Team mom life: It's more than just some cupcakes

Contrary to popular belief, team mom-ing is about more than after game snackage. Our cupcakes may be what brings all the boys to the yard, but there is just so much more to it than that.

And that’s why I love it.

5 reasons I love being a Team Mom:

Being part of the team         

I was never much of an athlete, but back in high school I was a cheerleader, and I ran track, and I was on an awesome softball team in eighth grade. I haven’t really had that team spirit thing since. But I have it now, and I love it. I love wearing my matching team jersey and painting a bear paw on my cheek and putting my hands in that circle with those boys to yell, “Go team!” My son says the bear paw to the face thing isn’t really necessary, but I’m certain he’s wrong.

Playing a role in safety        

Coaches have so much on their plates come game day. As team mom, my game day plate is just a little less crowded. I make sure my boys can get their helmets buckled on right (They’re 9. Sometimes they still struggle.), I make sure they have their cups and mouth guards in (They’re 9. Sometimes they still forget.), and I keep everyone hydrated and having fun (They’re 9. Fun is still the most important part of it.). And then I keep an eye out for safety. Is No. 38 keeping his head up? Does No. 85 look a little wobbly after that last hit? Little things that having more trained eyes on the field and engaged can help with.

Being a part of something special        

Football where I’m from is a community affair. We play in a high school feeder program, so when it’s football season and you come into Bear Country, you know it because you see it and you feel it. From our littlest Bear Cubs all the way up to our high school varsity team, being a Bear means being a part of the team, a fan of the game and a member of an awesome community. When you step on the field with your team, you can feel that community supporting you and your boys, and you don’t feel like just a team mom, you feel like you’re the mom of every boy on the team.

Advocating for the boys and their parents

Parents don’t always feel comfortable taking their concerns to the coach - he’s busy, they don’t want to be “that parent,” they’re worried they’re overreacting. Same with the boys. Coach doesn’t always have time to hear why little Jimmie really, really, REALLY thinks he should get to run the ball this weekend or that oranges upset his tummy and that’s why he never eats the aftergame snack with the other kids. I take these concerns seriously, and I give each of these people a voice through me. I love being the person the parents trust enough to share their true concerns with, and I love hearing about how little Jimmie raced every kid on his street six times last Saturday and won every time. Plus, it makes things more manageable for the coach, and he kinda loves that, too. 

So many smiling faces

My cupcakes are kind of a big deal, and when I show up with them and those silly teeth fall out of those big smiles, it makes all of the hours spent buckling helmets and finding lost cups and listening to people moan about the parking worth it.

Amanda Rodriguez is a humor and lifestyle blogger at DudeMom.com. In her free time, she enjoys losing weight easily, looking like a soap star the moment she rolls out of bed and riding around town on her unicorn. In addition to having a loose grip on reality, Amanda enjoys traveling to far off lands (or, not so far off lands) with her family and cheering herself hoarse on the sidelines of her sons’ games. The mom behind the blog is a former Teach for Americamiddle school language arts and social studies teacher turned stay-at-home-mom turned graduate student turned professional photographer, freelance writer, pro blogger, Zumba Fitness enthusiast and general director of awesomeness.

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USA Football and MinuteClinic, the walk-in medical clinic inside CVS/pharmacy, are recognizing and rewarding football team moms across the country this fall. Youth and high school coaches and parents are encouraged to nominate deserving football moms. Moms can also apply on their own as well by filling out a short online questionnaire. For more information visit www.usafootball.com/mom.

- See more at: http://usafootball.com/blogs/football-parents/post/9210/team-mom-life:-it's-more-than-just-some-cupcakes#sthash.MdJAAFry.dpuf

Principles for Parents

Parents, athletes and coaches must work together for the best possible youth football experience and performance. The following suggestions are meant as general guidelines for parents.

•  As a parent, you understand the daily pressures your child faces. We believe that football should be an outlet for fun. Encourage your child and allow them to have a good time.

•  Remember that your child learns more from your actions than your words. Practice good sportsmanship by being respectful to players, parents and coaches on both teams.

•  There is nothing wrong with applauding a good play made by the opponents. Parents can be good role models by appreciating the efforts made by both teams.

•  Most coaches are volunteers and work hard at what they do. To lessen confusion, and out of respect for their position, please allow your child’s coach to be the only one coaching players on the field.

•  Please refrain from loud or rude behavior.

•  Offer encouragement and positive reinforcement, not criticism, to your star player.

•  Encourage discipline by having your child arrive on time for practices and games.

•  Belonging to a team requires commitment. Parents can help children understand this through regular attendance and preparation.

•  Whenever possible, volunteer. This shows participants the value of being a team player.

•  Please respect the officials and their calls. It’s OK to disagree, but inappropriate to disparage.