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'Hustle and heart': Sports and the lessons we learn sitting on the sidelines

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Fall means back to school, but it also means back to sports schedule. We always said we would NOT be the parents whose lives seemed ruled by sports. That we would be super balanced and our kids would have one game every now and then, and we would maybe have practice once a week. Ummm, that was before we had kids.

I am not sure why we thought this. My husband and I were both athletes in high school and college and although I never felt like sports ruled our family life, when I think back on it, it's what we loved and did. It's what shaped much of who I am today. For me it's where I learned team work, hard work, discipline, and a love of something.


But here we are at yet another soccer tournament. On the sidelines watching our son who loves kicking this ball around and putting it into a net.

I don't think we realized the stress that would be involved in sitting on the sidelines. My husband and I have both coached, but watching you own kid, makes for a different type of ridiculous anxiety. For parents who are used to being on the field, watching your kids hustle, or not hustle, excel or not excel can feel down right gut wrenching at times. It's a lot of secret spousal wide-eyed looks, giving ourselves pep talks before the game, (and when I say ourselves, I mean my husband and I), and putting a lollipop in our mouth so we can keep it shut.

We love sports so much because incredible life lessons happen in the midst of them. Not sure I realized how many lessons were abundant when I was on the court or field, but now as a parent, its like little mini Tony Robbins lessons drop each practice and game.

Like this one that happened this past weekend.

In our family we don’t care how good or skilled you are, we want our kids to have hustle and heart and a few other things. Ok, theres lots of important lessons, but we focused on these this week.

HUSTLE and HEART was our motto this weekend.

Also accompanied with PLAY FOR OTHERS, it's not just about your success, you want to play your hardest for your teammates. To help them succeed and be the best they can be. I have been teaching my kids to high five and celebrate others since they were old enough to walk on a field or court. And when I see Holden or Carter Mae jumping up for someone else's success it makes me feel like it is finally sinking in.

And guess what it reminds me I need to do the EXACT same thing with my friends. Celebrate and not compare.

We also told our kids play to FAIL HARD. (That took some explaining) but yes, I want my kids to fail. To try so hard that failing will probably happen. No one goes into something saying, "man I hope I fail today." But it's gonna happen one day. I want my kiddos to not so be afraid to fail that they don’t try. We talked about successful sports players, and business men and women who have failed so many times, but guess what, it doesn’t shock or derail them from their vision or goal. They just figure it out a different way, it just becomes part of the process.

Holden my 10 year-old finally said, “do you think those people are so successful because they learned from all their failing?”


I love having these “on the other sideline convos,” because it reminds me as an adult how true these lessons are for me.

1. HUSTLE AND HEART (Work hard, and give it my full effort in relationships, work, family life, all the things)

2. FAIL HARD (try and then try again)

3. PLAY OR LIVE on behalf of others. (Be about others success and growth, celebrate the socks off others.)

See you next time on the field!

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