The athletic gene is often passed along from parent to child. We see it all the time, whether its Muhammad to Leila Ali or Ken Griffey Sr. to Jr. It's no surprise that an avid runner and mother like Susan Ray would pave the way for her children to become accomplished swimmers. Susan's great work with the Afton Alligator Swim Team makes her our Team Mom of the Week.
Susan Ray Cruising Along During A Recent Marathon
Susan lives in Houston, TX, with her husband, Ken, and their two children: Callaghan (8) and Kennedy (6). At this year's Meet of Champions, her daughter Callaghan Ray finished first in backstroke, second in butterfly, eighth in freestyle and her relay teams placed as well. Impressive! Kennedy Ray enjoyed collecting all of her sister's colored ribbons, too. When not cheering on the her swimmers, Susan works full time at Gexa Energy and is also an avid runner. She finds time to run 2-3 marathons a year. How does she do it?!
Q: Why do you like using Weplay?
Susan:Weplay is a great tool for communication and sharing information and pictures for our team. It makes communication with all team members easy! The photo upload option is great.
The Afton Aligator Swim Team
Susan has uploaded tons of photos to the Alligators gallery, and we here at Weplay love seeing them. This season, the Alligators have won 3 of their 5 league meets and have had several finalists in the Meet of Champions. Way to go, and keep up the good work!
"Stop and realize...its just a game". We all know that feeling: We're caught up in the game, and it becomes all too easy to lose sight of what really matters in our lives. This is where our Team Mom of the Week, Nancy Denig, specializes. She helps bring her team, the KC Phillies, back down to earth after a heated game.
Nancy lives in Kansas City North, MO, with her husband David, and her three sons: Austin (11), Aidan (8) yrs, and Christian (5). She's a trained educator, but currently stays home as a full-time mom. When she's not helping out the Phillies, you can either find her running, baking, fishing or boating with her family.
Q: How has Weplay been a positive influence on you and your team?
Nancy: Weplay has enabled our team to communicate, share motivating pictures of teammates, keep up on upcoming events all on one site!!
Nancy's way of thinking can be summed up in this story: "Our team had just played hard, hit well and yet we lost a very controversial game at the state tournament. It was one of those games that left a big pit in your stomach. The parents were distraught. It was hard to accept the loss even though our team tried so hard!! Some of the moms were talking and we stopped for a moment. A group of our players were hanging out, laughing and playing with some of the players from the team that just beat us!!!! It made us stop and realize...its just a game. The kids had moved on and made new friends.... The bigger picture just came into focus for us!!"
Most moms would be satisfied with a full schedule and the stress of a busy baseball season. It’s a good thing that Shannon Norris isn't your everyday mom. She’s a full time mom of three, a student, a volunteer, and a Team Mom for not one, but two youth baseball teams. This amazing dedication and time savvy is what makes Shannon Norris our Team Mom of the Week.
Shannon lives in Ooltewah, TN with her husband of seven years, Jaren, and their three sons: Elijah (7) Taylor (6) and Jonah (1). Collectively, they spend most of their free time playing baseball. When she’s not tending to her baseball teams, she’s a student, and even finds time to volunteer at her local community school.
Shannon helps out the 7u East Brainerd Arsenal and the 6u East Brainerd Stingers in any way that she can. “I always volunteer to be Team Mom at the start of every season. I enjoy helping the players as well as the coaches so they have more time to focus on the game.” It’s amazingly clear that Shannon greatly enjoys her role as Team Mom. She loves watching her boys grow as players and individuals, and also enjoys the friendships she makes with other parents.
Shannon's Sons: Eli and Taylor
Question: What’s your favorite thing about using Weplay?
Shannon: Weplay has been great for organizing and promoting fundraising and team events. Being able to link my Weplay calendar to my Google Calender is a huge help as well.
Michelle was instrumental in the finding of the Red Dogs, a boys baseball team from Jackson, MO. Whether she was setting lineup cards, recording scores, providing first aid, making "deals" for bubble gum, or keeping track of all things statistical-- she was a perpetual presence in the Red Dog's's dugout. Since then, her son and the rest of the team have moved on to the Jackson 8th Grade Legion, a local travel team.
It's borderline astonishing that Michelle has been so successful with her Team Mom duties considering her schedule. She's a full-time mom of two, a powerhouse on her local church's softball team, and an accomplished pianist and artist. Michelle is a self-proclaimed 'organizational freak', which translates very well when it comes to the Legion's stat sheet. Suffice it to say, everybody's batting average is correct.
Q: What's your favorite part about using Weplay?
Michelle: "It is the fastest & easiest way to communicate with the team whether it's about the schedule, finding a field, or organizing a BBQ. It is the best way to share photos. The kids really enjoy getting props from their coaches and teammates. The parents love having the information at their fingertips & seeing the pictures of their kids."
This one's for you, Michelle. You're a great example of a Team Mom and a mentor for all of us. Way to go!
Michelle's 3 Pointers For Other Team Moms:
1: Be your child's biggest fan! Encouragement is key!
2: Get to know the other parents & players off the field. Open communication is crucial to success both on and off the field.
3: Take lots of pictures! These times are precious and won't last forever!
Behavioral heathcare executive and team mom, Ashley Karpinski, 33, of Austin, Texas, has a passion for helping people develop their personal strengths. That’s why Karpinski was excited when she noticed a dramatic difference in her teams cohesiveness when she started using Weplay this season. Her devotion to helping others and ability to take a risk makes Karpinski our Team Mom of the Week.
Karpinski is currently the team mom for the Oak Hill Bullets who recently won the Manchaca 8U tournament and have an 11-2 record so far this season “Weply has helped our team come together to create a centralized way to share experiences, schedules, photos, and more,” wrote Karpinski. Next up, she is helping the bullets prepare for sectionals on June 17th.
Outside of her full time job and role as team mom, Karpinski loves spending time with her family. Her and her husband Kieth have two kids, Cole, who is a member of the Bullets and his sister Reagan who is always a huge supporter.
Our Team Mom of the Week is looking to see how the end of the Bullets season plays out and is looking forward to sharing every moment on Weplay. It has been an exciting journey for the Bullets this year and they were lucky to have such a dedicated team mom like Karpinski.
Congratulations Ashley, on being named our Team Mom of the Week. Good luck to the Bullets at sectionals!
Ashley Karpinski’s Recommendations to Fellow Team Moms:
Involve others early
Use the tool to actively engage team family members
Keep the site updated and encourage others to post messages, share feedback
In this episode of Become we meet Paula. A single mom with 4 kids, Paula manages to hold down multiple jobs and be there for her kids every step of the way. Whether it's her support in sports or in schoolwork, she knows putting in time with her kids is her number one priority and she wouldn't have it any other way.