We put together a list of items we love and that our kids just might get this holiday season (maybe 1-2 for us too)! Click on the pictures to get more information and prices. You can also check out our Stuff We Love page for more great sports gifts!
Launching levers and hidden contraptions make this miniature baseball game a real crowd-pleaser! Step up to the plate and swing for the fences! Realistic baseball action allows you to hit singles, doubles, triples, and homers with the spring-loaded bat. If you want to play baseball everyday even when it’s raining or night time, the Super Stadium Baseball Game is perfect for you.
This baseball inspired case is a cool way to protect your baseball lovers cell phone. The hard case offers great protection against small drops, bumps and scratches. It installs in seconds and allows for full access to all functions/ports.
This pancake style glove is ideal for infield training. This device aids in developing soft hands and a quick glove to throw transition. If you have a baseball or softball player in your house that likes to work hard this is a great gift for them.
The Baseball Tumbler is a 30 oz stainless steel drink holder that keeps drinks cold for 24 hours and warm for over 12 hours even on the hottest and coldest days. This baseball tumbler is the perfect gift for any baseball fan to take to games or practice.
This sports hoodie is perfect for mom who has both a softball player and baseball player. This sports hoodie is perfect for mom who has both a softball player and baseball player.
Water Bottle – this one hangs on the fence and keeps your players water cold even in the hottest temperatures!
It’s the classic game of Capture the Flag that people have played for over 90 years – but adapted for today’s generation using glow-in-the-dark LED lights! Each kit includes 25 battery-powered, reusable lights that transform playing fields and players into glowing teams of blue and green. Complete with lit jail markers, territory lights, light-up wristbands and glowing crystals that serve as each team’s flag, this is truly a modern twist on a classic game.
The Star-Kick gives young players the touches they need to master ball control, develop proper passing and shooting techniques, and improve receiving. Maximize your training by minimizing ball chasing. Fits most players and securely holds size 3, 4 and 5 soccer balls.
The XTRAMAN Stand-In Basketball Defender can be used to help in your basketball training. In the past crucial drills have been performed using traditional tools like cones, but the XTRAMAN is the newest and only stand-in defender to accurately simulate the size and shape of a real player on the court.
Maximize your fitness potential with this Speed Agility Training Set. The package comes with one agility ladder, five hurdles, eight cones, one jump rope, and three latex mini bands. The perfect bundle to help your child increase their speed, agility, and muscular endurance.
The Perfect Curve CapRack18 is perfect for storing, displaying and organizing up baseball caps and visors. With two separate cords, each able to hold 9 caps/visors, you have the flexibility of putting both cords behind one door, or using a cord behind different doors in different rooms. Each cord has its own over-the-door and under-the-door hooks as well as a metal adjustment buckle to ensure a snug fit behind a door.
Let us know what’s on your athlete’s list this holiday season in the comments below.
“Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. “ – Vince Lombardi
I was a player before I was a coach or a parent. But, it was a long time ago; today I’m a co-worker and those values I learned long ago, serve me today. Now as a parent, I must remember what that was like, so I can share those experiences with my kids. Last time we talked about what it means to be a coach, to guide your players, to teach them the sport. Well, as the player your most important task is to be a good learner. This means showing up ready to work. This means being present and ready to learn. It means trying your best 100% of the time.
Once you join a team, there is no more I or me. As a player your child’s responsibility is to themselves, their coach and their team. If they have leadership tendencies, encourage them to step up and be that person for their teammates. Be there to pick them up, be there to encourage them. Be a doer, but also a shower (that’s almost more important). Show them that you always hustle, show them that you always give 100%, show them that when you struggle you are able to move on from it. If your child is not comfortable being a leader, encourage them be a team player, because that’s important, and it’s important to know how you can best contribute to the team.
A team player is someone that shows up to do their job. At practice their job is to listen to instruction, be respectful to the coach and teammates and try their best. At a game their job is to do all of the above but most importantly support each and everyone on the team. Cheer on your teammates. Give high fives or fist bumps, a pat on the back or a “good job” or “you’ll get it next time”. As a player they need to learn the game and try their best, as a team player they need to be the biggest supporter of each of their teammates.
Let your children know they don’t need to be best friends with their teammates, in fact they don’t even need to be friends. When you walk on that playing surface you’re teammates, no matter what else is happening around you. And if you’re all friends and want to spend time together afterwards, that’s just icing on the cake. This is the time when they’ll create memories that last forever. Enjoy it, live in this moment, because it really does go so fast.
One thing you will take away from being a teammate, is learning how to work with all different kinds of people and it will serve you your entire life. Remind your child that their individual commitment to the team is what makes the team work, and later, the company and society work. And that means we’re learning life’s lessons through sports!
Introducing the first in this four-part series about ‘Knowing Your Role’. To us this means knowing what you bring to your team and realizing that each role on the team is important. Join us as we discuss what roles we have, and then as we dive into the various roles on a team (Coach, Player and Parent).
Part I: Knowing Your Role
As adults we have careers, and within that career we have specific assignments or expectations of us. One thing that prepared us for this was playing sports growing up. It’s important to know your role on a team. We know that not everyone can be the coach, or the captain or the number one pitcher. We each have a specific role and each role is important (please remember to tell this to your children constantly).
As parents, we need to educate our children on this. Our kids learn this lesson in school daily, some may realize it and others probably don’t. This is another reason why sports play such a pivotal role in the development of a child. This is how I think we can control the sense of “entitlement-age” we’re living in.
We explain to our children that your team is like working for a company. You have the boss, which is your coach. You have other supervisors, which are the assistant coaches. You have the worker-bees, which are the players. Within that set you all have specialties, or in a company they might be departments. Everyone has a job description, everyone has a position they play. We tell our kids they are only 1/9th (baseball/softball) or 1/5th (basketball) of their team; because you can only control YOUR ACTIONS. However, if someone needs help performing their duties, typically others pick up the slack, because we are ONE team.
The greater good of the company is defined by how well each person performs their role. The success of the team is defined the same way. But, success can only be achieved when the right people are put in the right roles to obtain the best outcome. You can’t put someone at first base whom can’t catch the ball, it’s setting them up to fail. If each of us understand our role and accept it and know that our role is important to the greater good, success should follow.
The difficult part is not knowing your role, it’s understanding it’s importance to the team. When kids are little they hate playing outfield because at a young age they don’t receive much action. It’s our job to make sure they realize that there’s more to that role than catching a fly ball. On every pitch, every player should be moving and they should know where they’ll ultimately end up should that pitch be hit. At the youth level outfielders backing up infielders is critical on each play. I’ve seen many bases and runs given up because there wasn’t someone backing up a throw.
Explaining early on to our children that not everyone can be a pitcher or a point guard, will help them understand the importance of each role on a TEAM. Not everyone is going to be able to, nor want to be the CEO of a company, or the Vice President of a department. As long as we’re teaching our kids to be team players and that their own success can contribute to the greater good of the team or organization.
Are you a sports parent always looking for great items that you need? Here’s your chance to get all the sport essentials you’ve been eyeing, it’s Prime Day! In addition to our Stuff We Love page we put together a list of all the items we think every sport parent needs for the summer!
Pull Cart – a savior for all that equipment!
Spray Bottle – for those hot, hot days! Either work, one is sold as a “sports mister”
Water Bottle – this one hangs on the fence!
Let us know the essentials you bring to all your sporting events in the comments below.
Why do we shell out hundreds of dollars and spend countless hours on a field or in a gym? Are we thinking our children are going to play professional sports? Though many parents believe this and many children have this dream, the reality just isn’t so. Then, why do we do all that we do for no ROI (return on investment)? For our family, it’s for two reasons, the intangibles and the goal of playing in high school.
What are those you ask? These are the things you can’t measure or quantify. It’s the bonds our children create, it’s the relationships the parents build. It’s the experiences of working with others, being part of a team. It’s the experiences of traveling with friends and family and/or spending time with so many people who have a common interest. It’s about relationships. Whether it’s a coach you love or one you don’t agree with; whether you’re playing with your best friends or you’re playing with kids you’ll never speak to again. It’s learning how to manage all that, so that when you’re an adult you’re ready for real life situations. Most importantly, it’s the valuable life’s lessons that are learned through a commitment to the team and competition.
Every child that plays a sport at some point has the dream to play it professionally. Many of us realize this isn’t a reality. Lots of kids dream of playing their sport at “fill in the blank” University. While this dream is more attainable than the professional dream, the odds still are slim. As a family we talk about this often. We try not to squash our kids dreams, but we try to keep them in reality (they are only 11, 10 and 8). So, we tell them that our goal is for them to play their beloved sports in high school. Our kids are three-sport athletes and we know all too well that now-a-days even that can be an unrealistic goal. But, they’ll play as many sports as they can, for as long as they can.
This is why our family feels that sports are so important for the healthy development of our children. This is what I tell people when they ask us why we do it. What do you tell people? We’d love to hear why you have a crazy sports life like us!
It’s a difficult balance of being a parent to an athlete and being a coach to an athlete. The struggle is real as they say. Have you ever been in a situation where your child plays for a coach that doesn’t know anything about the sport they are coaching? Logic says “this person is nice and the kids are having fun.” That’s the part that has seen mean coaches. The parent|coach part says “the child is learning nothing, they aren’t getting better.”
So, if you’re faced with this, what are the options? Well, the child can play for a different team, a different organization all together. This situation is scary, we don’t know what we’ll get some where else. You know the saying “the grass isn’t always greener” comes to mind. The parent could step in and try to help the coach with their knowledge (totally depends on personality how this would be taken). The parent could ask to coach the team themselves the next season. For many, this isn’t an option because of other children and other commitments. The final option is to continue what you’re doing. Continue playing at this level and try to coach and get lessons in from other resources when you can.
The goal for any organization is to develop players, but the goal for us parents is to develop OUR player. If you don’t want to make a change, then you need to take matters into your hands. We always tell our kids that they are only one part of the team (1/5th of the basketball team or 1/9th of the baseball team). The only actions you can control are yours. While the development of the team as a whole is very important, we need to look out for the development our own child.
So, if you’re ever faced with this situation, my suggestion would be to focus on the development of your child. Whether it’s making a change with the team or just focusing your efforts on player development, you need to do what’s best for them.
We get asked all the time how we keep all our children’s uniforms organized. We’ve tried a few methods, and so far this works the best! It’s not fool-proof but it has cut down on “mom where is my….” Hopefully this can help you and if you have a great organizational tip, we’d love to hear it!
People ask us all the time, how we do it? How do we have three kids play sports in the same season (oh, and by the way, work full time jobs)? My answer is always the same, it takes a village. Number one, we wouldn’t be able to do it all if Todd wasn’t a teacher and if I didn’t have a fairly flexible schedule. Number two and most important, we couldn’t do it without our amazing friends and parents.
This week we had our first conflict of the season. All three kids had games. If you’ve been following along you know this is my most dreaded part of having multiple multi-sport athletes. There’s just no way to be at everything (And I hate missing anything). I spent a few minutes the night before sending out coordinating texts to make sure I had rides in place to get my kids where they needed to be. The oldest is taken care of because Todd coaches his team. A neighbor plays on our daughter’s team, so they took her. Now, to worry about that third child! I couldn’t get out of work earlier enough to get him to his field by 5:15, so he went home from school with a friend (who happens to be the head coach’s kid) and he brought him to the game.
Great, everyone is situated, now I have to figure out where I’m going. I try to be fair, so this means I have to look at the schedule and the impending conflicts. Over the weekend I saw my daughter play 3 games and only saw 1 of my youngest’s. Decision made, Mom goes with the third child this time, next she goes with the girl!
So that’s it, our big secret on how we do it, revealed! We’re fortunate to have parents who live close whom come and watch when they can or when we need them. We’re lucky to have surrounded ourselves with great neighbors and friends whom are always willing to help us out. Without each of them we couldn’t do it all. If you’re reading this and you’re a member of our village, thank you from the bottom of my heart. We appreciate you more than you will ever know!
How do you do it all? Let us know in the comments.
For us mid-westerners the start of baseball season has just begun. For my family it’s the best time of year! No matter the season you are about to start or have just began we compiled this list to help you start this season on the right track (see this post for items you’ll need).
- Get Organized! I just spent a half hour putting all my kids games into an excel spreadsheet so that I can see how many games we have on any given day. I have three kids, so I get three schedules, this is a way for me to see all of them in one. Typically, once the spreadsheet is made, the games get entered into the kids shared calendar, which is shared with the kids and grandparents.
- Organize the Uni’s! I spent time this weekend putting together everyone’s uniforms in the designated uniform bag in the laundry room. I suggest doing this so there’s no question of “Where’s my ____?” It doesn’t alleviate all of our problems, but everyone knows after I wash uniforms where they should be. For instance, for this baseball season each boy needs, pants, jersey, socks, stirrups, belt and hat. That’s a lot of items to keep track of! Designating a space for them to be helps when crunched for time.
- Start Meal Preps! Meal prepping for the week is key. I sit down on Sunday’s and make out a schedule of meals for the week. If I have time, I grocery shop for only those items, if not, I sometimes have our groceries delivered (best thing for working moms!) Planning meals for the week keeps us on budget and healthier. It’s hard to do, but I’m always glad I did! I also depend on meals prepared in my Instant Pot LUX60V3 V3 6 Qt 6-in-1 Muti-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, and Warmer, check it out if you haven’t already! Sometimes if we’re lazy we’ll make a lot of one meal and eat it for two meals! One year heading into baseball season I had a freezer meal party. It was fun and super helpful having a week’s worth of food prepared already!
- Make Introductions. I’m a people-person, so for me, the beginning of a new season means meeting new people. Even if you’re not a people-person, I think it’s important to introduce yourself to the coaching staff and the parents of other players. Some of the greatest friendships we’ve made have come from the sports our children play. I’m not saying you have to be best friends with everyone, but knowing what parent belongs to what player just makes sense. If you’re a Team Manager or Team Parent, arrange a get together before the season. It’s always nice to meet or hang out with other parents when you’re not trying to get the best bleacher seat. Also, make a roster with kids’ names and numbers for parents, this way everyone learns the kids names easily.
- Remember to Enjoy it! I know when you’re running each kid here and there and when there’s not enough time to catch your breath the last thing you want to do is be grateful for this time. But, please remember to take a moment and be thankful. This phase of life is brief, so we need to stop and enjoy it. We also need to be grateful that our children have the ability to do all their activities! I know I’m not sure what my life will be like when I don’t have my kids’ sports to attend 😦
I hope this list helps you get a good jump on the new season ahead! We’d love to hear from you and how you prepare for the next sports season, leave us a comment below.