Saturday, May 2, 2015

How Sports Prepared Me for Parenthood...

It's a funny thing, when I was playing sports in high school and college my coaches always used to say that it was preparing me for life.  The lessons I learned on the court would be applied to adulthood.

As a coach I said, and believe the same things.

I always pictured working hard at my job, at times failing, but digging deep and pulling out a victory the next time around.

It never occurred to me that, I would see my athletic training showing up at home, as a mommy...

For example...

I never boxed out on the basketball court near as well as I can box out two toddlers from getting the hot oven as I pull out a batch of cookies.  Seriously... No one would get that ball but me now!

Man-to-man and Zone defense.  With one child, it was easy.  Zone all the time.  We got to sit back in our areas and cover what was needed at the time.  With the addition of another player (AKA baby #2) things changed.  We now either run a man-to-man or zone with one defender having to cover two in his/her area.  It is exhausting.

How to treat sore muscles.  I thought I was sore after the first week of practice.  HA.  Nothing like the day-to-day squats, stairs, up-downs (picking up toys under the bed, couch, table...), and lifting of two 25-30 lb. potato bags children.  That move.  A lot.

Early practice.  Thank you coaches for making me get up at 5:00 AM to come in to practice and then have to make it through an entire day of school and sometimes even practice again.  Totally helped with this "going to work with no sleep" part of the working-parent lifestyle.

Using my peripheral vision.  I can effectively watch "The Middle" and see my children playing in the kitchen at the same time!

Scheduling and organization.  One of the biggest advantages to being a student athlete was that it taught me to prioritize and organize.  If it was Wednesday and I had a math assignment due on Friday, but a game on Thursday, that meant I needed to do my homework Wednesday.  The same holds true for work and daycare schedules.  I have to go to the store, but need to be at daycare early on Tuesday, I better go on Monday or we'll eating cereal for dinner!

Losing and failure.  Let's be honest.  In sports, both of those things happen.  It's important to fail and then pick yourself up and try again.  Learning from mistakes.  I fail daily.  I learn a new trick or strategy all the time.  I am constantly trying to improve my parenting game.  I hope to make it to the "big leagues" (not even sure what that would be for graduating high school???)

Staying active. In between seasons athletes need rest, but they can't forgo all training or they lose everything, and it's very painful when training starts up again.  Now.  I am NOT as active as I was or wish I had time for, but I do try to make sure my kids are.  Playing outside, swimming, climbing, or even just chasing each other (or me) through the house.

Hydrating.  Water. Water. Water.  And Wine. (only as Mom, never as student-athlete)  :-)

Now, I'm not saying that these can only be taught through sports, I have just recently started to enjoy the comparison of the things I did on the court and the things I do as a mom!