At one point or another, children turn into students. And no matter the motivation behind the decision, students turn into student athletes everyday. When they do, they need someone there, ready to support them on the sideline. And guess what buttercup... That someone is YOU!
this quick start guide will help you do just that!
short on time? snag the quick start guide...
The shorter, prettier version of this blog post + get started, Quickly! Hence the name :)
No matter the type of sideline...
As long as you've got a student athlete on your hands, then you've got a sideline to manage.
And that's also our cue... because we're here to support you, as you support them!
Let's dig in... shall we?
What Position Do You Play?
Whether you are brand new to youth sports or a seasoned veteran of all things sports-related, sports moms play a vital role in the success of their children. In addition to this vital role there are many other "roles". But first, a few important definitions...
Sports Mom - A mom who has a child (or multiple children) who play sports
Team Mom - A Sports Mom who helps to support and/or lead her child's team sport in an administrative capacity
Sideline Supporter - Any body on the sideline who is there to support and/or guide the student athlete
Here a just a few examples of the equally important Sideline Supporters:
Vital Roles of a Sports Mom
Now that you understand who's involved, and where you stand, it's just as important to realize that it doesn't just pick up and stop right there. In fact, we sports moms can find ourselves in a pretty pickle supporting our children in their sports. Just as we hold the title for being the Heavy-Weight Champs of our homes, being a sports mom can just as easily offer your talents up for grabs as these professionals:
Sideline Hacker (BONUS Points if you know what this is!)
The list goes on and on.
Fact is: there is no hard and fast rule to supporting a student athlete. You may be one of these or ten of them depending on your personal strengths. Either way, knowing what position you play is half the battle.
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Planning + Goal Setting
A sports mom MUST be willing to make adjustments and adapt to change; especially as you progress and get into more competitive settings (ex. year-round travel sports clubs). Sometimes even school vacation time will need to be used for lessons and clinics. If you have a planning system in place, I'm super proud of you, because you're already ahead of the curve. If not, it's okay... we'll help you get it together.
Time Management is a huge aspect of planning as a sports mom. So much so that I frequently give Time Management Monday Tips in our FB group.
Because, I've found one of the hardest parts about being a sports mom is learning how to effectively manage the time I have to work around: commuting home from work, cooking dinner, overseeing homework, chauffeuring the boys around for practice, organizing bedtime routines, etc.
Would you agree?
One way I've learned to combat the crunch is to work in small chunks of time.
Ex. 15-30 min. intervals work well to accomplish tasks one at a time; especially for planning.
For example, every night in the 30 minutes between getting home from practice and starting bedtime routines, I'm planning "something" in my planner.
Depending on the day, it'll be dinner for the week + my grocery shopping list, or the big game on Saturday. That way I set myself up for success for the week when I know what day I need to have the gear washed and ready for packing. Or the extra snacks purchased for my turn this weekend.
This leads me to the ever so super duper important planning system. :)
:: I get so excited when I get to talk about planning and organizing! lol::
A planner + reminder app like Life Reminders are a sports mom's best friend.
This is just one of the few that I like to use, but what I like about it so much is the reminder stays on my task bar until I remove it. That way, I have to either do it, or reset it in order for it to clear. My advice to you would be to create a system that works for you and automate it as much as possible.
Create SMART Goals for yourself + your child. SMART Goals are: Specific - Measurable - Achievable - Realistic - Time Bound
For example, one SMART Goal that I've set with my oldest son, is to help him become more responsible by way to time management. Not only do I want him to recognize the importance of time management, as a student, but also for his overall well-being.
Specific - Contemplate the 5 W's + H in hashing out your goal (Who, what, why, when, where, and how)
Measurable - With a numeric or descriptive measurement
Achievable - Is this realistic? What resources would you need to make this happen?
Relevant - If this is a step in the right direction for the grand scheme of things, make sure it's consistent with your overall mission
Time-Bound - Every goal needs a deadline. Make sure this is realistic as well.
Remind me to tell you the story about where this came from in the first place. Believe me, it's a whole other blog post; maybe even a novel, haha.
But for now I'll say, we stress the student in student athlete.
It's primary in our household.
In other words, he can not be a athlete, if he is not a student first!
Build your S.O.S. (System of Support)
The schedule alone of a sports mom can be enough to cause concern. Set yourself up for success by building a system of support.
How do you do that, you ask? Well it starts with a solid foundation of self-empowerment, identifying your lifelines, and setting clear expectations. And it finishes with getting continuous support. A system of support is crucial to not only the success of your student athlete, but to your sanity as well.
Create that solid foundation, and it will be there to keep you upright for seasons to come!
As a matter of fact, I've got a Build Your SOS Challenge right here if you're interested! I'd love to be there to support you.
Organization is the key to success for an active sports mom. Here's a quick quiz to see if you are organized.
1. Are you generally on time to scheduled appts., practices, or pick-ups? 2. Do you know where is your child's birth certificate is right now?
3. Where did you put your child's latest report card? 4. BONUS: Share your organization tool of choice in our Facebook group.
How did you do? Don't worry, it's not for a final grade! Just meant to get your brain percolating while we get into some other things about organization. Like equipment...
The sooner you teach your student athlete(s) that they are ultimately responsible for their equipment the better off you'll be. Trust me!
Now, I'm not saying that they are always going to get it right. But if one of your goals is to raise a responsible and healthy athlete (I know it's one of mine!), this is not one that you want to skip over!
I know the last thing you want to hear after a long day of errands and running around is, "Mom, I forgot my ___________!" But with some gentle pruning that statement will be a thing of the past. Instead it'll be:
You: "Do you have your ________?"
Your child: "Yes"
You: "How about your ________?"
Your child: "Uh huh"
You: "And your ________?"
Your child: "Yes, mom!"
Okay, you get the point! haha
Not just your kids equipment, but your personal belongings as well. Remember, most sports parents shop at the same places. ::Clears throat, Target!:: :)
Ultimately you'll save yourself both time + money if you take a minute to slap some hot pink zebra print duct tape on things!
I'm talking things like:
Sports Mom Essentials
Sportsbrella (Super-sized Umbrella)
Cooler w/ snacks + drinks
As a matter of fact, you can get this Ultimate Survival Checklist and make sure you have everything you need!
Give Yourself A Break
Believe it or not, you will need to take a break every now and then. Don't let too much time go by before you do. Even if it's a short one, it's well worth your sanity! I talk about this in my Building Your SOS challenge. As much as we enjoy pacing the sidelines and screaming at the top of our lungs... (just me?!?), it is healthy to get some time away from the sideline every now and then.
Hint: Call upon your SOS to take over for a quick break. They will love that they could be there for you, and you will feel refreshed by time you get back!
A Learning Process
Above all else, keep in mind that this role, like most everything else in life is a learning process. Don't beat yourself up if you forgot to bring something or couldn't commit to help. And if your coaching staff and organization are in it for the right reasons they will be giving the same message to your child.
Taking Care of Home
Much like your planning system you will need to create a home plan that works around your sports schedule. But you have to get in it to win it! By that I mean, it's going to take a little bit of time. Time to get into a routine, understand the moving parts and fit the coggs together. Don't worry, you're a natural! You've been making it work thus far haven't you!
Find support for these issues and more in our archives.
Volunteering + Fundraising
These two go hand-in-hand for a sports mom. The more you do them, the better you will become + the easier it will get. But don't worry, I got you! If you're new to sports moming, you may be new to fundraising and volunteering too. Even if you're not, here's 16 fundraising Ideas that will crush your goals this season!
Don't take this for granted, research shows the support of an active community can make the difference between success + failure. Take Advantage.
As a matter of fact, I've got one right here for you!
Just request to join our private group, and before you know it, you'll be mastering the art of sports moming and ruling the sidelines!
All in all, regardless of whether you're taking this thing pro, or just looking to ensure your child stays healthy and active, we all know being a mom is hands down, THE HARDEST JOB IN THE WORLD! But also one that we wouldn't give up for anything!
Oh, before I forget...
you still want that pretty infographic I was talking about? Get it right here!
Sideline Link Recap:
Planner + Reminder App: Life Reminders
Until next time... Keep hacking those sidelines!