In our last post, Good Enough, Anna and I wrote about the pressure of competitive sports and how we hoped that the activities our children participated in didn’t become what would define them. For this week’s #momwinwednesday, I decided to contact my sister-in-law who I knew would have fantastic insight into how sports can help us teach our kids just that!
Hey Courtney! Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me about this topic. I know this is very important to you and your family! Can you tell us a little bit about them?
Thanks for thinking of me! I’ve included this picture of our family. I thought it was perfect to send you one of us at a game. We do spend a lot of time on fields!
This is the life of a coach’s wife!
Aww! Hi nephews!!! They are adorable, but I supposed I’m a little bit biased! I know the answer to this next question because I know my brother coaches high school soccer, but do you wear any other hats in addition to your [big, gigantic, hugely significant] Mom Hat?
Several, but I’ll just say today that the most challenging hat I wear is definitely the coach’s wife hat.
It’s so silly, but that shirt makes me cry. It comes with so many blessings, but sometimes that heart is a heavy burden to have inside my chest. It beats proud often, but it can break too.
It must be hard to balance and juggle all the emotions that come with sports plus all the different roles you play at the game. You’re not a parent of a student on the team, but you want those kids to do well. Plus you’re trying to parent 4 little ones at those games. And I know you are literally chasing two of them at this time! Why don’t you tell us about your kids and how you think they handle being the coach’s sons?
We have four boys, like you! Our oldest is 7. He is the detail man. He loves the competition of sports, but he also know EVERYONE’S name and number of this kids on his team and the other team. And he can tell us about these kids. I love that he is using his love for people to care about the people who play on his team. Our next is 6. He loves the game. He just enjoys himself while he’s playing. The third has only recently showed interest in a ball. He just turned 3. We are just not sure if sports are in his future, but we will see! And the last just turned a year a few weeks ago. He already thinks he should be on the field with his brothers! John and I don’t feel like we have unrealistic expectations for our boys. We aren’t pressuring them to excell. We have experienced up close the parents who put the pressure on their kids. So we are trying to keep that in balance.
I know you guys are doing a great job at that too! I know you’ve said it’s easy to get sucked into the competitiveness of sports, but that you try not to walk down that road too much.
What is a recent mom win you experienced that took time and perseverance to accomplish?
This past year’s soccer season (it’s in the spring here) was a great season. I felt spoiled by the parents and the kids on this team. We try to be as intentional as we can because it’s not about the scoring. It’s about the people involved. But it’s hard to maintain relationships while chasing at least two kids at all times. But I tried not to let this opportunity to teach my kids about the team we had. The parents of the players seemed to have a different focus this year, and the expectation for the team to be good was low. The pressure wasn’t there and so they exceeded expectations. The players enjoyed their time together and embraced their roles. Even a senior who sat the bench became the biggest cheerleader. And was a servant the team. I tried to use what we saw on and off the field to teach my younger boys about character. My favorite book, Give Them Grace talks about using every opportunity given to point our kids back to Jesus. So when I see something that I can use, I try to not miss that opportunity. I tell the older boys that we love to watch that senior clean up the water bottles after a time out. Or that we like how the players treated the other team that they just beat. Or when our boys are playing their own game, we talk to them about how it feels when another player is mean to them. We try to use these opportunities to teach them about Jesus and Christ’s desire for us to be like Him. I’m sure I miss a lot of these opportunities, but that’s what we try to do.
That’s great, Courtney! So good to hear about how you can use the circumstances of sports to show your boys about how to live off the field or court too! So what’s a mom win you would text your best friend (or your sister-in-law)?
We played a board game today and the losing child didn’t cry or pout over the loss! ☺️
Hahaha!!! So true how funny it can be to try an apply what they do during sports to a board game at home! Anything else you would like to say to encourage us?
Sports provides an excellent opportunity to teach our kids about character. It exposes our kids to a variety of people. Different cultures, different backgrounds, different ways that people learn, different ways that people treat each other. If we can keep the pressure off and not get sucked into the over-competeitveness and keep relationships with people first we will see the big picture. And you can find these opportunities in any activity. It’s not about the sport or the activity. It’s about the people God has put in your path. Caring for them, learning from them. Then focusing on where Jesus is in the midst of the journey.
Thanks, Courtney! You have given me a new perspective. I hope that I can use whatever activity my children do to point them back to Jesus– to see how He is working in their lives through what they are doing.