family, parenting, small town living

Mama Bear

I never really understood the term Mama Bear until this week. To me Mama Bear was protective while also letting the “cubs” explore and learn. “Going Mama Bear” didn’t occur to me, until this week. But I did not, I kept Mama in her den glaring out, ready to strike.

A fellow player and friend on Rudi’s team referred to him as “a little kid”. He was not talking about Rudi’s smaller statue, but his soccer abilities. Now these two are within a few months apart, with Rudi being the older one. Hmm, Mama Bear thought.

The teammate went on to say that he’s better than Rudi and the other “little kids”. Wow, okay. Mama Bear pondered. He was saying this to me, an adult, not just saying this to his teammates or friends.

This attitude comes from us, the adults. We are the ones who shape and develop our youth athletic programs. Whether coaching, parenting, or our sideline demeanors; we are perpetuating these “better than thou” spirit and it’s killing team spirit, player development, and the longevity of an age group’s ability to grow together.

We have lost the perspective of growing teammates, raising youth who collaborate towards a common goal, and developing well rounded athletes. “A team is only as strong as its weakest player. ”

Our children love soccer and each have his and her own abilities and interests within the sport. We may be loud occasionally on the sidelines, but our parental aspirations isn’t necessarily the score board, but to have them to attend every practice and game with a positive attitude that will contribute to the overall success of the team and themselves.

Mama Bear will stay in her den for awhile, hibernating until Spring soccer. Our small town has had some amazing athletic team successes this fall. Boys soccer reaching new peaks and a tennis team’s first state championship. A football team who dug its way out of a hole, learning and developing together to reach some successes this year. The emphasis, team. We’re in this together.

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