Advice for Sports moms in navigating their child to success

For many sports parents especially moms, navigating the fast paced, exciting and often lonely paths of raising their student athletes can be difficult and challenging.

Questions such as …

  • What does it take be a sports mom whose child wants to be a professional athlete?
  • How do I support my child on their journey with school and sports?
  • How do I balance raising a student athlete and staying grounded?

On Friday June 10th, 2022 these were the many topics and conversations that were discussed during the Moms in Amateur Sport event presented by Chadwin Bartley from Bartley Skills Development Program.

Hosted by Wendy Sparks the mother of NBA athlete Khem Burch of the Toronto Raptors, this open candid discussion had 4 mothers who had already navigated the journey of raising student athletes.

Represented panelists were

Nicole Alexander (mother of Nickeil Alexander Walker)

Aubrey Alexander (Kyle and Kayla Alexander)

Jackie Edwards (Aaliyah Edwards, student athlete at UCONN’).

They each shared their unique stories on how they guided their children from as early as registration for teams, going to practices, travelling to tournaments, cheering and advocating for them and many more.

From mom to mom and story to story, it became clear that the love and support has and will always continue no matter what level of “success “ or stage their children are at.

The underlying message was to “meet your child where they are at”.

This was an interactive discussion that allowed those in attendance to ask questions.

Each panelists happily provided answers, tips and support for all.

The night was also filled with many ‘ah ha’ moments of clapping , nodding, feel good emotions and above all lots of laughter and words of encouragements.

Here are some notable tips, quotes and messages that were shared.

  1. If someone approaches you or your athlete, investigate and find out more about who they are, their credentials and anything that you need to ensure their validity.
  2. Be mindful to not push your athletes as your own personal goals, instead guide and support them. This will be beneficial whenever they are in a place where you can’t go or be, they will carry your support and guidance with them always.
  3. Ask “how can I support you?” to your child. Do this often and in situation where they may be in doubt, unsure and simply need your guidance.
  4. Understand the difference between Stress and Pressure. Be easy on the pressure which can often lead to stress for you or child.
  5. If your child’s talent and ability is on demand, continue to positively propel them when you see the opportunity.
  6. Multi sports builds good athletes

In regards to Academics, which is the top priority, 

Be proactive in finding out out what the school your interested in offers.

And ask these questions…

  • Why they are after your child or should accept your child
  • What is their track records (i.e. graduation, career, programs, support during and after etc.)

In the end make sure the school, coaches, administrators and anyone that’s part of the process  understands your child’s ultimate goal (i.e. to play PRO, NBA, Graduation, career etc)

Going through these is not easy and depending on your family dynamics, your child’s ability and overall community support. Staying positive and motivated can be challenging. Here are some tips they recommended on how to motivate.

  • Be there
  • Be honest with yourself
  • Don’t compare child to another anyone 
  • Give them time to talk or not – go with their flow (no matter how much you want to say)

Another topic of discussion that was overwhelmingly felt by all in attendance was Dealing with difficult coaches.

Here are some tips that were shared.

As parents, we must understand the underlying cause of our discomfort or dislike towards the coach.

In doing so, it’s best to  identify if it’s based on their personality, behaviour, technique, language etc.

Once it’s understood, it may help you navigate on how to deal with it. Above all let the coaches coach and trust the process.

And when it comes to being on a team, it’s important to understand that it doesn’t matter if you’re on team A , Team B , Select, or Elite.

What matters is that you’re on a team and doing what you love while developing and growing.

You’re journey and path is unique to you. Trust your instincts and doubt your doubts.

Overall, this event was just what all sports moms needed. No matter the stage or level you’re at. Hearing and connecting with each of these humble, honest, funny and genuine sports moms share their personal stories filled with words of encouragement  made this event a success.

To learn more and look out for more events connect with Chadwin and his team from Bartley Skills Development Program via their website or social media. 

You can also continue to listen and watch stories of many other sports moms through Wendy’s podcast ‘Courtside Moms’ available on all social media.

To connect with me or inquire about upcoming events or programs click here.

Let’s continue to Support Cheer Unite