Being the mother of an athlete is a challenging yet rewarding role. So momsTEAM has designated May as Sports Moms Month and is celebrating by asking some of our favorite sports moms to share their wisdom by responding to a series of questions.
So far this month we have heard from a fascinating range of sports moms, from a mom of an Olympic athlete to moms who were themselves Olympic athletes, from a mom of two former minor league baseball players to a Minnesota hockey mom and author.
Today, we hear from sports mom and sports parenting blogger, Janis Meredith:
MomsTEAM: Were you an athlete and what sports did you play as a youth (under 19)?
Meredith: I played slow pitch softball a little and was a cheerleader in high school
MomsTEAM: What is the most rewarding aspect of being a sports mom?
Meredith: Two things. First, Obviously, I love it when my kids succeed. I love it when they stand out from the crowd, when people come up to me or them and say, "Wow, your son/ daughter really played well tonight." Second, when my kids stand out in their character, it makes me want to shout to the world, "That's my kid!" When their strong and good character shines through, no matter how much they were on the field or court, I was and still am so proud of them.
MomsTEAM: What lesson has your sports active child taught you?
Meredith: Too many lessons to mention here. But at the top of the list is the fact that the bigger picture of what my child will become as a person of character is more important than any stats sheet, or scholarship, or newspaper clipping. What they are when the glory days are over is more important than how many minutes they play or how many points they score.
MomsTEAM: What is the most important lesson your child is learning from his/her sport?
Meredith: We have a saying in our family, "Merediths don't quit." Our kids are older now (19, 21, 24) and they quote that to us sometimes. Our kids have learned to persevere in tough situations, to fight for what is right and for what they want. They've learned strength.
MomsTEAM: If you could "flip a switch" and change one thing about the culture of youth sports what would it be?
Meredith: Parents, plain and simple. Too many parents are pushy, possessive, controlling, and selfish when it comes to their kids and sports.
MomsTEAM: Brag a little--what have you done to make sports better for kids? Please share.
Meredith: My desire is to make sports better for kids by helping their parents be better sports parents. I want to help all sports parents see the big picture of sports. It can be a huge character building experience for our kids if we back off and let them learn through it. I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that my kids are strong, positive young adults partly due to the lessons they learned while playing sports. It played a huge part in shaping their character. If I can help parents see that, then the experience of youth sports will be much more pleasant for their kids.
Janis B. Meredith is a sports mom, freelance writer and blogger and certified parent life coach. Janis was brought up in a family that loved sports, her husband has been coaching for 28 years, and her three kids (now 24, 21, and 18) have played sports from age 4 through college, with her oldest daughter playing 4 years of college softball, and the other two currently playing college volleyball and football. You can follow her on twitter @ https://twitter.com/jbmthinks and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sportsparenting.
Want to know what veteran sports moms are saying about their experience and read more blogs in momsTEAM's May is Sports Moms Month series? Click here.