5 ways to be a better.... Sports Parent

October 24, 2016, by Christy

I want to start off by saying I am in no way an expert on the subject of being a sports parent.  The kids have been playing competitive sports for a few years and that has given me some time to gather some tips and pass them along to other parents that may hate spending hours at the soccer field in the cold spring or at the cold rink at 6:30 am on a Saturday morning.  Today, I am here to encourage you and tell you how you can be the best sports parent you can be.  Trust me, it ain't always easy.

{one}  The most important thing I can tell you about being a good sports parent is to embrace the sport.  I am not a sports person.  I don't enjoy watching professional football, soccer, hockey, or {gasp}, the Olympics, but, I love me some minor sports.

When Grady started asking, no begging, to play hockey I wasn't initially thrilled.  I was forced to watch my brother play growing up, and I hated the idea of a schedule that was unpredictable and sometimes started before the sun came up.  I was supposed to be a dance mom.  The reality is that I am a boy mom and I needed to like hockey, and I needed to learn to like it fast.

{two} Learn the rules of the game.  I know the general game of hockey, there are 2 teams trying to get a puck in the opposite teams net.  At least it is easier to understand then football.   I found myself forced to learn the rules of the game because when the whistle would blow I wouldn't know why.  I grasped icing quickly, but I'm still working on offside.  I've asked James so many times what offside is that now he just tells me to google it.  For the record, Google says:

In ice hockey, a play is offside if a player on the attacking team enters the offensive zone before the puck, unless the puck is sent or carried there by a defending player. When an offside violation occurs, a linesman will stop play.
{three}  Get involved!  I may have taken this to the extreme last year by managing 2 hockey teams. Yikes!  You don't have to take it all on, but volunteer for roles you are comfortable with.  I am an accountant so naturally I volunteer to be the treasurer on every team.  It is surprising how many people are thrilled that someone else wants to manage the money.  Excel documents and managing money, those are things I am naturally good at.

{four} Make friends with the other parents.   This goes hand in hand with number three above.  If you get involved it is inevitable that you will make friends.  By being the team manager I was forced to meet and interact with every single parent on the team.  You will be spending more time with these group of parents than you will your own friends so why not make some new ones while you are cheering your little people on.  This past year I became really good friends with a mom that was helping me with the managing duties.  We've had family dinners and our kids have had sleepovers together.  I looked forward to going to the rink to watch the kids skate but also to catch up with my new friends.

{five}  Be your child's biggest cheerleader.  Your team will win some, your team will lose some.  No matter what, always stay positive.  Focus on what your child did right rather than what they did wrong.  Celebrate with them and encourage them to always do their best no matter what.  When my kids are grown adults with kids of their own, I hope they remember that I was at all of their games and cheering loudly with them along the way.

At the end of the day, we put our children in sports to teach them about team play, to make new friends, and most importantly, to have fun.  Just seeing the joy in their face after making the first goal of the season or celebrating a win is enough to make me keep going back to watch.  I find that just having my son on the ice or field was all I needed to make me love going.  I loved his enthusiasm and his eagerness to play.  If you've stepped aside to let your husband take care of the sports side of the kid's agendas, think again, there is a special place for us Moms on the team bench as well!

Go Team!




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