Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Mom with Balls

Ever since my oldest daughter starting playing organized sports, I've noticed that it's usually the dads, not the moms, who volunteer to coach. I can count on one hand (not even using all five fingers) how many whistle-clad women I've seen on the courts and fields over the past three years. And while I've helped coach soccer with my husband, it wasn't until I was running warm-up laps with Cady's basketball team last night that it really hit me: I was the only mom coaching, and the only coach running.

Might sound like a little toot of my own horn, but it's really not. You see, I was just a substitute coach for the night. The real coach, a dad coach, was out of town so I volunteered to fill in. The girls were excited. "I think they really liked you," Cady told me on the drive home. It was an unspoken connection; I felt it too. The same kind of connection I had with my favorite (and only female) high school coach. The kind of connection I hope my girls feel a lot in the future.

There's an easy explanation for daddy-dominated coaching: smells like quality family time. But the paradox is that in addition to having positive relationships with our daughters, we also want them to have strong female role models. Turns out that dads who participate in traditionally feminine activities like baking and cooking with their daughters do a lot to promote more egalitarian values in their daughters. (That, by the way, goes for sons, too). Makes sense to assume that moms who participate in non-traditional roles do the same. It's more than that, though, isn't it? Mom's who get and/or stay fit with their daughters also set an example of lifelong fitness for girls and women.

So, is a dad's time spent coaching his daughter's basketball or soccer (or insert any sport here) team more meaningful than a mom's? Definitely not. Every girl needs a mom with balls.


  1. "A Mom with Balls" I love it! Book #2 maybe?

  2. Heather- Might make a nice chapter heading! Not so sure it's a bestselling title, though!