Archives For Give The Game Back

A wise woman once told me, “No matter where a mother was raised, how old she is, or how much money she has in her pocket, in the vast majority of cases, she wants to give her child a better life than her own.”

Of course this observation applies to dads too.

As a former athlete turned mom who is now raising my children and watching them compete in sports, I can easily draw a parallel between an everyday parent’s concern for their child’s general welfare and a zealous parent’s desire to see their offspring succeed in extracurricular activities. More often than not (especially in countries considered overly competitive like the United States), parents want to watch their kids achieve greater success than they ever personally experienced growing up.

I think this might be the biggest reason why we witness time and time again all across our great country and in our own communities, otherwise perfectly behaved adults lose their minds and their ability to act sensibly on the sidelines at youth sporting events (or spelling bees, or show choir performances, or dance recitals, or debate competitions, insert the activity of your choice here). Mom and dad simply want to see Little Johnny and Sweet Susie win because, one assumes, winning equals success.


Many of you already know I launched a business last week. It’s a labor of love for me because I believe so strongly in the message I am both trying to spread and continue to practice.


“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” – Mahatma Gandhi

I shared my moment on I would encourage anyone who’s struggling to keep perspective on how to support a child competing in sports to read about that moment. It basically involved someone giving me high praise about my son’s overall positive demeanor and attitude when I needed a gentle reminder that what he was doing and especially NOT doing on the ball field shouldn’t tarnish my pride for him.

A former collegiate teammate of mine read it and took the time to let me know it resonated with her:

“This is such an important conversation. Parents have lost their minds. Please know your words are inspiring for the other end of the spectrum – those of us who have great kids who love sports but just aren’t athletic. As former successful athletes, both my husband and I have struggled a bit to see our son on the sidelines or the C team. But he’s a great kid.”

Anyone who’s ever met me knows I am about as competitive as they come. Winning feels GREAT. Dominating an adversary in a sport for which you’ve both sacrificed years of blood, sweat, and tears is a life experience that is hard to match. There is a reason why my friends tease me about my inability to leave the glory days behind.

But I vow to give my kids the best life possible. It is their life to live after all. I’m guessing the best life possible for them won’t necessarily be measured in wins and losses. It will be measured in remarkable experiences lived, both on and off the court and field.

I challenge youth sports parents and promoters everywhere to join me in this movement.

Written by Heidi Woodard

As Thanksgiving break wraps up for adults and kids across America, I ask you this simple question: Are you ready to return to your state of normal, however you define it, tomorrow?

For me, tomorrow brings the end of sleeping in, the return of controlled chaos, another page flipped forward on the calendar, and colder temperatures. Really, really frigid friggin temperatures here in Nebraska.

This might just be post-holiday Heidi talking, but I think I’m ready to remain optimistic…and here’s why.

I’ve always considered Sunday night as “the calm” before returning to routine. I’m here to tell you (from experience) that there is little you can do outside of a preparing a list of priorities and getting adequate sleep to control your feelings and reactions to the events that will impact you in the days ahead.

What you can attempt to influence is your cognitive anticipation of what awaits you. You can view tomorrow, next week, the month of December, and 2015 as either an impending storm or an amazing sunrise.

Why view life as scary and unpredictable? Photo c/o MorgueFile

Why view life as scary and unpredictable?
Photo c/o MorgueFile

When you can view life as beautiful and unpredictable? Photo c/o MorgueFile

When you can view life as beautiful and unpredictable?
Photo c/o MorgueFile

I’ve been waiting to tell you all about a fun side project I’ve been hatching up since the end of September. I’ve wanted to flip the switch on this little business of mine no shy of a half dozen times, but logic tells me to wait until I am sure everything is perfect.

Since logic has never been my strong point, however, here’s a sneak peek of the website, Give The Game Back (Disclaimer: I’ve disabled the payment platform at this time while everything’s still in test mode so feel free to try it out as my first official testers and let me know what you think!)

Give The Game Back will be an ecommerce site that offers custom t-shirts that serve as visual reminders for adults to always keep perspective when it comes to youth sports. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know this is a hot button of mine.

Because I want to have a sample of the finished product in-hand before I offer it up to the masses, expect more information about how you can support this project (if you so choose) in late December.

When I consciously choose to look ahead at the colors unveiling before my very eyes as opposed to hanging my head under the down pour, things tend to work out better.

I challenge you to think of something colorful in your life and embrace it today.

Written by Heidi Woodard