In today’s youth baseball and softball arenas, moms play just as an important role as dads. There is no better time than Mothers Day to talk about the role Mothers play in youth sports, both as the matriarch of the athletic family, but also as the "Team Mom" of their child's team.
Many times it is the Mother that provides balance to the athletic family’s life and makes sure things remain in the proper perspective. Mothers often control the family’s schedule, and avoid over-scheduling a young player’s life.
Many moms believe in challenging the assumption that competition in youth sports should be defined solely in terms of winning and losing. They want their children to learn that while competition is healthy, a successful competition is one where all players do their best, have fun, respect their teammates, opponents and rules. And moms are there to officiate the Post Game Analysis (that most times, we should try to avoid).
The Team Mom has become a fixture and an integral part in Babe Ruth League. There aren’t many other things that can make a youth sports coach’s job any easier than to have a great Team Mom. Having an administrator that organizes the snack schedule; collects money for team parties, coach’s gifts; handles photo day; fundraising, and assists in facilitating communication among the families; takes all of that heat off the coach and allows them to...coach!
Team Moms are in charge of dividing responsibilities among each of the families on the team and making sure each job gets done. Sharing responsibilities creates an environment where everyone takes a little ownership in the administration of the team. This creates a sense of teamwork, and each family has a bit more invested interest in the season. Inviting everyone to contribute also sets the stage for others to step up and be the Team Mom in subsequent years and creates a league where everyone expects to chip in, so the bulk of the work doesn't fall on a small group of people. It also may even inspire some to step up and become Board Members of the league down the line.
There are many Team Moms who take photos during the game and post them on a team Facebook page, even using these photos to communicate practices, game times, and snack schedule reminders. Those post-game snacks, pizza parties, BBQs, photos, etc do wonders for filling the players’ emotional tanks. When players are enjoying all these fun things, it enables them to take corrections in a more positive way. Players that handle those corrections also tend to improve more than those who are playing with empty emotional tanks.
All these contributions simply make the coach’s job easier. Not only is there going to be a more family friendly environment in which the players are having more enjoyment, the coach’s efforts will actually be more effective. Freeing up the coach’s time to actually plan a practice, handle pre-game warm ups and post game talks can only benefit the players.
Parents may have multiple children who play youth sports and they can try to do it a little better each time out. Children only have one shot at the experience and it is up to all of us, to make sure they get it right. Team Moms are a vital member of the team and play an important role in enhancing our young athletes’ experiences.
On behalf of all of us at home plate, we wish every “Babe Ruth” mom a very happy Mother’s Day.