Sports Moms Share Their Secrets to a Successful Season

Success in sports shouldn’t only be defined as the number of wins and losses your daughter’s team tallies up throughout the season. Parents and coaches alike might agree that the real indicator of a successful season is ending on a high note with a positive attitude, regardless of the team’s stats. We asked sports moms their best tips to help maintain their daughters’ morale and stay organized and upbeat despite hectic schedules of practices, games, and tournaments.

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Carpool

A well-organized carpool is the number-one sanity saver of all the sports moms we spoke to. Even if there’s just one other parent in your daughter’s carpool, that cuts your time spent in the car in half. Add in a few more drivers, and you may have just limited your responsibility to one or two legs a week! Approach other parents before the season starts—and before other carpools have been set in stone. Exchange cell-phone numbers and email addresses, and send weekly reminders so there’s no question as to who drives when.

Communication

In addition to communicating about the carpool, communication between parents, coaches, team members, and the team manager are vital for a successful season. One of the easiest ways to do this is through a team sports app such as Team Snap or Bonzi, texts, emails, Facebook, and even Twitter for score updates and team updates for the parents who aren’t able to make the game. 

Susanne L. recommends an initial meeting with the parents, set up by the coach, team manager, or group of parents, that lays out the year and invites participation. “Our child's focus should be on contributing to the team,” she says. “We should be a part of that as much as possible, too, by setting the example of teamwork among the parents as well.”

And don’t forget about the newbies. “Along with communications is a good on-boarding process for new kids and new parents to the team,” says Carlene P. “This includes expectations, requirements, traditions, etc.”

Snacks and dinner

Stock your car with water bottles and snacks that your daughter can eat at the field or in the car—and have enough in the trunk so that you can share with other teammates or younger siblings.

As for dinner itself, Tracy M. believes in full bellies! She often cooks and packages up meals ahead of time so that a healthy, well-balanced dinner can be eaten between games or in the car on the way to practice. (Minimal-prep recipes that can be made in the Crock Pot or Instant Pot are great for this purpose – make a big batch over the weekend and divide into portable weekday meals.)

Another option is to shop for convenient, portable, and nutrient-dense snacks (think peanut butter and apples, assorted dried fruit, protein bars, nuts, etc.) that your daughter can mix-and-match from a special “grab-and-go” spot in the fridge or pantry.

Respect

Many moms also talked about encouraging respect—especially when you disagree—with the coach, other team members, and even competing teams. “A personal relationship with the coach or trainer, not in a helicopter parent kind of way but a respectful connection, goes a long way,” says Jen H. Kids mirror their parents’ behavior, and when they see the adults acting in a respectful way, chances are they’ll be well-behaved, too. No one should turn into “that parent.”

Perspective

And no matter how good your child is at his or her respective sport, having a healthy outlook regarding their future in sports can also make the difference. Since the chances of your daughter going to the Olympics is pretty slim, being a relaxed parent is so much better for everyone involved. When parents are relaxed, kids are relaxed. 

“It’s a much better experience for everyone when parents focus on the fun, building relationships, getting exercise, learning game strategies, and being a good team player, over the win,” says Stacey E.

And don’t feel pressure to attend every sports event. “Don’t beat yourself up if you have to miss a game or two! Your kids will survive,” advises Megan T.  “Heck, they might even enjoy not hearing your voice from the sidelines!”

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