Now that the fall sports season is upon us, I have some helpful tips and snack ideas for moms of athletes.
My son was 4 when he joined his first t-ball team. He was the youngest and smallest athlete on the team. But what he lacked in size and skill, he made up for in heart.
He loved playing t-ball. He couldn’t wait to go to practice and when it came time to put on his uniform for his first game….well, he was beside himself.
Today, my (not so) little guy, is still playing baseball. He loves to play and I love to watch him play. There have been a lot of ups and downs. The soaring confidence when he made a great catch to the tears when he struck out.
Over the past 6 year years, he’s grown a lot as a ball player and I think that I’ve grown a lot as a sideline parent.
Now that we’re entering into the Fall Ball season, here are some of the lessons that I’ve learned:
- Encourage enjoyment over winning: Most athletes play sports because they want to have fun, not necessarily win. Most times,athletes drop out of sports because it’s not fun anymore.
- Encourage improving skills over comparing to others: Athletes develop skills and sports abilities at different rates. Parents who encourage and praise self improvement efforts can help their little athletes get more out of the program and improve their self confidence.
- Don’t (re)live your dreams through your athlete: Parents put unnecessary pressure on their athlete when they try to live vicariously through them.
- Keep open lines of communication: One of the best tips I learned from another mom was to let your athlete start the conversation about the game. If they tell you how they think they did during the game it will give you better insight on how to encourage them.
- Stay away from team drama: There is always some level of drama and politics surrounding sports (see tip #3 above). To ensure your athlete gets the most out of the sport, try to focus on sportsmanship rather than drama.
There is potential in all of us. No matter what you achieve in life, we all start in the same place as everyone else: as a kid full of potential and big dreams. At the end of the day, we are all “just a kid” from somewhere.
Another thing that I’ve learned along the way is to bring a snack bag with me. I like to keep our snack bag filled with wholesome treats that will give my guy energy and help me stay away from the tempting snack stand treats.
I always bring my own drink with me. It’s usually some sort of green tea or water for me and a sports drink or water for my son.
For snacks, I like to pack nuts or seeds, fruit, veggies and/or crackers. I know these will keep us satisfied and away from all of the high calorie temptations at the snack stand.
And, let’s not forget the post-game ice cream stop. It’s tradition in our area to stop at the local ice cream stand for a celebratory treat (whether or not you win the game)! And, I will be the first to admit that ice cream is my kryptonite. I have absolutely no will power when it comes to frosty treats.
To help keep myself on track, I like to stock up on these Weight Watchers frozen treats.
This way, I’m able to celebrate with my guy while making better snack choices.
There are two varieties I’m in love with. The Salted Caramel Ice Cream Bars are creamy and sweet with just a hint of saltiness. They are perfect size to satisfy my sweet tooth.
My other favorite are the Peanut Butter Caramel Candy Bars. Don’t let the name fool you…there’s ice cream packed in there! But they are so decadent and delicious.
I found both of these at my local Giant Food Store. They were right there in the ice cream aisle. Stop by your local Giant Food Store between 9/1/16 – 9/28/16 and when you buy any (5) FIVE participating Weight Watchers products (excluding Heinz SmartOnes & Meeting Room Products) you’ll Save $3.00 instantly while supplies last!