Dear Sports Mommas,
Organized sports are, I believe, one of the best things a child can experience to help prepare them for life!!! The benefits are limitless! They learn structure, discipline, how to be a part of a team, all before they are even in school, in some cases. But there is a “CON” to organized sports, and to be honest it starts and ends with parents.
As a mom of three boys from first to seventh grade we have played every sport! (Soccer, flag & tackle football, tee ball – baseball, basketball, wrestling, and golf)
We started soccer and wrestling at age 3 and since then it hasn’t stopped! It has only progressed. And, I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten angry or embarrassed to be a part of, what should be something so pure and precious. My boys just want to have fun and play with their friends, but when we are losing it gets ugly! There is absolutely nothing that brings me more joy than to see my boys doing something they love. And they love spending time with and making friends. So joy all around, right?! WRONG friends, oh so wrong! The second another parent either on our team or the opposing team starts yelling at someone it all goes downhill. The yelling is not cheering; cheering would be acceptable. This yelling is words of anger or frustration directed towards coaches, umpires (at this stage the umpires are usually adolescents) or their own children. Most days it is to the point where my blood boils and I don’t get to really enjoy the experience. So I just want to remind you and all the “Sports Moms & Dads” that there is no room, call or need for yelling of any sort at a sporting event!
Before every game I tell my boys two things: HAVE FUN and DO YOUR BEST. They know that it doesn’t matter if they win or lose. The only thing that I expect from them is for them to try their very best. Because if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well and right! I am not raising three all-star pro athletes. I am, however, raising men. Men who will one day be on their own in the world and I don’t want them to think everything in life is a competition. I don’t want them to think that doing anything to win is acceptable. Losing with grace and honor is a harder lesson to learn and teach than winning at all costs. If they don’t learn it now, they never will!!
A PSA for all you Sports Mommas: Check yourself, check your spouse. When you are at your child’s sporting event remember to cheer hard, cheer loud but don’t yell!! And while you are cheering, make sure you cheer on your team and the other children, not just your own.
Spring is here and sports are starting. Teach your child what it means to be part of a team. Show them what sportsmanship looks like. Don’t be “That Guy”! Remember why they are playing and what they are really playing for.
All My Love,