Now that I've gotten to experience sports in a different country, I've realized how important parents are in the development of athletes at a young age, and how much they continually sacrifice. Our parents seem to always give us everything we could need—time, money, support and knowledge if they are our coach. Sports have given me so much; an automatic connection to make new friends wherever I go and skills that have better prepared me for life and a career, just to name a few.
Dear Sports Parents,
First, thank you for signing me up for those rec sports. I didn’t know it then, but it is one of the best decisions you could have made for me. I may have even changed sports a couple of times, and you put up with it anyway. There’s sometimes a bad rep for sports parents, but not all are crazy. You genuinely love us, seeing us have fun, succeed and eventually playing the sport that may have been our first love. Sometimes, we get so caught up in our games, our practices, our injuries and the mental side of the game, that we forget to recognize those that got us here and the sacrifices they made. That’s you, sports parents. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to my own parents, and all the other sports parents on behalf of your athletes.
Thank you for:
The miles spent driving or flying to games, practices, tournaments, showcases, college visits, etc.
The long hours you spend sitting in bleachers or standing watching us play our sport, even if it meant enduring unbearable weather conditions or missing your own work. (Thanks, bosses, for understanding.)
For waking up early to drive me somewhere and make sure I was awake, too.
The hours you spent volunteering for my teams—in the snack bar, carpooling or coaching.
The hugs before and after a game (and win or lose), whether it was for me or the rest of the team.
For all the money you spent on tournament or league fees or that new equipment that I just had to have.
For understanding when tournaments became family vacations.
For realizing the importance of sports and the life-lessons they teach.
For being encouraging even if I wanted to give up.
For showing me that there is more to life than sports, and stats, and wins/losses.
But also being there for me after a tough loss.
For always being on the sideline to cheer my name.
For doing my not-so-glamorous sports laundry and managing to keep my white uniform sparkling.
For the delicious food at tailgates, tournaments and pregame meals.
For giving me sports that have resulted in lifelong friendships.
For enjoying watching me play (or at least pretending like you do).
For being proud of me, no matter what.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for signing me up for youth sports and everything along the way. I wouldn’t be the person I am without sports, and I wouldn’t be in sports without you.
Love,A thankful athlete