Moms. The ultimate (and forever) MVPs in our books.
In this week’s blog post, we ask YOU about football's influence on your family, advice for other football moms, and the impact you’re having on the next generation.
From Football Moms: How has football shaped your family?
For most, it’s hard to define. Because this sport’s impact is measured by more than a scoreboard. For some moms, it’s all about the health benefits; helping kids develop an active lifestyle they can maintain their whole lives. For others, it’s about those all-important life skills like teamwork, discipline, confidence and dedication. But there’s more. Because our kids aren’t the only ones who benefit from becoming a football family.
“Football gives us more than something to do on the weekends”, says football mom, Kelli Cheever. “It gives us the ability to make family friends. We were new to the community at first, but through football we’ve been able to get involved and make fast friends.”
Ask anyone; football families form a pretty special bond. And over time, true friendships form among parents and players.
When asked if her son keeps in touch with childhood football friends, veteran football mom, Leisha Cadwallader says, “Absolutely! He’s still best friends with a teammate from 2nd grade, and they both now play at different colleges. Has has other friends from these same team he played with from kindergarten through 6th grade.”
From Football Moms: How has football strengthened sibling relationships?
Leisha, whose son, Dylan, is now a Quarterback at Dartmouth College, saw football create opportunities for family activities: “It [football] was a blessing for both children, though our daughter didn’t play football. Because football was a central focal point for the family, our daughter became involved in drill team- and was also on the field! It became a family activity rather than being focused on one child, and each kid was appreciative of the experience the other was having.”
Commenting on her kids’ experiences with youth sports, “it’s so much fun to watch your children choose something that they love, and pursue it. It’s about coming together as a family and helping your children through those trials and tribulations that sports can naturally bring.”
For any mom, those moments when your kids turn to, confide in, and comfort one another are pretty special. Watching your kids play sports comes with so many emotions. Going through them together really solidifies a family’s bond.
Advice for Football Moms
1. Winning isn’t everything. The early years are about developing a passion for the game, and honing their skills.
Gridiron Washington Mom, Bonnie Mooney, says, “My biggest advice would be to let them have fun, make friends, and enjoy it. It’s about learning and growing– we aren’t in the NFL yet!” An early focus on skill development means your kids will be less stressed, less likely to get injured, and set up to succeed as he or she grows in the game. And don’t worry! The wins will naturally come. “Football has shaped our lives by being active as a family, connecting with like-minded families, and gives us something to look forward to during the season. We absolutely love football season!”
2. Perseverance during wins - and losses.
The lessons our kids learn playing football will last their whole lives. One of those important life lessons? Learning how to handle conflict and competition.
“Advice for new moms: stay positive, encourage your little ones, and always be their #1 fan”, says Gridiron Texas mom, Rosa Zenteno. “Football has taught my child discipline, learning how to adapt to change, how to deal and overcome adversity and it has helped him develop team leadership skills.” After each game, talk with your kids. Help them to identify, process and retain those life lessons. Win or loss.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New
Football isn’t just for the boys anymore. We’ve seen a tremendous surge in girls’ participation. And there’s good reason for it!
“Playing football has been such a positive experience for our daughter,” says Gridiron Mom, Laura Caldwell. “This is her second season to play and it’s been incredible to watch not only her skills progress over time, but more importantly, her confidence and love for the game. She was nervous to be the only girl on her team, but her coaches and teammates have been so supportive from the very beginning. We look forward to watching her play every Friday night as the whole community comes together to support these kiddos. I did have some hesitations at first, with her playing football, but I am so glad we gave it a chance. The team work and sportsmanship these kids have learned has been amazing.”
Football: We Can’t Do It Without You, Moms.
Whether you’re actively involved in training, coaching or supporting the team with rides and post-game snacks– we couldn’t do this without you. The role you play in your kids lives, and in this sport, is invaluable. And here at Gridiron, we’re so excited to see thousands of moms contribute at practice and on Game Day.
Women can bring a different skill set and perspective to coaching and league operations:
“Women bring a servant-leadership perspective that parallels a task-oriented leadership style we see in the men, so as we lead we also work to make sure everyone is taken care of. As a mother, you bring these skills into play at home just as you do in an organization.” -Kelli Cheever
“As a woman and as a mom, I want to see the people around me grow. I think this is something a woman can bring to the table by nature, and I enjoy seeing how such different perspectives work in the male-dominated industries of sports and tech.” -Autumn Howard
Here at Gridiron, we’re honored to have a network of strong female leadership throughout our organization. Whether you’re running a league, coaching a team, or cheering from the sidelines, we see you and appreciate you. Thank you for the impact you have on the field, and off.
Parting words for other football moms?
“Soak it up! Enjoy it! It’s the best gift you can have as a mother- no matter what your child’s sport.” – Leisha Cadwallader