lot that is about to be new for this rookie, but fear or trepidation isn't in his vocabulary. He's ready to step up for the roles before him. And when it comes to his little girl, being the greatest dad possible is all he can think about.

"I'm excited to just create memories, being that male figure that she looks up to," Sainristil said. "I'm going to set a standard for her when it comes to men."

Related Content