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What Do Mothers Want from Youth Sports?

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Change is possible

Though I wrote these words eight years ago, I don't think the concerns of sports moms have changed all that much and that what I said then largely still hold true today, although I think, if I were to update the list of concerns, I would probably add two more: fifth, that mothers want a more inclusive youth sports experience that is affordable to all families, regardless of socio-economic status or whether they live in a wealthy suburb or an economically disadvantaged inner city neighborhood, and sixth, that mothers want a better balance between sports and family life (a problem I explored in the book and on these pages, but that, if anything, has gotten worse, not better, in the last eight years).

Brooke de Lench MomsTEAM Institute

In the final analysis, one more poll, one more summit, in the immortal words of Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca", aren't going to "amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world." It is what those of us are doing, in the trenches, at the grassroots level, every day, year in and year out, to try to make youth sports safer, to put words into action, to do more than pay lip service to the concerns of mothers, that really matter.

Our mission at MomsTEAM has been and always will be change the culture of youth sports, from one that rewards the few at the expense of the many to one that gives every child a place to play and a chance to begin a love affair with sports that can last a lifetime, from one that sacrifices our kids' safety at the altar of winning to one which puts safety first, from one that is adult-centered to one that is child-centered. That is the promise of the SmartTeamTM program. That is why I won't be in California on Friday. The time for talk is long over. The time for implementing change is now.