Welcome to MomsTeam.com from Brooke de Lench
If you are visiting us for the first time, welcome to MomsTeam!
Launched in August 2000, MomsTeam has grown over the years, both in terms of content and reputation, to the point that it now has 40,000 + pages of information for youth sports parents and has become the most trusted source of sports parenting information, widely recognized as one of the top websites of its kind.
A little history
August of 2000, with the help of some of the country's most respected experts in the worlds of sports, medicine, psychology, law, technology, business and marketing, I launched MomsTeam.com® to address the needs of sports parents. I knew, as a mother of triplet sons who all played sports through high school, that it would take an entire team of people to provide youth sports parents the information and support they needed to be successful, keep their kids safe, and playing.
I recall the day I was standing on the sidelines of my son's first lacrosse game chatting with some other parents. We were comparing notes: where did we go to buy our kids' sticks, pads and helmets? Did our kids' pediatricians ask the same questions during their pre-participation physical evaluations? What the best mouth guard, and do I really need to get the dentist to make a custom-fitted one for my kid? How are we ever going to manage to get our kids to all of their games on time and in uniform? Did anyone know the coach, and what was the best time and place to talk to him if we had a concern? We stood there sharing our collective wisdom, concerns, and questions for the entire game.
Near the end of the game, one of the parents remarked, "Wouldn't be great if there was a manual for kids sports parenting?" One of the dads turned to me and said: "Brooke, you could write that one." I responded, "I couldn't do it all by myself. I would need a team. I know a lot from my experience as an athlete, coach, fundraiser, community activist, and from starting a brand new soccer club, and I do seem to be the go-to person when any parent has a question. But, frankly, I have just as many, if not more, questions of my own about sports parenting."
Changing the culture
Thus, from a sideline discussion between a lawyer, emergency room nurse, child psychologist, and a few other sports parents - what one of my sons so aptly called Mom's team - was born MomsTeam.com®.
Fast forward many years after that "ah-ha" moment, and, instead of standing on the sideline of a youth lacrosse game, I am sitting at my desk in the editorial offices of MomsTeam looking back on an eventfull year, one which saw the broadcast on more than 300 PBS stations of our first documentary, "The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer," explosive growth in our Twitter following (now more than 27,000 and more than 50,000 with our new program @SmartTeams), increasing recognition and visibility for MomsTEAM, and now, with the launch of our non-profit, MomsTEAM Institute, Inc., the opportunity to do more of what we think we do best: make youth sports safer, not just for the millions who play youth and high school football, but for the more than 40 million kids playing sports in this country; leveraging our position as the trusted source of information for youth sports parents to advocate for change, while continuing to uphold the high standards of journalistic objectivity that had become our trademark as much as our name.
My hope continues to be, as it was when I started MomsTEAM, to work to change the culture of youth sports, to make it safer, saner, less stressful and more inclusive, by bringing all of the stakeholders together in one place to work as a fully inclusive TEAM. In other words, to understand that everyone with a stake in youth sports - whether parent, coach, administrator, health care professional, or make sporting goods or safety equipment - is part of the same team, and that, like any other team, the only way to put the word "youth" back into youth sports and to make it the best possible experience for our children is to work together as a team.
My dream is to build a new home for MomsTEAM (see www.Smart-Team.org for a peek of the progress) and to continue to produce documentaries like "The Smartest Team" and educational videos and best practice templates, so that every person who wants to help take youth sports back from the adults who have been running, and in some cases, ruining the sports experience for our children, has a place to express their opinion, to talk to each other, to write blogs and contribute articles, to share videos and ideas. By making a donation to MomsTEAM Institute, MomsTEAM,com can continue to provide information completely free to our viewers; and to lead a nationwide, grass-roots movement for a better, safer, saner, less stressful and more inclusive youth sports experience for everyone. At the same time, we are re-committed to making sure that MomsTeam to providing the best and most accurate and objective information on youth sports.
Our message is loud and clear: Just as has always been true, there will be no cuts from the new MomsTEAM team. If you want to help your child - any child - have a more enjoyable and safer sports experience, if you have ideas, or products, or wisdom to share, if you have money-and time-saving tips for sports parents wondering how they are going to pay for gas to and from away games, feed their kids nutritious meals and keep them hydrated, or to balance sports and family in our winner-take-all society, the doors to our field house remain open. We will host your blog, we will advertise your products and services, and we will continue to welcome your articles, videos, and your comments. You will shape how MomsTeam continues to grows and evolve.
We are counting on you and our sponsors to help grow our community, and many of you have already responded by joining over 77,000 followers on Twitter, and over 28,000 Facebook "Likes," and by becoming part of the MomsTEAM social community.
From my work deep in the trenches of youth sports, from the thousands upon thousands of e-mails I field every month, I know that there is a solution-orientated community of people in this country ready and eager to take a much more active role in youth sports and help everyone have a more enjoyable sports experience - from the first day of T-ball to the last day of high school lacrosse.
I close with one of my favorite quotes from Gandhi:
"Be the change you want to see in the world."
The change all of us at MomsTeam want to see is a safer, saner, less stressful, more inclusive youth sports experience. With your help - with each others' help - we know we can do it.
All the best for a safe and fun sports season.
Brooke de Lench (for all the team at MomsTeam.com)
Producer/director of "The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer," and author, Home Team Advantage: The Critical Role of Mothers In Youth Sports (Harper Collins)
Questions, comments, criticisms? Feel free to send an email to delench@MomsTeam.com
Update: by the end of 2017 our name will be Smart Teams. Watch our progress as we launch a series of satellite sites: www.Smart-Teams.org.