Being a sport mum

Posted on July 10 2016

I love being a sport mum. Some may say I love it a little too much.

I grew up with 2 brothers that played footy from a very young age and so my childhood was filled with long cold days at various footy clubs around the diamond valley, watching my brothers run around in the mud loving every second. As they got older it was also a fabulous place to perve.

I played netball from a young age too, 2 sometimes 3 games a week as well as training. I loved it. Everything about it. Training, my team mates, my various coaches (especially Bill) , even the tournaments in the freezing rain or blazing sun. I loved the frozen primas at the St Helena outdoor courts, orange quarters, my skirt full of badges and my collection of trophies which I cherished.

My sister played netball and did calisthenics. My brothers also played cricket. Our weekends and week nights were full of training, games, whistles, trips to the Austin, deep heat, and washing. Lots of washing.

My parents were there for all of it. How the hell did they manage that? Did they somehow find a way to replicate themselves in order to be at each game or event? Was my mum even there or was she a hologram, waving and cheering on the sidelines. We had no idea how stressful it must have been for them! The logistical nightmare it must have been to coordinate 4 children, playing different sports, at 4 different venues for years and years. Not to mention the cash. Ugh!

Well now it's our turn. Yes, it's just the beginning, but already sports are stealing our weekends. No more sleepy Saturday and Sunday mornings. No more lazy breakfasts, and pj's til noon. Nights out on the turps have turned into cautious sips, as the thought of whistles piercing through a muddled hungover brain is as enticing as a dogsh*t sandwich.

Without the help of some great friends, I wouldn't have been able to have both my girls at their respective activities - big girl netball and younger girl Kids Step into Sport, an awesome introductory sport program designed to help and encourage kids and develop their coordination etc. Their activities were on at almost the same time but in different places. Husband works Saturdays so no help there. It's hard! Cue friends...

You see if I didn't have friends to help me out, I wouldn't be able to indulge in my obsession. Being a netball mum...

I'm the mum that is on the sidelines, chewing my nails, head-counting stats, yelling 'C'MON, move, stay on her! then following up with a much softer 'you can do it bub', in a sing song voice, with a fake smile and a pathetic wave. This is usually met with a death stare which shuts me up for about 5 minutes. It's pretty bad. It just kind of spews forth like I'm possessed. My brother recently came and watched a game and about a quarter in I could feel his eyes on me. 'What?' I asked waspishly and defensively after a particularly passionate bout of encouragement (it was a final - give me a break). 'They are kids!' He said incredulously. 'I know that!' I said. But it was enough to shut me up.

Because he's right. They are just kids. Kids that are learning, finding their way and developing. This isn't the Diamonds, or the Vixens, or even a rep side. They are a group of 9 and 10 year old girls learning a sport and trying to have fun and they have a raving lunatic like me on the sidelines, thinking they are being supportive and encouraging, calling out tips and ideas, but they don't see it like it. They see it as criticism. Well my daughter does anyway. I don't yell at other kids, (out loud at least) just my kid. How bad is that! I'm not her coach! And none of the coaches she's ever had would call out like I do. I'm not mean. I don't tell her she's crap, or not good enough, I just say too much. Way too much. It comes from a good place. I don't necessarily want her to win, or be the best on the team, but I want her to TRY. To have a hunger and to learn about team sports and not letting down your team mates. I just need to shut up. Or she'll hang up her skirt and bib.

I have another reason for changing my behaviour. One that has simultaneously terrified and excited me since I hit the 'submit' button this morning.

I have joined a netball team.

I had a brief foray back into netball world a couple of years ago. I loved it but was probably too soon after my bub was born. The timing was wrong, I was unfit and hurt myself.

This time I feel a bit more ready. In the spirit of my previous blog posts about doing stuff for ourselves, I thought bugger it, I'm gunna play.

I'm nervous, scared, excited, paranoid I won't be good enough, and that I'm going to let down my new team. Again, this is not a professional comp. Just a bunch of chicks trying to have a good time.

If anyone yells out at me from the sideline, telling me 'C'MON MOVE, GET IN FRONT', then look out. I'll probably cry.


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