Volunteering with a youth sports team can be hard work, no matter the role. But for parents and coaches, hitting the fields with a group of eager players can be a welcome escape from the daily grind. Washing D.C. resident, Marla Hauser, our Team Mom of the Week, knows just what we mean.
Organizing snack schedules and ensuring kids are getting to and from games are just two of her job descriptions with the FBR Tarheel Tiny Mites. Her 7-year-old son Ashton, already a year-round athlete, plays for the Tarheels, and enjoys every moment in the team environment. So does mom.
In particular, she enjoys spending extra time with Ashton and connecting with his friends. Whether on the sidelines, in the stands are in parking lot, Hauser is constantly chatting with and getting know other parents and kids in the league.
When she is not an on-the-go sports mom, Hauser, is a federal contractor, as well as an entrepreneur for a online fashion company. (luxeface.com and Luxevie.com) But when it’s time to sit back and relax for few moments, she savors it, often reflecting on those wonderful moments spent with Ashton and the team.
In fact, Hauser said she continues to soak up the youth sports experience, even in times of extreme hustle and bustle, because of the pay offs. First and foremost, she melts when the Tarheels go out of their way to share a great moment or memory with her. Even better, she feels complete satisfaction when the players translate a skill learned at practice in their academic and social experiences. Last but not least, she swells with pride when the young players demonstrate strong character and attitude when challenged or after a tough loss.
Hauser wrote that these experiences as a Team Parent would not be possible, if not for the great parents surrounding her, as well as the thoughtful direction of Tiny Mites Head Coach, Ty Gibson.
Hauser’s Recommendations for Fellow Team Mom’s:
- Anticipate the Worst and Stay Organized
Everyone has to remember that when children are involved anything can happen. So anticipate their needs and those of their parents. Anything from identifying volunteer medics, setting up carpools or finding tutors to keep up player grades (80% of the returning Tiny Mites have a 3.0 average or higher!). If there is a void, fill it!
- Communicate and Advocate
Hold high expectations and believe in your team’s governing body or organization. Make sure your team has a voice with league officials/community leaders, and stay on their radar so your children aren't overlooked.
Additionally, parents should be given as much information as possible in order to make the best decisions for their child and the team - this often spurs more involvement and volunteer time as well.
Keep your team engaged by encouraging participation on the Weplay team site.
- Stay Positive
Don't take "no" for an answer! And in difficult times, do not acknowledge negative words, behaviors or actions.
Hauser wrote that every team parent needs to remember that their job is to create positive memories for the kids. It is easy to do when you don't lose sight of who you are there for ....the kids!
Congrats to a wonderful Team Mom!