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Who Else Wants To Raise a Tough Athlete? Here’s How You Do It!

This last week has been a whirlwind of softball activity, trips, and decisions for my oldest daughter.    She will be leaving the nest soon and pursuing her education and athletic dreams at the next level. I haven’t posted much about this next chapter because frankly, I was a bag of emotions about it. I am super proud of my kid, beaming inside, with watery eyes when I stop to think about her journey.   Yesterday I was able to watch her last day of travel ball and couldn’t help but be flooded with past memories.    If you watched her yesterday, you saw a mature kid at shortstop who made everything look so smooth. You would probably think she always played there (I mean after all her Dad was…

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How Do You Help Your Child With the Letdown of Being Sent to the Bench?

    No athlete enjoys getting benched. My son was benched in basketball. My daughter was benched in volleyball. My other daughter was benched in softball.   It happens to every athlete sooner or later.     No matter what reason the coach gives–if he even gives one–getting benched is hugely disappointing to most athletes and spirit-crushing to others.     As a parent, how can you best help your child deal with this let-down?   Acknowledge their disappointment.   It’s a big deal to them–don’t diminish that. They are embarrassed, maybe even humiliated. Their competitive spirit has been injured.   Every athlete is different, but we found with our three kids that it was best to not say anything until the sting had worn off. And then, we expressed…

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When You Feel Like Sending That Angry Email, Think Twice

When the basketball season ended badly for my high school senior son, I loaded up my verbal arsenal and sat down to write a very powerful email to his coach. I worked and re-worked it until finally, it sounded just right–brutally to-the-point with a touch of self-control. But it never got further than my draft folder. That’s happened to me a lot over the years. I’ve written a very loaded email, with every intention of letting the coach know just how I felt about something, and then for one reason or another, I let it sit, and sit, and sit, not quite ready to push send. That was probably the smartest thing I could have done. Let it sit. And now I can tell you why it is a very…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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