I spent my entire childhood surrounded by impressive young women. I spent long bus rides with them. Laughed with them, ran with them, and cried with them. This week the gym I grew up playing in got torn down. Well, the whole school is getting torn down, but I could really care less about that. I mean, I'm happy the kids of that town are getting a new school. It was falling apart when I was there 10 years ago, definitely necessary. Yet, something about that filthy old gym getting torn down makes me flooded with memories.
Literally, the gym used to leak water out of old windows on the edge of the court during 8 AM practices on Winter days of school vacation. Did this mean we did not have practice? Haha. Obviously not, you can run 17's on half a court. If you don't know what a 17 is. Just be glad.
Memories coming back that I had forgot I had. Memories that have gotten replaced with daycare plans and reports due at work. Memories of my team. Memories of going 22-1 in the season and then losing in the State tournament. I'm like, 2007 New England Patriots, I FEEL YA!!
I see a lot of woman on woman hating in adulthood. If you go around saying things like "Ya I only hang out with guys." Stop that. Be friends with guys, but make more of an effort to be friends with some women. Women are more complex therefore the relationships are harder, yet better than relationships with guys. (Yes offense every guy I know.)
The moral of the story is, women need other women. The easiest way to teach your daughter how to work with other women is give her a chance to be part of a team. Not all little girls are interested in sports and that's okay! But if your daughter does shows an interest, you should put in some effort to get her involved. The benefits will continue to appear all the way through adult life, parenthood, and marriage.
I played in a Staff vs Police basketball game at work the other day and my post basketball endorphin high had my mind reeling of the benefits of team sports for kids.
FUN, goal setting, exercise, working together, being accountable to others, schedules, commitment, sense of pride, camaraderie, health, socializing, learning to lose, sportsmanship, conflict resolution, leadership....... and on and on and on...
Then again what do I know?
I'm just somebody's MOTHER.
So I figured to illustrate my point,
I would ask some Mom's that inspire me,
why they would want to encourage
their daughters to be a part of a team?
"I think the camaraderie.The girl friendships that came with being on a team was amazing.. It is hard to find good girl friends. I'm noticing that Kylee's friends change every year depending on who she's in a class with and Kenz can't seem to keep a friend. It really hurts her self esteem when she sees how easily Kylee makes friends. When your on a team you guys usually stick together through so much because of what you go through on the court and in practice. Doing something active is also high on the list now that technology takes over our lives and staying busy outside of school."
"I think some of the teams I was on helped me become the person I am today especially as a director in my organization and a Mom. Yes the community, yes looking out for one another, yes goal setting. I also think how being part of a team as a woman is very empowering. I think about the throw like a girl commercial. Teams are great for healthy competition and that if you work hard as an individual and as a team you can be successful. Great for teaching how to win and lose with pride and sportsmanship. Other things - make friends, support group/extended family, have fun, good for health/fitness. Prepares you for adulthood and working in teams where each person has strengths and weaknesses and you play off each of those to create a successful team."
"I think sports helps with a lot of aspects of life. I think it kept me out of trouble and kept me busy. You learn to strategize and anticipate moves. I think it helps with work and being able to anticipate needs and figure out priorities "seeing the field" learning to trust others and deal with challenging relationships as you might a coworker."
"My very best friends in life have all come from teams I have played on throughout the years. Sports, for me, is the only place where I ever felt (and still feel) a true sense of belonging. I've never meshed with people as well as those with whom I've won, lost, road-tripped and drank beer in the parking lot at 3 degrees. It is so rooted in my core that I can not see it any other way. Which, frankly, could be very difficult if (when)Nora chooses otherwise. Though I suppose people find their own sense of "team" I'm whatever aspect of life they cherish most."
"First and foremost they need to HAVE FUN. With the hustle and bustle of life and I think parents sometimes pushing too much too soon on kids, they lose sight of the fact that it is just a game, and they are there to HAVE FUN.
PERSEVERANCE! Team sports, really all sports teach our kids how to deal with disappointment. I don't care how good a kid is, at some point they are going to lose, miss shots, , let goals in, etc. and they need to learn how to deal with this gracefully end move on. Disappointment helps build character, makes them stronger, and hopefully it will teach them a thing of two about endurance and how you need to work hard to achieve your goals. Again this will always relate off field as well!
I think because I grew up playing sports (on teams having FUN) I look at exercise as not something I "have" to do, but something I always want and like to do!"
The pregnant Math teacher did not turn in her homework to me. I probably shouldn't make fun of her too much though. She is in such good shape she could definitely beat me up right now.
Congrats on baby girl, my friend. You are going to be the best Mom.
I'm SO very excited for her to come Cape Cod and boss my boys around.
There you have it my friends. From the mouths of women who are more impressive than you and I. Get your kids involved. Don't complain about driving them to Soccer practice. In a blink of an eye they will be grown and you will wish you could take her to soccer practice. Personally, driving to practice in my Dad's dump truck and talking is how we became friends.