I love sports. They were such an important part of my life from as long as I can remember, and I daresay, they still are.

Sportsmanship is Alive and Well

Upon reading this article, my heart just broke a little more; a feat I didn’t think was possible.

See, I was the first child of an athlete. My baby gift was a Johnny Unitas signed football. My treasured toy was my Dr. J. red, white and blue basketball. I really never played with dolls. I liked to play basketball. I loved to ride my bike for miles. I shot BB guns, ran the pastures around my house, and swam in the community pool.

I was a awkward, lanky, nerdy, exceedingly tall girl, that never quite fit in anywhere.  My home life with a constantly working father and a manically depressed and often abusive mother and disabled sister were not idyllic.

Sports and being a part of a team, were my escape. They were a place where I kind of fit due to my  height and genetic gifts for sport.

At 18 I blessed to Zing with my hubby, a former D1 baseball player and ice hockey lover, who grew up, a lot like me, just skating on the flats, hiking, camping and fishing, and playing in the sand lot.

We have been blessed with 5 incredibly wonderful children. We expected that sports would be a part of their lives. We allowed them to try all kind of things. Their sports glory or failures were not about us. It is about their development as a human. It was about being a part of something larger then themselves.

They mostly gravitated to their father’s sports of baseball/softball and ice hockey (although I have one volleyball player!) He and I have volunteered to help all children on the teams, no matter their ability. We love sports and obviously having kids (lots of them) in our lives. It seemed a natural progression to continue to be involved and share our love of sports with others through coaching, volunteering, driving kids to practices and games if necessary, just being present.

But something changed. Sports became big business. At young ages parents are sold a bill of goods that little Jonny or Mary, if they go to the right camps, play on the the best teams, buy the best equipment, they will have this magical, transformative experience. In what I have witnessed and experienced, the reality falls far short of the promises.

Gone are the days of multi-sport athletes. Children are being pushed to focus on one sport earlier and earlier. Countless studies have shown that it is bad for children, yet it persists.

Early Specialization: Nine Reasons Why It Is a Bad Idea

Why? It makes people money. It make parents feel good. It makes children feel good – for awhile.

What happens when winning becomes EVERYTHING? What happens when you no longer can win? What happen to you when you trounce an opponent so badly that you crush a person’s soul? Longitudinally – what, in being someone that participates in that trouncing, does it do to your soul?

Winning is fun. But should it be the focus of youth sport? Shouldn’t youth sport be geared to learning? Having fun? Becoming a better, healthier YOU?

Winning is fun, but sportsmanship is better. Let’s teach our children that shaking hands after a game is more important than the score. Let’s stop the madness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

baseball, Catholic, children, coaching, family, growth, hockey, hockeymom, love, momoffive, motherhood, skating, sports, sportsmanship, truth

Is Sociopath the New Black?

Catholic, children, coaching, disabilty, hockeymom, lettinggo, momoffive, motherhood, sports

Been awhile and I’m struggling trying to come to grips with why…self doubt, anxiety, busyness, de-prioritization of my needs; I can go on and on…

What has come to a earth shattering head is my desire to remove sociopaths from my life and avoid them at all costs.

What is a sociopath you ask?  Instead of defining the negative, I am focusing on the positive or empath side (because frankly I look terrible in orange!) and engaging in putting a desire to associate only with positive people and empathetic people.

For those wanting a good read, I highly recommend the The Empathy Trap a book that absolutely enhanced my work to dismantle the negative, energy sucking and stressful people and events from my life and encourage the positive.

Another article grabbed my attention this morning was the F word ( No not one of the  swear words I enjoy using!)  – but Feminism – and after International Women’s Day yesterday, the countless same old same old Women’s Month events, political pulling of the woman cards, special places in hell for certain women, etc. I felt I should break my self-exile and speak. As a women, a wife, a sister, a mother, a friend; my roles consistently put me in a place where sociopaths are the new norm and unfortunately are perhaps the new black – a blackness of depravity of character so beyond my comprehension that I refuse to accept it as the new norm.

A very wise person told me once  “No one gives a shit whether you live or die.”

Wiser words have never been spoken! Why? Because it came with a caveat -a millisecond later – the ONLY one that should care about you is YOU!

Anger, stress, revenge, sarcasm – all can be used as motivators, but often times we don’t know how to take the negative in our lives and turn them into golden opportunities for learning and self reflection and most often these “motivators” are turned to life altering stressors that cause disease, violence and pain.

Recently a coach put his hands on my child in anger. My child responded with anger back. I resisted (albeit with extreme difficulty) to turn to my default of anger, revenge, and vendetta, and turned to prayer and self-refection to try to help my child (and myself and those around me) grow and learn. I turned to a trusted friend with strong faith to help me through one of the most difficult events I have faced as a mother.

My child is forever changed by how I approached this difficult situation. I believe he has learned a tremendous amount from it. My child’s ability to analyze and reflect and learn from this is so well above his/her chronological age and I am so very proud.

I am angry? Yes! Am I disappointed? No doubt – but my attempts to channel positivity from this and to take an educators perspective, “What can be learned and done differently when presented with a situation like this in the future?” will undoubtedly affect not only the child affected, but every child and person in whom comes in contact with my child.

I will not be wearing black – in my wardrobe nor my countenance, but most importantly not in my soul! Easter is upon us and Spring in the air and with it, the winds of change…

 

 

 

 

The Real Truth About Sex

coaching, hockeymom, momoffive, sex, teeenagers, waiting

Dear Moms and Dads and People that Care about the Youth of Today and my Youthful Friends of All Ages,

Mamasausus here – and yes I have 5 children so I know a thing or two or five about sex! Now that I’ve caused you to chuckle PLEASE read this article.  http://www.aww.com.au/latest-news/in-the-mag/lost-innocence-why-girls-are-having-rough-sex-at-12-20831

You don’t have to say anything about it, comment or anything – just read it. I would also propose that along with any or all of the “talking points” suggested by this article I would also make a very important point to my pre-pubescent children as well – it is perfectly ok to NOT be a part of this club and suffer the ridicule of your peers.

It is ok to NOT HAVE SEX until you are old enough to handle its consequences. I’m not saying to wait until marriage or a stable committed relationship (I would hope you do as I could quote countless statistics but I’m a realist!) but it’s YOUR BODY – YOUR CHOICE!

Take ownership of YOUR body. My friend always says it’s not a buffet – it’s a fine dining establishment – which make the at-risk kids she works with take pause.

Romance is not dead, Treating each other with respect is NOT old fashioned. Waiting for the right time is NOT stupid – it’s smart, powerful and responsible.

Condoms do not protect against the mental anguish that having sex when you are not ready can do.

That’s reality. Anyone that tells you any different is not being honest. Send them over to me – I’ll set them straight!

It’s your body, your choice, your future!

Love you,

Mamasaurus

Sports Mama Drama – A Mamasaurus Guide to Saying No

baseball, coaching, hockeymom, motherhood, sports

Dear Sports Mamas,

Where do I begin? To use this article as a justification for benching less skilled, less focused, or downright just young players is in my opinion appalling! You also need to look at the innate bias of the writer – his JOB is sports! He is unfortunately, packaging and marketing a product that can be used by these crazy obsessed people!  I received a response from him and he was appalled that it would be used to justify this nonsense and that it was not his intent! That makes me happy!

At 5-12 years old, young CHILDREN are still developing. Some develop sooner and stop, some develop later and blossom, some keep developing or some never will be the “star” but just want to play for fun to meet new people and gain a new skill. I am increasingly distressed by the justification of playing the perceived “star” or “favorite” players, when it’s just plain and simple politics wrapped in a candy coating. The craziness and competitiveness of youth sports is damaging our young people’s mental and physical health (repetitive sports injuries from too early specialization, etc.) and I for one, as a mother of five, will not buy into this mentality.

Children need to have fun until they are post-pubescent and then make the decision as to what to focus on. Children are being pressured by coaches at younger and younger ages to go to their chosen camps, play one sport all year long, and to be mean to those less skilled for what? A trophy? A championship? A tournament win? They are CHILDREN! When you are in MS and HS sure – play your favorites, but in youth sports, they all should play!

Papasaurus is one the of the best coaches I have ever had the pleasure of watching in action. He nurtures EVERY child not just the star! I was reminded by a “rival” coach a few months ago and seeing my track star last night reminded me of the power that coaches have over children’s and young adults’ lives. The fact that I got a huge hug from an amazing woman who I coached 25 years ago solidified it in my mind. Visiting one of my runner’s grave site every March does too. She was not nurtured by her coach post HS and ended her life.

So “Coach Haefner” go ahead and play your favorites. I hope that you still speak to them later in life. It is an amazing thing if you can!

Love,
Coach Mamasaurus

http://jeffhaefner.com/coach/yes-i-do-play-my-favorites/