Moms, dads and siblings are often the unsung heroes of the sporting world on the sidelines. For every Olympic medalist that has stood atop that podium- glowing with patriotism and adorned in gold, silver or bronze- there are at least two people with a stiff back after hours on the bleachers who supported them every step of the way.
Rarely will you hear an athlete make an acceptance speech or complete an interview without paying homage to the parents who ‘got me here’. It is a labor of love, commitment and laundry to raise a true competitor. Truth? We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Broken cleats, torn dance recital pointe shoes, cracked water bottles, Ace bandages, and early alarm clocks. They are ALL part of the journey that build character in our kids and in us.
As our children age from the pee-wee leagues to the varsity ones, I think that it is important to involve them in the preparations for game time. After all, we are preparing our children for independence above all.
It is so tempting to want to fill the high schooler’s water bottle on a daily basis or fold the hockey jersey ‘just perfectly’ as though it has been a good luck charm through the years. Sport moms may be among the most vulnerable to doing things for the kids that they should be doing for themselves.
There is a reason to be conscious of this. When we involve our kids in the laundry or the next Mapquest to tomorrow’s soccer fields in a new zip code, it gives them ownership in the preparations too. Have you ever tasted a peanut-butter jelly sandwich after a grueling workout that you made yourself? It is the bomb fuel.
Kids tend to set their goals higher when they are involved in the process of achieving them. So next time you are breaking a sweat in the laundry room over a grass stain with the Spray n’ Wash trigger finger, tap your kiddo to be the co-captain of clean-up. Make it a contest. Who can get the stain out first?
Remember that if they help build it, they will certainly show up with their game face on, a gracious attitude and the thrill of knowing that teamwork doesn’t just stop at the field. It is alive and well at home too.