The National Parenting Center

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Moms and Sports

A mother in the northeast wrote to me recently lamenting the fact that she and her son were growing apart due to his involvement in football and her genuine lack of knowledge about the sport. She was seeking advice on regaining the level of closeness that she and her son had once enjoyed.

Learn more about the game so you can talk about it with genuine interest. Showing you care about something so important to him will open new doors of communication for you. Some football coaches are trying to help moms in your situation; pass this idea on to your school and coach.
Coach Troy Guzikowski of Reed City, Michigan got this idea from coach Bob Knight in Kalamazoo who has been coaching football moms for years. This year Troy offered evening sessions on football for all mothers of team members; the response of moms was so positive that attendance will probably triple next year.
One mother, Gail Mis, told me that at her son was really proud of what she had learned. “Now I can understand the terminology, my son`s position on the team, and follow what he does in the plays. I can even watch Monday Night Football with interest and talk with my guys about what`s happening. I even learned about what he should eat before games and in the off season and why! Now that I know more about what they do for protection, I feel relieved that football is safer than I thought.
Mother Dorinda Crane agreed with Gail that Coach Troy`s sessions improved family communication and made her relationship with her son even stronger. My son would go over my notes with me after each session and we`d talk. I am so excited about what we learned that I hope we can watch some game tapes next year. Then we can see in action what Coach Troy shows us in diagrams. Every football mom would enjoy this project.
Contents of Coach Guzikowski`s three sessions were impressive. One was devoted to the game, its rules, what offense and defense are all about, and the most common plays, including information on the different positions and the particular talent needed for each one. Basic referee signals and penalties were covered in other sessions, as were nutrition and sports medicine. Learning more about what to do at home and why was helpful and reassuring to moms.
Coach Troy told me this project was rewarding in many ways. Coaches willing to teach moms about football will be happy that their boys and mothers have a new shared interest; the boys get extra positive reinforcement for their performances; and mothers who are positive and excited about football talk to other mothers, providing both recruitment for the team and a potential force for fund raising and community support.
Hooray for coaches AND moms who get involved in sharing and learning about their children`s sports!

Evelyn Petersen’s nationally syndicated parenting column is carried in over 200 newspapers twice each week. As a family/parenting consultant, early childhood educator, Head Start consultant, and host of a series of parent training audio and video tapes, Ms. Petersen employs an approach of providing hands-on, nuts and bolts advice to parents across the country.Evelyn Petersen’s nationally syndicated parenting column is carried in over 200 newspapers twice each week. As a family/parenting consultant, early childhood educator, Head Start consultant, and host of a series of parent training audio and video tapes, Ms. Petersen employs an approach of providing hands-on, nuts and bolts advice to parents across the country. 

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