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 Sports, It 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.