The roar the crowd when the home team makes a big play.
High-fiving everyone close by who is wearing your team colors.
The long bathroom lines.
The $6 bottles of water.
My Family and Sports Memories
My youngest is now that two-and-a-half age and we’re working on filling her sports bingo card. We have Creighton basketball season tickets and she loves those games, so we have plans to attend an NFL game this winter and an MLB game this spring. I don’t know yet whether I wish my husband or I’s level of fandom on my kids, but I do know I’m excited to make these kinds of memories with them.
They’re pretty young yet to really get into playing much of their own, but for both of the sports my son has joined so far, my husband has been right there to coach him. It’s special to watch the bond develop. Not only between the two of them, but between my son and the sport.
Sports Memory Tracking
I saw an idea from an old ESPN blog when googling something else (late-night internet rabbit holes, anyone?), and I thought it was an idea worth re-sharing. I, of course, can’t find the link to that post anymore, but it recommended starting as young as you can with documenting your children’s sports interests (or lack of), knowing it will be fun to look back later and see who and what you liked years down the road. I created a super simple printable to help you track these memories. You may even want to write on the back stories from specific games in which your child participated and/or watched.
I read once that children are usually between 7-9 years old when they become “lifetime” fans of a something, but before that, they usually start by liking a certain sport, then team, then player.
I know not all people are “sports people” and that’s okay, but I also know how many lessons I learned from playing sports growing up (and I definitely didn’t play at the collegiate level by a long shot). Lessons like perseverance, unity, trust and respect for others and many more. I was also in many practices and games where I realized that I was capable of a lot more than I thought, both physically and mentally, and that’s pretty powerful information.
Though, if any dads are reading this, no, I didn’t just give you permission to sit and watch football or basketball all weekend from the couch while the kids play around you. Well, kind of–but at least include them in the fun and share all the reasons you love sports, so they can, too. Maybe even better yet, go play a game of family catch in the backyard during commercial breaks next time.
Other big sport fans out there?
I’d love to hear your family fandom traditions—and/or where I can score a good deal on team gear!