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Youth Sports: My family, My life, My letter

Tonight I read a blog with the title "A letter to my Athlete" and it really stuck with me (I am trying to find the blog again to link back to it!). My older children are both year round in a particular sport. Mack plays soccer and Madeline swims. They are both very competitive and I adore watching them compete. My heart aches when they have a tough game or race, but I am always grateful that my children are strong, good, compassionate competitors.

The sidelines of year round sports are a mix of politics, fun, and drama. It is just part of the game I guess? I am married to the coach, and not even just the coach, the director of the soccer club. His role is his profession, and he takes it all very personal, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Every loss he blames himself, every win he celebrates alongside of players and parents.

If you are new to the scene of youth sports, hold on tight. It is not for the weak, or the partially invested. Many parents become very involved in their child's experience, some coach on the sidelines and some communicate on their child's behalf to the coach. I get it, they are sacrificing their time and their money and we all have hopes that our children will go on to play in college. However, we need to all remember that this is our children's experience not ours. We need to let them own their experience, their desire to improve, and their own desire to win.

So this brings me to the letter to my athlete,

I hope you have great practice. I hope you work hard and stay focused. Listen to your coach; respect your teammates and your opponents equally. Fully commit to your team, be present in your practice. Think. Be kind. Play hard. Have fun. And last but not least Thank Your Coach! He is invested in every one of you and you need to invest in him and your team.#PCA



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