Part of the fun in youth sports is all the memories you will make with your athlete. You’ll have lots to reminisce and laugh about when your kids are older.
After 22 years of being a sports mom, there’s some specific memories that stand out. Can I encourage you to look beyond the usual memory-making experiences every now and then and try something new?
Take Your Child to Watch His or Her Athlete Hero Play
When my son was in high school in northern California, he and I had a mother/son date to go watch his favorite team, the Miami Heat, play in Sacramento. That itself was a treat, but it gets even better. A friend of ours got us behind the scenes and got us right on the sidelines to watch as the Heat warmed up. We were literally 2 feet away from my son’s all time favorite NBA player, Dwayne Wade. Standing right next to those larger-than-life players was an experience we still talk about.
Compete With or Against Your Child in His or Her Own Sport
When my daughter was in middle school, the end of the season basketball party included a mother/daughter scrimmage. I am not a basketball player–never was–and was definitely out of my comfort zone, but the girls had a blast beating their moms and it gave us a taste of how hard they work!
Work on a Team Project or Fundraiser Together
Online options have made fundraising easier, but there’s something to be said for the old-fashioned car wash or the bake sale. Working side-by-side on a project is a great bonding experience, for the team and for the parents and their kids.
Support your Athlete in an Outlandish Way
Every once in a while, go a little crazy for your athlete. I would not suggest doing this all the time but then it becomes old news. But for the BIG game, for homecoming, for the Senior Game, go the extra mile. Wear a colorful outfit with your child’s name and number, hold up a big homemade sign, bring a cowbell to ring when he or she scores. The antics of “crazy mom” or “crazy dad” will long be remembered.
Keep a Sports Parenting Journal
I’ve been keeping a journal for my kids since the day they were born. When it was full, I was done. All three of them lasted to college and beyond. My plan is to give them the journal when they become parents, along with an empty one so they can do the same for their kids.
If you are a sports parent, then obviously it’s too late for you to do that, but you can keep a Youth Sports Journal of your child’s youth sports journey. Write after every game if you like or simply summarize a season. Either way, it can be a gift to your child when their sports-playing days are can either use one like this one or find a simple journal available in Target or office supply stores.
Make a Sports Scrap book
Along with the journal, keep memorabilia to fill a scrapbook: rosters, ribbons, awards, newspaper clippings, certificates, and any other keepsake you have.
When each of my three kids graduated from high school, I gave them a scrapbook of their growing up years. A good portion of that focused on their sports since they played from pre-school on. It is something they still treasure.