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Get Your Tissues Ready, Sports Mamas

There are only a few times in life when you come across something spectacular, something that completely blows you away. Last night was that kind of night for my son, Ryan, his team, the Misfits, and me. Let me introduce Ryan to you.   My son, Ryan, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblast Leukemia at the age of three (he is now 11 and is going on 5 1/2 years of being Cancer Free!) Ryan loves baseball and plays on an 11u Select Travel Baseball Team, the Misfits. This is Ryan’s first year released to play any sport he chooses and well, Ryan loves baseball, so of course, his pick was BASEBALL. So this momma went hunting for something that would fit Ryan. I came across Dugout Sports advertising tryouts for a select team I said: “what the hell let’s try.”  Ryan was chosen to be on the team coached by…

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Do Uncoachable Kids Become Unemployable Adults?

There was a time when I would have wholeheartedly agreed with this… Now, I don’t. It’s not so simple. Recently a picture with this statement popped up in my Facebook timeline.. a bunch of times. My friend (amazing sports mama of four and Olympic gold medalist) Samantha Arensault Livingstone, also saw it and wrote an article addresses what is at stake if we continue this approach to parenting and coaching. In her article, she writes : I don’t think there’s such a thing as an uncoachable kid. I think there are kids who are at times, uncoachable. There’s a big difference. A critical difference. And, honoring this difference doesn’t mean we toss out accountability and ownership. Just the opposite. So what does that really look like? Samantha’s Six Pillars of High-Performance is a great place to start. If we want our kids to become brave, mindful, resilient leaders – in…

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How I See It

I see lots of posts about younger kids making mistakes, not having a great game, etc. and thought I would offer some perspective based on our recent experience. My 12-year-old was offered a great opportunity. We live on the east coast and he was invited to play with a team on the west coast. We do not play a full schedule with the west coast team but play in larger multi-day tournaments. The team is good. They win a lot. They also lose. Here is what I have learned splitting my time between two coasts: Every tournament has teams that care more about the win than the well being of the children on the team. No matter where you play, you may encounter the coach that will stall a game to run out the clock and secure the win, you will hear parents heckling children on the opposite team, and…

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This Conversation Between Two Gymnastics Moms Restored My Faith in Humanity

Just like anything in life, social media can either be used for good or for destruction, depending on our intent. I’m in several sports moms groups including Sports Moms United and I found this exchange between two gymnastics moms to be one of the most helpful, honest and encouraging exchanges on social media lately. It’s simple. It’s honest. It’s powerful. It went like this… Bridgett asked a vunerable and very real question which most sports moms have (or will have) on their mind. I just gotta ask. For those moms who have raised gymnasts from toddler to college – or even upperclassmen in high school – how did you not break mentally? I mean, I’m being serious. Between the emotional roller coaster, the financial roller coaster, the gym mom roller coaster… I’m exhausted beyond words. And she just turned 10. Missy, another gymnastic mom in the group, replied: My daughter…

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Play Like You Don’t Give A…

Someone once told me that if I really want to be successful I should play/live/write/speak/coach like I don’t care.   *I don’t care about winning. *I don’t care about what people think. *I don’t care about my ego.   It’s good advice.  It’s also really hard to do.   But I’ve found, for myself at least, that just trying this attitude on is when I find my best self.   It’s pretty hard to do ALL the time. But when I let go of thinking ‘what will they think, or what will I lose, or what am I risking’ and just TRUST, the end result is better. It’s definitely scarier but also more fulfilling. Like, writing this blog for example.   I COULD worry about saying f***.   I COULD worry if I’m offending people.   I COULD write in the hopes that you’ll like me, or take some action or…

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Should You Join the Sports Moms Movement?

There are days I don’t even want to get on social media.   You with me?   Division, discouragement and despair can run rampant in cyberspace.   But when I jump on social media and check-in with my #sportsmoms in the Sports Moms United facebook community,  I connect with the most amazing, determined and supportive women who share common ground with me…our kids play sports.   Some of our kids play for fun.   Some of our kids play to get an education.   Some of our kids are gifted.   Some of our kids are not.   But it doesn’t’ matter. What matters is we have a community of women supporting, inspiring, and sharing experiences and resources with each other with the intention of raising our athletes to be amazing human beings!   It’s my #sportsmom support group.   In the Sports Moms United facebook community,  I find my…

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3 Ways to Let Go and Let Your Kids Fight For Themselves

It’s a parental instinct to keep your kids from harm and hurt and it’s a good thing for parents to do–for a while.   As your children grow, you give them more responsibilities and privileges. They learn to drive, do their own laundry, keep up with their homework. You proudly watch them grow up, and even though you may feel like you are “letting go,” there is still that last apron string that you just can’t seem to cut.   In an effort to continue protecting, we do not let them fight their own battles.   Hang around a gymnasium, soccer field, football field, baseball or softball diamond and you will parents who struggle with this. Whether it’s a fight for playing time, a conflict with a coach, or dealing with a trash-talking teammate, parents step in to do battle, not realizing that their actions are actually hurting their kids…

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5 Can’t Miss Tips for Sports Moms

Recently, I asked a group of almost two thousand sports moms this question…   “What is the best advice you can give to another sports mom?”   Sports mama, Joy Ballard, shares the wisdom she gained while cheering on her sons in competitive sports:   Find a team to develop your son, not one that just wins. A good coach with good kids where your athlete gets to play (no matter what position he plays) because reps in games matter.     All those trophies end up in a box in your closet when they move out. They truly mean nothing to a college guy or an adult. Our oldest son played tennis and when he moved out he didn’t take them.     If your kid isn’t having fun move him back to rec play or a lower level or another team. It’s supposed to be fun. It is a…

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17 Lessons From Sports Moms Every Sports Parent Should Read

Every sports parent should read their answers because these sports mamas get it right.   What is one thing you have learned as a sports mom that you are grateful to have learned?   How to bite. my tongue. – Chelsea Colburn     Saying “I love to watch you play” really does have a magical effect. -Chris Hyde Clark     To focus on praising the effort and not the outcome – effort they can control but outcome they can’t. – Kim Davis Edwards   Allow your son or daughter to deal with talking to their coach. Always let them deal with the issue and only step in as a last resort. Especially in their high school years and if lucky their college years. -Rita Kukura     Never be Negative. -Pat Smith Snowden     These are children. Many parents haven’t figured it out; its not about them. -Shannon Lessard  …

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The Best Advice for Young Athletes from a College Athlete

Today the Baker softball girls had our first 6:30 am conditioning (boot camp).   Not going to lie, I felt more out of shape than I normally do and that inspired me to share some thoughts and tips for other athletes (even young) and myself. These also apply to other areas of life.   It’s OK to Not Always Feel Your Best. We all experience “off” days and that’s ok as long as you don’t give up.  Giving up is cheating yourself and your team.     Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself. This is the toughest for me, but it’s something I’m working on every day.  It’s a PROCESS and not always about finishing first right away.     If it’s easy, you’re not working hard enough and it’s probably not worth it anyway. So push yourself!     Mentality is huge- but it takes PRACTICE. A couple positive things…

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