Mission, vision, and a midwest mom

Mission: GiveTheGameBack provides tools and resources for parents and promoters of youth athletes to help them live momentously, not vicariously, through their kids.

Vision: GiveTheGameBack is a movement to reclaim the game for developing athletes everywhere, encouraging parents and promoters of youth sports to get out of the way and let the kids play.

Motivated by a desire to return youth sports to the beautiful game I experienced, the game it is intended to be, I created this movement to remind myself and others to always keep perspective. Here you will find information about what is going incredibly right and what is going terribly wrong with the state of youth athletics today.

You can also order a t-shirt if you want while you're here. (See designs below.) Consider these shirts a form of POSITIVE peer pressure. I hope to see them displayed at ball fields and gyms throughout my community as a way to remember why we are there collectively supporting our kids. We can even poke a little fun at ourselves while we're at it.

The influence of parents, coaches, and other adults on a child's sporting experience and life in general cannot be overstated. Adults often get so caught up in the action that they forget about the age of the players they are watching.

I'd argue that, unless you fall into the 5-12 year-old age range, you should not be the focus of youth sports. Adults should not be a child's worst critic.

Like the majority of parents out there cheering on our children, I want this time in their lives to be special...not traumatic. I want them to remember the good times...not the embarrassing ones.

As a former student-athlete, I experienced what it's like to play at the Division I level with unwavering encouragement from my parents. As a mom, I've tried to provide the same level of support and guidance to my three kids. Have I always succeeded? I'd like to say yes, but that wouldn't be entirely true. Put it this way: I'm getting better.

It's time to GiveTheGameBack to the kids. We can only do this by allowing the coaches we trust to do their jobs, and the youth we love to watch the freedom to learn and have fun with their friends.

As John O'Sullivan wrote in his excellent article, The Race to Nowhere In Youth SportsIt is not athletic ability, but the lessons learned from sport that need to last a lifetime

As adults, we are in the position to provide many lessons to future generations. My advice is to choose your lesson plan and actions wisely.

Heidi Woodard describes how her middle child motivated her to begin an online platform to help sports parents much like herself keep perspective on the sidelines.

 

Heidi Woodard explains why she wants to continue the GiveTheGameBack movement well beyond when her own children's playing days are over.

 

Heidi Woodard describes why she offers parental perspective reminders on the GiveTheGameBack website, to reinforce the idea that adults should get out of the way and let their kids play.


Quality Products for YOUTH SPORTS Parents and PROMOTERs

help give the game back in 3 easy steps
1.
choose your t-shirt size (see Product Measurements)
2.  
find your favorite t-shirt saying below
3. place your order on the official shop page


T-shirt front (Note: Colors may print slightly different than how they appear on screen.)

T-shirt front (Note: Colors may print slightly different than how they appear on screen.)

T-shirt front (Note: Colors may print slightly different than how they appear on screen.)

T-shirt front (Note: Colors may print slightly different than how they appear on screen.)

T-shirt reverse

T-shirt reverse

Fasten this visual reminder onto your steering wheel to help you stop and think about the kind of conversation you want to have with your child(ren) following a sporting competition.

Fasten this visual reminder onto your steering wheel to help you stop and think about the kind of conversation you want to have with your child(ren) following a sporting competition.