Why You Stay On The Team

Reflections From An 8th Grade Football Mom:


  1. When it’s his first year to play and he’s in the 8th grade, his friends are going to scare the crud out of him by telling him how horrible it’s going to be.

2. When it’s the first week or so of practice, he’s going to want to quit. There’s no glamour. There’s no fun. Just hard  work.

3. When the going gets tough and he forgets what it means to be part of a team, I have to remind him what commitment and teamwork stand for—even though I wanted him to quit so I wouldn’t have to pay almost $850 in uniform costs and registration fees.

4. When he’s assigned as nose guard and a few friends tell him it’s a “nothing” position, I have to tell him it’s okay because at least, he’s still on the line. (And this is a leap of faith for me, because I have no idea if it’s a nothing position or not. That is, until the star quarterback of the high school team lets me know in no uncertain terms that EVERY position is important, and if I want him to, he’ll let those other guys know it.)

5. When I start to hear my son’s name—“Turk on the tackle”—more than once on the loudspeaker, I realize he’s pretty good.

6. When I watch my son come from nowhere and SACK the quarterback and everyone in the stands goes nuts, I realize nose guard is a pretty awesome position.

7. When my son is awarded the tie-dyed shirt signifying that he’s the VIP player of the week, all of his “I want to quit” moments are forgotten, and all of my “I have to teach him not to quit” moments aren’t regretted.

I know that it’s just 8th grade football, but it’s a foundation. And watching my son’s self-confidence soar within a matter of weeks helps solidify what I have always believed: Sports and student activities matter.



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