Three kids later, sitting in the bleachers all over the northern continent, watching 5,657 baseball, softball, basketball, football, soccer, gymnastics, and tennis games/matches/meets (yes, I have kept track); one thing I have is experience and have been both blessed and cursed with STORIES!
Stories and experiences about almost every aspect of YOUTH SPORTS from the vantage point of a parent, mother, coach, friend, and spouse. While my stories and experiences run deep, what I am really passionate about and want to offer you is how to “keep your kid in the game” at the end of the day.
Then there are my “post” youth sports experiences – when the kids moved on to official college visits, getting college scholarships, and a variety of other insights…the journey just continues well beyond youth sports.
YOUTH SPORTS, and the challenges I have faced and still face, as well as the choices I made, have affected my life and that of my family more than anything else! I want to share my own experiences and those of many others I have interacted with over the past many years. From these experiences, I can tell you what not to do and what didn’t work for me and others. But I also have some great ideas and techniques that did work which I am also eager to share!
A blog was the best way for me to “give back” and “pay it forward” to those of you reading so hopefully you can avoid many of these mistakes and heartaches and enjoy youth sports to its fullest – because when you and your kid are having fun, there is no better way to spend a Saturday afternoon!
My passion for sharing and helping is also part of my many years spent as a relationship coach for John Gray, author of, “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”, as well as coaching on my own. This has helped me see just how important relationships in youth sports can be, both on and off the field! One thing is for certain, relationships in youth sports can go south fast, whether it be between parent/kid, parent/coach, coach/kid, parent/parent, kid/kid, parent/organization, coach/officials, or a host of other combinations. While the goal of these relationships is to keep them as healthy as possible, I know full well there is only so much anyone can do!
While spending 5 years as an NFL cheerleader, this gave me one of my first experiences in dealing with youth sports on an adult level. We spent countless hours in the community volunteering with kids sports! I was fortunate enough to spend my 5 years volunteering and assisting kids in different organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, Parks and Recreation, various cheerleading competitions, Junior NFL Cheerleading Organization, ACA, Punt Pass and Kick Competitions, CBS Wide World of Sports “Battle of the NFL Cheerleaders” and the list goes on. I saw the tears, the sad faces, the screaming parents and coaches, and I told myself I would never let my kids go through all this! Well guess what…it’s much different when you are a parent with a “kid in the game”, you can’t hide from the adversity and challenges facing youth sports!. Now, I get it!
So that’s me – and I want to help wherever I can to keep just one more kid and their parent loving youth sports and having FUN!! Oh yes, and helping parents and others really enjoy what should be some of the best memories they will make with their kids. Thanks for reading and contributing – together we will MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!