Do you have a list of things you promise you will never do? Here’s a sampling of mine. I will never:
1. Own a minivan
2. Be a sports mom
3. Wear Crocs
4. Have a blinged out baseball cap or flip-flops
Currently, I have done 3 out of 4 of my “I will never’s”. I discovered the practicality of a minivan and I learned to love it. I still think Crocs are hideous, but they serve a great use for lots of things. Watering the grass, walking in rain, etc. I still haven’t worn a sparkly baseball cap or flip-flops, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. Yes, they are all shallow. I’m at peace with that.
The end of another kid’s intense sport season has me reflecting on the “I will never _________” list. Are you the type of person who, like me, rolls your eyes at the mention of the sports mom who whines a little about excessive driving or schedule demands of her child’s sport? As if they couldn’t adjust their schedule….I mean, who is the parent here? One of my friends jokes around with me that she hopes our daughter makes it to the Olympics as a result of our insane routine this fall and spring. I chuckle at that, but she’s got a point. What is the purpose of what seems to be a very child-centered lifestyle for a family?
Well, during all of my drive time this sport season, I’ve had time to reflect on this. Another mom from our team asked me once, “Do you think all of this is worthwhile?” I cannot answer for other sports moms. I can only answer to our experience. Our coach for the past year and a half is an amazing woman. There is no other coach I’ve met that I’d want our kid to spend 4 to 10 hours with each week. Wanna know what her motto is for her team? It’s not “Winning is everything” or “Play your hardest”. The thing I’ve heard her repeat over and over is this: “It’s about so much more than volleyball.” She uses the vehicle of sports to teach our girls how to relate to one another, respect and trust their teammates, how to work really hard, and to be disciplined, physically and spiritually.
This is an exceptional woman that doesn’t underestimate the influence that an adult can have in a teen’s life. She teaches perseverance when they are discouraged, and she teaches humility when girls get frustrated with each other. It may be impossible to overstate the impact she’s had on our daughter alone. She understands that as adults, our words to a child or teen are very powerful. Do you remember an adult who believed in you and encouraged you as a child? They may have helped change the way you see yourself and helped you to take healthy risks. On the flip side, is there an adult you can remember who spoke destructive words to you that you may still struggle with?
These are just a few reasons that I’m okay with being a sports mom, at least for now. My hat goes off to Coach Brenda Bundrick and her husband Coach Dave. She is a godly and beautiful woman who coaches with her husband. She models love in her marriage, she demonstrates sacrifice, and works hard to disciple and love a group of ten girls every week. I have seen my daughter scribbling notes to her teammates because coach assigned them the responsibility of writing a word of encouragement, or to pray for her teammates on a given week. All that and our kid is exercising and learning physical disciplines? It doesn’t get better.
Coach Brenda and her husband Coach Dave understand and have taught me that any benign activity or discipline can be used to make a lasting impact. Make that a lifelong or eternal impact. Our lives won’t be the same because of them, in a good way.