Sports parents are crazy, y’all. Did you know that? We are totally crazy. And it goes beyond the wild cheering the stands and heckling the referees. It’s an all consuming thing. The following are just 5 of the ways we absolutely lose our minds. There are more than 5, believe me.
1. The money. Unless you have kids who play high level sports you have absolutely no concept of the amount of money involved. I thought rec sports was expensive. Ha! I scoff at my previously naive self. I played club soccer so I knew it was pricey but I had no idea how expensive varsity sports were going to be. Tyler played varsity football and basketball this year. So we had a pay-to-play fee of over $100 per sport just to be on the team. Then we had the costs for team shoes, personalized gear such as shooting shirts for basketball and warm up shirts for football, the matching team bag, all of the gear needed such as knee pads, wrist braces, compression leggings, etc. Tyler went through 2 pairs of cleats during football season at $175 for each pair. It’s ridiculously expensive. Between football and basketball we forked over well over $2,000 this season.
2. The time. Because Tyler doesn’t drive yet I spent a whole lot of time in the car. First, we had summer off-season work which meant I sat at the field for several hours during the mornings and then in front of the weight room in the afternoon for a couple of hours. Every day during the summer. Then the season began and they had practice every afternoon until after 6:30. Practice was supposed to end at 5:30 so that meant a lot of time sitting in the car waiting. Then game days. Home games meant arriving early to help set up, then tailgating, then watching the game, then waiting for the team meeting. Away games meant rushing to pick everyone up from school and drive to the games- some were well over an hour away- then driving back to the school and waiting for the bus to arrive. Sometimes they would stop for food on the way home and we’d be waiting in the parking lot for 3 hours. Then they had weights and practice on Saturday mornings. Y’all. Varsity sports is a family commitment, not just the athlete.
3. The team spirit. The moms went all out with team spirit. We all bought team spirit shirts for the whole family, we all chipped in to make sure the guys had Gatorade, water, snacks, etc available for them. And the tailgating. Oh man, the tailgating. It was as elaborate as a NFL tailgate. We’re talking tables of food, coolers of drinks, huge tents…it was amazing. And we did it for every home game.
4. The emotions invested. Have you ever seen a group of angry parents run off a bad referee? I have. Ever seen the amount of drama that 3 overly involved moms can cause? I have. But I get it. We’re putting in as much as our kids and we want to see the rewards from all the effort. And heaven help the poor coaches. They put up with a lot. I have a rule- if my kid’s actual health and safety are not impacted then I do not get involved. I don’t ask the coach about playing time, or a switch in position, etc. Nope. Not my job. But there are many, many…many parents who don’t feel the same way!
5. The family. I have never experienced varsity football the way I did this past season. Some of my best friends right now are the other moms of players on the team. We cheer for each other’s kids, we cringe when they take a big hit, we drop everything to help if needed, we know what is going on with everyone’s kids. We’ve become family. There’s nothing like watching your kid pick up a teammate off the ground after a vicious hit and then go after the player who dished it out. That makes you family.
So yes, we’re all nuts and crazy and a lot of people do not understand us. That’s ok. We understand each other.