Mothers are some of the most important members of any youth team or club. And even though they can’t march alongside their JROTC cadet or sing harmony behind their kid in the spring musical, school and youth activities everywhere may just fall apart if it weren’t for moms.
Proof, you say? You want it, we’ve got it.
1. They are often the first to encourage their kids to join an activity.
When a child is just a wee one, it can be difficult for them to consider the opportunities that are available to them at school and beyond. And if you are just learning how to read, you might not be able to fill out the application form for Local Youth Soccer League #27.
Thanks be to the mothers who saw their kid get excited whenever they saw basketball on T.V. and asked them if they wanted to join a team. Or maybe they simply offered up the idea that they should check out a club at school.
Sometimes we need a little kickstart, and a mother’s encouragement is some of the best flint and steel there is.
2. Their cheers are the loudest.
More often than not, moms are their children’s most enthusiastic, passionate, and dedicated fans in the stands. And if you ever doubt that, go check out the metal bleachers at your local high school. Those things ain’t comfy.
Yet, mothers show up week after week, braving inclement weather, screaming at the top of their lungs every time their kid even breathes on the field (no scoring required).
Moms are pros at loving their kids, and they, time and time again, shower us with celebration that reminds us just how valued we are – on and off the field.
No one would even want to watch the original cast of Hamilton for six shows straight, but my mom showed up to my senior year musical for every single performance. I asked her if she got tired of seeing the show after that many run-throughs, and – though perhaps she is a loving liar – she told me that she seriously enjoyed it each time.
3. They make sure we are healthy and happy.
Well this one’s obvious. I mean, for one thing, moms make the best half-time snacks (hello, perfectly-sliced oranges!).
Can you even play a full game of soccer without the Vitamin-C sweetness of a flawless wedge of citrus after the first half? No, you can’t. Don’t even try.
And who do we typically have to thank for this soccer sustenance? Mothers. Thanks, moms.
When it comes to helping out around the team, Team Moms are faithful volunteers. The details that last in our memories for years to come are little gifts from one of our biggest supporters. (I played youth soccer for barely twenty seconds and I still remember my mom’s halftime snack-of-choice.)
Our mothers keep us fueled and fed, and free from the stress of trying to figure it out ourselves.
They make sure their kids actually eat a meal between math club and basketball practice. They remind their young students that no, humans cannot live on two hours of sleep per night. They laugh with their blooming thespian at the ridiculous frog costume they get outfitted with for the winter play.
Moms are our helpers, and our doctors, and our chefs, and our friends.
4. Team Moms and Booster Moms. Their mere existence.
Speaking of Team Moms, Booster Moms, Volunteer Moms… huge shout-out to all the monikers that describe these incredible people that are oftentimes taken for granted, forgotten, and overworked with no glory, payment, or recognition to show for it.
We could honestly stop here in our list.
We could actually have this be the only point in the list, and our conclusion would still be undeniably proven: moms are the rock stars of youth sports and activities.
I grew up dipping my toe into practically every sport possible, playing and singing in youth ensembles, and performing in high school theater productions. The critical contribution of booster parents, team moms – they literally made everything possible.
The hills would almost certainly die and never hear the sound of music if school musical cast mothers didn’t come in and spend entire Saturdays helping construct sets and sew costumes. Moms would even take costumes home to iron and stitch and wash throughout the week, from the beginning to the end of the entire production.
Who does that?!
Meanwhile, booster moms organize everything that kids don’t even realize must happen to keep the wheels of their team turning – team meals, team fundraisers, team celebrations, and beyond. More often than not, they handle the behind-the-scenes logistics, making sure coaches are able to spend their time coaching, teachers spend their time teaching, and kids are able to learn, lead, and achieve more.
Tricky logistics, communication, and details of all levels of importance are handled by these booster moms, who somehow consistently meet and pull off crucial team functions on top of their already-busy lives outside of the local high school football program.
5. They buy all of your cookie dough.
Yeah, that’s right. We know your secret. You didn’t actually go out and sell the cookie dough to make the money to go to the state band competition your freshman year.
It’s okay. Lots of us have been there.
Thank you, moms, for giving up the ability to say “Yes, they’re homemade” for a solid six months every time your child comes home with an order book and a look in their eyes that says “We both know we don’t have time for this. Where’s your check book?”
As Snap! Raise community relations manager Riley Brown recently shared, fundraising for extracurricular activities can be an enormous headache without the right strategy, but mothers take it all in stride year after year.
6. They offer constant support.
Mothers are the rocks of our childhoods. They keep us grounded and hold us to the high standards they know we are capable of achieving and surpassing. They make our game stronger and our life smoother.
Literally… smoother. I know I was absolutely not on top of it enough to iron my orchestra dress before every school concert.
Before her daughter Chelsea’s first-ever cheer tryout, cheer mom Kimberly Thompson saw Chelsea diving into determined preparation and practice. And Kimberly was right there, supporting her daughter even before she was on the team.
In a post she wrote for Snap! Raise, Kimberly reflects on how parents can have a significant impact of their children’s extracurricular experiences.
“I filmed her jumps, watched her dance, and praised her hard work, always reminding her that she was getting better each day and would be ready for tryouts,” she wrote.
Mothers steel us, coach us, and center us. They ground us. They help us get back up when we can’t do it alone.
To our moms: You are always helping us, so it’s our goal to help you! If you are looking for the best way to encourage your athlete, the yummiest pre-game recipes, or simply a community of moms who come together to share, offer advice, and sometimes just laugh about their hectic lifestyle, feel free to check out these resources geared towards moms. If you know of any other resources, please write us and let us know!
Resources for Moms
Sports Moms United A blog for sports moms that focuses on how to make the most of every season, from sideline support to the snacks in the car.
Sports Mom Survival Guide From fundraising to podcasts, this blog is a great toolkit for mothers of athletes.
Changing the Game Project A resource that focuses on elevating the culture of youth sports to be one of fun, encouragement, and uplifting empowerment for kids
Positive Coaching Alliance This site is a great resource for parents, in addition to its awesome coach-focused materials.
. . .
Moms – thank you for the endless ways in which you nurture us, inspire us, and do everything you do to make our favorite activities even more incredible.
From all of us at Snap! Raise, happy Mother’s Day.