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'Coach' Toby Keith's Got Game

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Just call him coach.

Toby Keith may be a Country Music Awards-winning megastar, but when he’s at his home just outside of Norman, Okla., he trades the stage for the football field with his son, Stelen.

He has coached his 13-year-old son’s football team for the past six years, and the players have gotten used to their superstar mentor. “Kids do better with that than adults do,” Keith, 49, tells PEOPLE Country for its September issue. “They are just, ‘Hey, coach! Can I go in?’ ”

When they’re not on the field, they’re hitting the basketball court: Keith says he shoots hoops with Stelen’s “herd of friends” at their home almost every night.

“He’s 13 and has a size 13 shoe,” Keith laughs. “So he’s a bigger kid than I was at his age.”

And when he does make his way back to the bright lights of Nashville from his 160-acre ranch, he’s the same guy from Oklahoma.

“You get a thick skin early on in this business,” he says. “And you learn what you are willing to put up with and what you aren’t,” he says. “The bottom line? You are your own guy.”

For more from Keith, Kellie Pickler, Carrie Underwood’s fairytale wedding and more, pick up the special PEOPLE Country, on newsstands now

Plus: Free iTunes music from hot artists like Justin Moore, Chuck Wicks at