Helping busy parents
Today's youth, middle, high school and college sports parents face three major problems: First, youth sports have become extremely time consuming, placing extraordinary demands on the organizational abilities of parents, especially if they work outside the home. Nine out of ten parents attend their children's games or performances once or more a week; six out of ten shuttle their children to and from games and practices three or more times a week; practices and games consume, on average, between 6 to 16 hours per week of a parent's time. Such time demands place an enormous strain on the ability of sports parents, particularly moms, to multi-task, with the role of sports parent described in one recent newspaper article as akin to "juggling the roles of air-traffic controller, pilot and flight crew all at once." For the millions of mothers who take on the added responsibilities of "team mom" these time, money and logistical challenges become even more daunting.
Second, youth sports are expensive: multiple teams, sports gear, footwear and apparel, registration fees, travel, private instruction, and specialized sports camps and clinics require financial sacrifice for the vast majority of parents, devouring discretionary income they would otherwise devote to leisure activities. Yet, as one recent study found, sports parents remain "driven" to provide their children with the best possible youth sports experience," and willing to make the time and financial sacrifices necessary to achieve that goal. As tangible evidence of that commitment, spending on youth sports and participation rates have held steady, if not increased, in the current economic downturn.
Third, because the youth sports space is highly fragmented and disaggregated, it is difficult for time-strapped sports parents to efficiently meet their content and e-commerce needs; instead of a single trusted source, sports parents must visit a dizzying array of sites of varying quality and reliability.
The MomsTeam Seal of Approval is designed after the Goodhousekeeping Seal of Approval which we have won a number of times, to honor products or services that further MomsTeam's mission of making youth sports safer, saner, less stressful (e.g. less expensive, more efficient), and more inclusive, and to help sports parents, coaches, team administrators, and officials make informed decisions about which products and services are right for their particular needs.
The Evaluation Process
The evaluation process by MomsTeam offers objectivity, respect and expertise, based on a thorough understanding of and appreciation for all facets of the youth sports experience, which it has developed, not only over the past eleven years, over which time MomsTeam.com has worked hard to earn its reputation as the trusted source of information and advice for parents of youth and high school athletes, but from the collective wisdom of competitive athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, nutritionists developed over a much longer period of time.
What does MomsTeam look for?
While the evaluation process is confidential, to be awarded the MomsTeam seal of approval a product must have the proven ability, based on peer-reviewed research in some cases or other objective criteria (such as meeting standards set by independent testing organizations such as NOCSAE or ASTM), to make a youth athlete's sports experience safer, or more enjoyable. If a manufacturer is unable to back up its claims with such research or proof that it can meet applicable safety or manufacturing standards, it will simply not receive the MomsTeam seal.
Not every product manufacturer or service provider who requests recognition through the award of the MomsTeam seal of approval receives it, no matter how much they spend, or offer to spend, as a sponsor or advertiser of our site (unlike not-for-profit sites, MomsTeam relies on advertisers and sponsors in order to offer its readers the increasingly rare gift of a site offering constantly updated, impeccably researched, and superbly written content totally for free). MomsTeam will not jeopardize its reputation for providing objective information to sports parents in order to improve its bottom line. It is therefore safe to say that, as a result, MomsTeam has turned down more than its fare share of requests for its seal of approval in the past, and undoubtedly will continue to do so in the future.
A sacred trust
MomsTeam strives every day to ensure that the thousands of pages of content on its site meet rigorous journalistic standards for accuracy and objectivity, and, wherever possible, reflects the latest research. If new developments in a particular field render an article inaccurate, it is either updated to bring it current or taken down from view. We know that we have to earn our readers' trust every day. We also know that millions of parents all over the country are increasingly pressed for time and under stress in virtually every aspect of their lives. We know they don't have the time to pre-screen every product or service they buy for their young athletes. The MomsTeam Seal of Approval will do that for them.
Note: This program will resume Fall 2017 as the Smart Teams Seal of Approval.