You wake up at the crack of dawn, roll out of bed, get the kids up, and head out the door. You get to your destination and see other adults dressed just like you with that same dazed look on their face and that same (large) cup of coffee in their hand. No, it’s not another day on the job…it’s another day at the field. And all these parents are there ready to cheer their kids on to a hopeful victory just like you.
Here are a few tips to find your community in competitive sports:
- Determine your “excitement level”. I myself am a very loud, excitable parent when it comes to watching my son play sports. I don’t think he’s the best at everything, but boy howdy, if I see him slacking he will HEAR ME. Sometimes I may be a bit over-zealous, and my good friends will give me the side-eye so I know to chill. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. And sometimes they’re yelling louder than I am! You just have to know your limits and find others that you can share a cheer with. And just make sure you’re not yelling to be mean or at the other team. That’snot cool.
- Everyone out there has one thing in common: your kids are all on the same team. To make those lasting friendships, though, you need to find other shared interests or commonalities. It will be more fun as you’re traveling to games that you can talk about something other than your kids.
- Just like at work (and in life!)we don’t get along with everyone – and our kids are the same way. They may not enjoy everyone on their team, and that’s OK. It’s teaching them how to be a good person. But when you’re going in to make friends with other parents it will allow you to know which kid belongs to what parent and you can choose from the ones that your kids get along with. This will make things more fun for you and for your kids. And who knows…maybe you can split babysitters for future double dates you will be going on.
In the past year our soccer family has gone through a death in the family, an open heart surgery for a little one and multiple (minor) injuries. All of these have been followed up with phone calls, messages of support and small gifts that in the grand scheme of things don’t amount to much, but in our every day lives they mean everything. Without some of these other parents I don’t think I could handle one more early morning soccer game. But with their support I’ve been able to make some new friends that will walk the road with me and help raise good kids who will see us supporting each other. And that is one of the most important things I want to teach my boys.