It's the end of the game... you've spent the week driving carpool, picking up kids, washing uniforms & packing snacks... It was a tough game, your sitting in the stands waiting for your kid to walk across the field and talk to you so you can all go home.
Your hoping for a face like this:
The "I'm so happy, I had a great game, worked hard and had fun with my team" face... Hopefully you get that face.
Sometimes you do... sometimes you don't. Sometimes there are cheers and sometimes there are tears... such is the life with a teenage athlete.
My oldest plays field hockey. It's a tough sport, highly skilled and physical. The games are usually low scoring, fast paced and quite aggressive.
I always hope for that "face" at the end of the game. But what happens when you don't get that face? I've been thinking about that a lot this year. We have had our share of ups and downs when it comes to playing sports. I can honestly say that my daughter has done more "growing up" playing that sport that almost anything we could have done. She's learned to deal with disappointment. She's learned what it means to work on a team. She's learned to speak up for herself and most of all she's learned that rewards come from hard work.
Gatorade asked me to write a little bit about how I support my young athlete... I've been mulling on this thought for about a month. How do I support and encourage her? I drive her to practice, make sure she has healthy food to eat, I try to be at all of her games... but what is it I could share here with YOU about I how support her. Then I started thinking about it and realized one of my FAVORITE things to do to support and encourage them is with crafts... hey this is a crafty blog!
We've done a few crafty things with the team over the years. Last year we had them over to make tie dyed t-shirts.... I made a photo album for the coaches last year... but my favorite job of all is as the team photographer! (I'm just an amateur but they don't care).
You see, the girls work hard and they want photos of themselves "in action". I love to go to the games patrol the sidelines and try to get that "perfect" shot of them. It's become quite a fun challenge for me. After the games, I come home and upload the photos to facebook. The kids have fun tagging themselves & their friends, they make the photos their profile pictures and best of all, most of them "friend" me on facebook.
The season is just starting for us. After a summer full of 6 AM practices it's time to start playing Field Hockey!! I'll have my usual place on the sidelines, camera in hand but this year, I wanted to do something a little extra too. So I decided to make them all GAME DAY SURVIVAL KITS.
Since nutrition is so important to young athletes, I tried to pull together a bag of goodies for them to take to the game, full of things to help them be prepared to play!
I worry a lot about my daughter eating right during sports season. I feel like I have to watch her so closely to make sure she is getting the proper amount of vitamins and protein. Those kids work so hard and as her Mom, it's my responsibility to provide her with healthy things to eat.
I included some good carbs (apples, bananas, their favorite protein bar & trail mix) and a G Series Perform from Gatorade.
Did you know that G-series Perform is the best Gatorade for them to drink WHILE they are playing? I didn't... It helps athletes replace fluids, replenish electrolytes and refuel working muscles during exercise. I read a bit about it and think it's pretty cool that they have different formulas for different stages of play. And G -Series Prime from Gatorade is a good one for them to drink 15 minutes before they exercise because it provides pre-game fuel in the form of carbohydrates.
Also in the bag, since it is field hockey, I included some bandages (for bumps and blisters), kleenex (incase of a hard defeat) and some cute hairbands (because it never hurts to be cute when you play).
If you'd like to make your own SURVIVAL KIT- I've uploaded the graphic I made for the front of the bag online. You can download it (click here to download the PDF) and make your own (I've included some other color schemes and one without a field hockey stick).
So now you have a fun crafty idea to support them when they play but I've got a more serious question for ya'll ... It's easy to think of what to say when they win and the game goes great, but...
"What do you say when things don't go their way?"
When they think the coach was mean, or the other team was unsportmanlike, or they are disappointed in how they played.
Gatorade is thinking about this too: For more information and to encourage moms to support their athletes as they BECOME, Gatorade will donate one dollar up to $10,000 to the Women’s Sports Foundation for every pledge we receive at Gatorade Moms.
I've noticed with my kids that confidence is one of the greatest assets a young athlete can have. What has worked for you with your kids?
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