Being the mother of an athlete is a challenging yet rewarding role. At momsTEAM we think sports moms deserve to be honored, not just on the second Sunday in May, but for an entire month. So we have designated May as National Sports Moms Month and invited some veteran sports moms to share their wisdom by responding to a series of questions. We will post a new blog for every day of May, which we hope you will find interesting, empowering, and informative, and that you will share them with your family and friends.
Today we hear from one of momsTEAM's favorite guest contributors, Gretchen Rose, sports mom to a teenage daughter and a football-crazy tween.
momsTEAM: Were you an athlete and what sport(s) did you play as a youth?
Rose: My high school sport was three years on the drill team. Quite enough contact, tackles and tumbles for me!
momsTEAM: What is the most rewarding aspect of being a sports mom?
Rose: To me the most rewarding aspect of being a sports mom is helping my children reach their goals. The days are long - driving to practice, doing the laundry, working out the logistics - but truly the time passes so quickly. It is a priceless feeling, when you see the look of true accomplishment and joy on a child's face. I hope these early year lessons in perseverance will continue into their adult lives.
momsTEAM: What lesson has your sports active child taught you?
Rose: There are so many lessons I have learned along the way; that Blue Gatorade stains everything is at the top of the list! Other lessons: when the team is under 8, the after game snack is much more important than the game; to always keep gps and band aids handy. Mainly, always treat people the way you want to be treated.
momsTEAM: What is the most important lesson your child is learning from sports.
Rose: My daughter is 16 and on her high school dance team. I am amazed at how organized she is. Practice begins before 6:30 a.m. She must have her entire school day organized and ready to walk out the door. From clothes, shoes to work assignments, there is no turning back. She is also a lieutenant for the group. She is now responsible for her group of 15 girls.
My son is 11 and is football crazed. I hope he is leaning to "shake off the last play." Whether it was a hit or a miss, you are only as good as the next play that is about to happen. Don't dwell on the past. This will serve him well in life.
momsTEAM: If you could "flip a switch" and change one thing about the culture of youth sports what would it be?
Rose: My favorite question! Organized youth sports are great. They are a great way to be with a group who enjoys what you enjoy doing, meeting friends, and learning how to a part of a team. It is a great way to teach young children the lessons in life that they will need to know as adults: how to lose with grace, how to share the victory with others, the importance of being part of something bigger than yourself, sacrificing for others, and that competition is fun and brings out your best. To me, what spoils the fun of youth sports and some of the valuable lessons along the way are the parents! 90% are well meaning and so helpful as life teachers and coaches. It is the 10% with their win-at-all cost attitude, the ones who get too caught up in the world of U10 soccer, that I wish we could rehabilitate!
When my god children were younger they lived in London, England. They played all of their sports - soccer, swim meets, track meets, fencing, etc. during school! The reason was so that the parents would not be there to watch! I would be so sad not to see my kids perform, but there isn't so much pressure on the kids. They win or they lose, they go home and tell ( or not) their parents about their day at school.
momsTEAM: What have you done to make sports better for kids?
Rose: For kids, I am an awesome car pool driver and fan! For youth team coaches, I invented KidzMat, a youth sports organizational mat. It is fun for the youngest athletes to know where they are suppose to be and what to do as they are learning the game, too.
Gretchen Rose is a 14 -year sports mom veteran and frequent momsTEAM contributor from Dallas, Texas. She and her kids have done everything from karate and ice skating to horseback riding! Gretchen owns and runs two businesses: an events company and KidzMat. In her spare time, Gretchen loves running with her dog, Gigi. She Tweets @KidzMat and you can find her on Facebook by clicking here.
For more blogs in momsTEAM's May is Sports Moms Month series, click here.