Episode 56: Youth Sports: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

On Episode 56, co-hosts Leslie and Tesi tackle the topic of youth sports. It’s a subject fraught with all kinds of high emotion and the women hold nothing back as they discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly. Tesi and Leslie encourage listeners who find themselves on the bleachers or on the sidelines to check their Mama Bear for her motives and conduct themselves in a way that engages the good and prevents the bad and the ugly from seeping into the line-up. The two are breathtakingly honest about their perception of the youth sports phenomenon in the United States and they challenge the conventions of gender, the struggle over expectations, and the physical health and well-being of the generation coming up in the ranks. It’s a huge and hot topic, and the co-hosts dive in deep as they discuss and encourage!

The Good:

  • Teaches time management
  • Motivates other positive behavior and task completion
  • Teaches teamwork and respect
  • Builds a solid foundation of health and wellness

The Bad:

  • Can be ultra competitive and intimidating for a non-competitive kid
  • Forces our babies to grow up too fast
  • Encourages an ugly (and false) expectation of masculinity
  • Time-suck (Is there still time for camp, family vacations, etc. when you're on a team?)
  • Cost prohibitive for some families

The Ugly:

  • The parents! (Let's be positive spectators, Mama Bears.)
  • Overuse and injury

The Take-Away:

Listen to Tesi’s Mama Bear DARE at the end of the episode for encouragement on living your values and loving well amidst a culture of heightened competitiveness, towering energy, and fraught emotion.


Listen to Jody Landers on Episode 3 for more wisdom!

And check out the following video about what kids really want from their spectator parents:

Mama Bears, what are your thoughts on this fraught topic? We'd love to know what you think! Join the conversation online! Here’s where you can find us:

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As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

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