Hail to the moms of the world that jump in their mini vans with a posse of dishevelled children of various ages, veins pumped full of caffeine to support the next Ronaldo, Sidney Crosby, or simply just to support their kids in their sport endeavours.
It baffles me when I hear the odd parent out there that leaves the training up to their kids because they think it builds character; especially when their child actually has talent. I think I speak for many trainers or strength coaches out there who build great testing, assessments, and programs, for children we see passion and promise in only to have them visit sporadically because parents aren’t willing to put the time towards their child’s interests.
On the other end of the spectrum you have the soccer mom, or hockey mom with the minivan ready to roll coffee in hand, screaming kids and her wits about her ready to see her little ones work their little butts off because like myself as a child; we all start by loving the games we play. I praise these moms because they’re car pooling, and sacrificing their time as well as their sanity at times to see their kids run, jump, skate, dance, somersault, etc. I mean not only do they support their kids but also praise their achievements. They teach their kids work ethic and dedication so that as they get older and want to take their sport a little more seriously they understand the sacrifices that are made for them and are willing to work that much harder to achieve possibly an education, or the ever elusive pros! Most importantly, they prepare their children for the life ahead of them.
I hate to get get cultural on people but my roots are from Chile, and when I lived there I remember first hand the poverty and the survival skills gained playing soccer or rough housing on the streets. I think back to playing our national sport in Chile in school, or on the streets with my friends or cousins and I still remember the talent pool being so deep but yet no one on that block made it to the pros because of the lack of funds or exposure or simply because the support of the parents wasn’t there. The last thing those parents considered was the hope that their kids skills was going to take them to an american college if they maintained a ‘B’ average. Nope; their concentration was on getting a job or making ends meet, and sometimes sadly this caused lapses in judgements and the drink was an easier road to head to.
The point I’m making is not the sad travesty of third world countries struggling to support their children’s endeavours, rather the fact that when living in Canada there is NO EXCUSE. Don’t chastise your child because he doesn’t skate like Sidney Crosby but yet you’re too busy to take him to practice. Don’t be disappointed because your kid doesn’t run like Usain Bolt and instead expect your child to make his own decisions on his training. I hate to be the bearer of bad news to those parents; but your child’s talent will be only be wasted by you not your children, because it’s you that has an excuse not to take him to practice, or training. I look at those minivans parked outside fields, or arenas and I think to myself; one of those kids in there will make it to the pros, but all those kids will walk away with a deeper admiration of their mothers. In that same moment I will look at all the empty parking spaces and wonder, is that a representation of the kids that might’ve made it or made a difference?
The truth is we make fun of the soccer moms, and the minivans, but I admire them and praise them. Some of them work a 40 hour week, make dinners and lunches. Drive their kids sometimes to 3 different practices in one day because each one of them has a different sport they play. Car pool more kids if they have space, deal with children’s attitudes and issues as they grow up, and when they have time try to get their own workouts in to burn off a little steam for themselves. Oh, and their personal interests now become limited because what I explained was only a monday, and there’s still more games and practices this week.
I raise my glass to the mom’s of the world that do this day in and day out. They do this for their kids, their husbands, and then they come and train with me and I push them hard so that they forget that for one hour of their day, they get to work on themselves. The next time I hear a parent say they don’t have time for their kids I have a pocket full of phone numbers of women that do their 40 hours and much more. Women that run their own businesses or partners in firms that have much more responsibilities then the ones that say they can’t. The best part is I now see a growing trend of minivan dads that need some props as well as they represent proudly to support their kids to the highest level they can reach while lending a hand at home and doing their part, kudos to you.
So the next time you think about chastising your child’s performance on the field, ice or mat. Ask yourself; “what am I doing to engage them, to support them.” Ask yourself; “am I a soccer mom/dad, am I doing my part?” If you’re not the maybe it’s time you become one! Until next time;
Stay healthy my frieds… and hug your mom if she dragged you to your sports!