How I became a “Sports Mom” in a “Sports Loving” Family
by Melissa Reyes on July 24, 2014
We are a Sports Family because we support and love what our children love to do. (Disclosure.)
Senior Day, The whole family was there on the field to support our Varsity Player!
When I was approached by WeAreFanatics.com to share about how sports brings my family together, my first thought was, “I haven’t really shared much about sports on my blog.”
Then I realized, “Oh, Yes I have!” I share pictures of my kids on the playing field and enjoying the outdoors ALL the TIME! In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I realized my blog is perfect for the “Family Fanatics” campaign.
Our family really are fanatics and sports enthusiasts. My husband’s favorite competition to watch on TV is the Formula 1 Grand Prix series and we always watch the finals for American Football, Baseball, Basketball, and World Cup Soccer. We never miss the Olympics. My brother follows all sports – seriously, he follows everything from Tennis to Bass Fishing! We are a family of sports fans! So, how can I share my story of being a sports enthusiast when I, myself, am not an athlete, and frankly…not a big fan? Well, maybe there are more people like me out there who are the ones watching, shopping for, and learning about all the sports our families love. Fanatics.com is my new favorite resource for all things sports related.
I never thought I would be a “sports mom.” It started almost as soon as they could walk. My little boys loved to play and quickly became little athletes. Even though my husband and I weren’t into sports or outdoor activities much, when we had our three sons we knew the importance of team sports and how beneficial participating in outdoor activities would be for them. Hmmm. Let me think. How did we know this?
My sons support each other and have always played together.
It is true that we were each exposed to some physical activities when we were growing up. Each of us had great parents who encouraged us to try things. My husband played a few years of little league. I spent a few years on a tennis team. We both remember learning to bowl. However, we never considered ourselves the outdoorsy type and definitely were not athletes. In fact, when our first son was born, my husband held him in his arms and lovingly said, “You will never play football.” We had actually discussed this before having children. What he meant was, “I want to protect you from harm and I think football and contact sports are dangerous.”
Watching from the stands and praying that no one got hurt was my role as a Sports Mom.
Is that what sparked the love of football my first son carried with him throughout his life? It is a little ironic that the sport he most wanted to play was football ever since he played flag football for the first time in after school sports in the fourth grade. He was on a team every year since then, sometimes two teams, all the way through varsity football in high school. And, although we were reluctant to let him play and we were concerned about his safety, we quickly learned as parents that supporting a child’s dream and encouraging his natural talents and interests is more important than the idea of protecting him from harm. Yet, we struggled. I especially remember the resistance I experienced when I hesitated to join what I liked to call, “the Church of Football.” Football is a cultural thing. There is so much a parent must do to be involved besides showing up at practice and watching games from the sidelines. But that is another story.
We learned how to be “sports parents” through the wonderful example of my brother and sister. Before we had our own children, we loved going to see our nieces and nephews play soccer, perform in dance recitals, ride horses in rodeos, cheer lead at football games, and do all the fun activities that families do together.
My brother became very involved in A.Y.S.O. and World Cup Soccer when his kids were little. He started as a coach on his son’s team. An athlete himself, and a wonderful teacher and coach, he inspired us and lead the example of what fathers do for their kids. Yet, it was natural for him. He loved sports. He is very outdoorsy. He has been a tennis pro, a sailing instructor, he has taught us all to ski and surf and fish… All my life I witnessed his love of nature and sports. There isn’t anything he can’t do! So, of course he naturally lead the way for his own kids.
My sister, on the other hand was more like me. She loved going to Mammoth Mountain with the family to ski, but realized quickly that part of learning to ski was falling down in the snow and she would have none of that. She taught me the wonderful benefits of the ski resort experience and helped me develop my love of warm fireplaces, scenic views, hot cocoa, and saunas. Never did I imagine that she would become a “Soccer Mom” or a Horse Rancher! She did these things for the love of her children. She was even “Yellow Carded” and banished from the field for disagreeing with the referee and being too aggressive when her son was playing U17 soccer. My sweet sister! When her daughter became interested in horses, I remembered one time when we were young and we went on a trail ride together. She hated it. She promised she would never do that again. And here she was, practically living on a ranch and going to rodeos, boarding horses, and cheering on her daughter in barrel riding and rodeo competitions.
Our family on a trail ride together.
We all became a sports loving family together. So, with three sons who all love to participate in sports, our family has always been there. My brother and sister-in-law and my sister and brother-in-law have always supported them and encouraged my husband and I to be outgoing supportive parents in everything our kids have been interested in trying. Birthday and Christmas gifts from Uncle John or Auntie Karen were usually sports related. First baseball mitts and footballs were special gifts from family. Later, ski trips and surfboards became the best graduation gifts. All the advice and searching for the best equipment; cleats, pads, helmets and the proper clothing came from the authority in the family, Uncle John. Aunt Jennifer, my sister-in-law, has helped me to understand the rules of the game as we cheered the boys on from the sidelines. An athlete herself and an inspiration to all my boys, I really couldn’t have done it without her support and example through the years. When something like hiking or surfing, which are outside of my comfort zone, requires a mother’s guiding love, she steps in for me. She actually goes with them!
For me, I love watching them grow and excel at everything they try. My sport is being a parent!
And that is how I became a “Sports Mom.” I have the title that encompasses all the sports that my boys have tried.
Here is a list:
Track & Field
Julian, 19 has done all of the above and made football and lacrosse his focus in high school. He longed to continue playing lacrosse in college and made the difficult choice to pursue his interest in architectural engineering over playing on the college level. Still very athletic, he hikes, jogs, surfs and is in an off-road vehicle club in college. His love of the outdoors and his team/brotherhood mentality from football is a part of who he is and has inspired him to choose a career in construction/environmental design.
Colin, 17 is the natural born athlete. He is good at everything he tries. He loves all sports. As a youngster he wanted to be just like David Beckham. We even sent him to the David Beckham Academy
! We thought he would play soccer in high school, but after being injured in eighth grade playing football (yes, our worst nightmare!) he played a few years of lacrosse and then picked up tennis and golf. He loves to snowboard and wants a career involving outdoor adventures.
Roman, 14, has tried all the sports his brothers have tried and he loves skiing. Now that he is starting high school, he is pursuing his passion for music and singing. Now, our family will support from the wings and the audience as he performs on stage instead of the playing field.
As parents we do what we do for love.
We are a Sports Family because we support and love what our children love to do.
I was quite impressed with the extensive collection of surf products on the online Surf Shop at SurfFanatics!
I must admit, I love the huge selection of women’s shoes available in the Fanatics.com inventory. Why not get a little something for me, right?
Check out @Fanatics on Twitter – they have a major social media presence and you can follow them on Facebook, too!
Tags: #WeAreFanatics, Family Fanatics, Sports Loving Family, Sports Mom