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Are you thinking about putting your child in sports? Before you do, listen to this episode with my guest Cristina Walters.
I have given Cristina the name of “Sports Queen” because she is so knowledgeable about ALL sports.
Having played sports throughout her childhood and later becoming a student-athlete in college, she knows a thing or two about setting your kids up for success with sports.
In this episode we talk about:
- The benefits sports add to Cristina’s life as a child.
- Advice on the significance of team play.
- Pitfalls to avoid in youth sports.
- The value that learning about the sport(s) your child is playing that fosters a better mother/child relationship.
Remember that you are putting your kids in sports to have fun, learn, and grow.
This is not the time to live through your kids and put unrealistic pressure to become a pro athlete.
Check out the full episode and learn a few tips to make sure that your child has an awesome experience.
Cristina is a serial entrepreneur and former sports talk radio host who’s winning with women looking to raise their games and confidence through the power of sports.
A sports junkie, she’s experienced firsthand the opportunities that the sports world has offered in her personal and professional lives with partners, peers, and colleagues.
Connect with Cristina
- Website: https://aleagueofherown.live/
- Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/galswithgame/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shes_a_gamer/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/shes_a_gamer
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Transcript of this episode
Real Happy Mom 0:00
Hey there, Mom, are you juggling all the things in motherhood for managing your time getting healthy meals on the table, to being a present wife, all while making yourself a priority without feeling guilty? I get it. It’s overwhelming. And guess what? The fact that you need support doesn’t make you a bad mom. And that’s why I created the Real Happy Mom podcast. I’m toniann, a wife and a mom of two little boys as well as a general dentist and reservists in the Navy. And I get it when it comes to being a busy working mom. On the Real Happy Mom podcast. I’ll interview real moms to chat about real life experiences. These guests and experts will help you to navigate the motherhood journey by providing answers to your questions and concerns surrounding raising children, self care time management, and so much more. So if you’re ready to get rid of the overwhelm, and start being a Real Happy Mom, join me inside the Real Happy Mom podcast. Hey there, and welcome back to another episode of the Real Happy Mom podcast. This week, I am pretty pumped to have Miss Christina waters on she is what I call my sports Queen just because she knows so much about so many different sports. And in this episode, she is going to be talking to us about several different things. In particular, she is going to be helping us busy working moms figure out how we can learn a lot of the sports that are happening out there. So we can actually be able to talk to our kids about the sports that they’re involved in. Also, some of the lessons that kids will learn when they are in sports. And also gives us some encouragement to for us moms when we actually get our kids started in sports. Now, if you are looking to get your child involved in some sports, or they’re already involved in sports, this is an episode for you. So make sure you stay tuned to the end because this one is going to help you out a bunch. Now let’s go ahead and jump into this week’s episode with Christina.
All right, welcome to the podcast. Christina is so good to have you on today. Thank you. It’s a pleasure to join you. We’re doing this by Coastal. Yes, yes. And I love that I get to talk to you. Because you are I consider the sports queen. And I have a sports Queen on the podcast to help us moms out when it comes to our little ones in sports today. So I wanted you to just share a little bit about you and what you do before we jumped into our topic for today.
Sure, thank you. Now full disclosure, and you already know this, but certainly your listeners doubt. I am not a mom. But I come from the perspective of
being the child of a sports obsessed parent. And it was my father and my parents divorced when I was very young. And he is we’ll certainly talk more about it as we proceed through this. But he was instrumental and continues to be in kind of forming my interest not only as a child playing, but you know, growing up going to a big sports college and now becoming an adult and wanting to you know, kind of coach, shall we say other women who at very various levels of knowledge and interest in sports, because it has just done such great things throughout my life, my professional life, my personal life opens a lot of doors and a lot of conversations. So but I’m a I’m a serial entrepreneur, I’ve had a marketing company for 28 years, I’m in Southern California, but the company reaches nationally. And, you know, then I started this a league of her own concept to, like I said, try to engage women because I’m so often asked, How do you know so much about sports? And maybe I don’t want to be the world’s expert, but, you know, how do I even learn without either being bored at a sports bar, or asking my husband, my son, my partner, whomever and and getting the impatient, you know, I will
So that’s kind of, you know, the genesis of at least the concept of a league of her own and, you know, obviously, we’ll talk more about kind of the tools that I’m offering and and just the, you know the value for for parents, so busy moms, single moms,
couple of moms, whatever. It just is, I think a huge asset for
for moms to have an interest in their child sport and if they know just a little bit I think it’s more more bonding it’s more I adds a little more relevance to the questions they might ask of their son or daughter in whatever sports so in terms of the value of
That connection, because I’ve lived it. And I think it would just be you know, it’s, it’s really, really great when,
you know, moms and dads, of course, are more involved with their child in their sport, because there’s, there’s a better understanding of it versus just, you know, picking them up and dropping them off. And, and, you know, all that. And yeah, and definitely want to be the ones that is supportive and involved in the sports, but I just wanted you to break down some of the benefits that sports has added to your life as a child and how it could benefit our kids too, as well.
Well, I mean, sports teaches so many lessons. at any age, it’s still teaching us as adults, lessons, but certainly, in, you know, your developmental years. I mean, it gave me enormous confidence, that’s the one word that that is probably made the greatest impact on my life, and just having the ability to, you know, whether it was a softball or soccer, you know, I was a tomboy, and I moved around a lot when I was growing up, so sports, gave me a, you know, kind of a sense of community. And it also, you know, it teaches so many lessons that you carry for your life, you know, how to, how to be a team player and how to collaborate.
You know, the discipline that it takes, if you’re committed to the sport, and you want to play well, at whatever level, you know, how to you teaches you how to lose and how to be gracious and how to deal with rejection. Just countless
Unknown Speaker 7:01
lessons that sports you know, it’s it’s a, it’s a very sport, super unifying.
Unknown Speaker 7:07
Even if you’re in a rival game, or something like that, you know, I mean, we’ve seen even, not only a, at a national level, but at a global level, how, how it brings people together, and societies and all people, you know, regardless of socioeconomic status, or gender, and all those things, I mean, you can meet a complete stranger, and it’s happened to me, again, in my personal life, and in my professional life, it’s been a huge tool, because it’s an icebreaker. And, you know, you could be having the most uncomfortable or, you know, whatever distant conversation with somebody they don’t really know a lot about, but if there is any commonality in either the sport that they like, the team that they like, a certain player, I mean, it’s very disarming, to then talk about that. And so in that regard, it’s, you know, opened a lot of doors, certainly, but I think it’s especially, you know, now with people being locked down to varying degrees across the country, and sports opening up both from a fan perspective, and for kids to get back out, and, you know, underscoring that everyone is safe and following all the proper protocol, just to be back and interacting, and competing, and being in fresh air.
Unknown Speaker 8:43
And, you know, renewing friendships and, and making new friends and all of those things. So socially, mental health, physically, just the benefits are endless, and they are carry to the rest of your life. And yes, definitely. And when you’re talking, I was thinking about my dad, because he was the one that taught me how to lose at a very young age. So when we were kids, he never ever let me win. Let you know, some parents. They’ll be like, Oh, you beat me up. You run so fast. No, not my dad. Like when we’re racing, we’re racing, and he’s gonna beat me and you better catch up with them. So I learned to lose really quick with them. I’m glad you brought that one up. But the other thing too, that I was thinking about too, as well. Christina is like taking criticism, because especially like from coaches and things like that, because I feel like a lot of times, like
Unknown Speaker 9:37
maybe it’s just the people I work around, but certain people are very sensitive and they can’t take, you know, criticism or direction and things like that. So, definitely, like you said, there are a lot of lessons that you learn that can help you in life and make you a better person. This was a better athlete. Yes, I completely agree. And on top
Unknown Speaker 10:00
points on the Yeah, the criticism and
Unknown Speaker 10:06
you know, I was the same, you know, sounds like our fathers were the same. And in kind of the the early lessons that they were teaching us is, you know, yeah, it’s not everyone gets a trophy, not everyone, you certainly are, are supported for your effort.
Unknown Speaker 10:24
But, you know, it doesn’t unless you are capable of dealing with rejection and losing and being gracious about it. No, that’s, that’s something that is not a pretty picture as an adult, because, you know, it’s certainly don’t need to,
Unknown Speaker 10:43
to remind you and your listener is it, you know, life is, is about a lot of rejection and a lot of criticism and how you handle difficult circumstances. And and, you know, get up and shake yourself off and keep keep moving forward. Yes, definitely. And now that we know about the benefits of sports, I just wanted you to share with us some ways that we can learn our child sport that can bring that mother child relationship even closer and have better bonding. For us as moms.
Unknown Speaker 11:19
Well, there are a couple of,
Unknown Speaker 11:22
of tools. And
Unknown Speaker 11:25
I will preface that by saying another driver behind me birthing this concept, shall we say is there you look at all the programming and we all know that sports, even at the youth level, is is a cottage industry, that is a multi multi million dollar industry, and then certainly go up to the professional leagues, and you know, you’re into the billions and all of the media that, that supports that and drives that
Unknown Speaker 11:59
is really programmed in
Unknown Speaker 12:03
to with a predisposition that there are already fans that are knowledgeable, so there really isn’t an inroad for the non fan, to learn. Because, you know, whether it’s ESPN, or Fox, or the streaming, whatever the majority, vast majority of Esports content is, um, is already assuming that you have an interest in, in whatever a team is for a player, what have you. So, you know, it’s and I find, there are so many women, moms, certainly alike, that are, everyone’s busy, and everyone’s multitasking. And I run across so many really ambitious, intelligent women that are so intimidated or ambivalent about sports, because, you know, it’s like, with most of us on a topic that we don’t really understand. And it can sometimes be intimidating. And, you know, people are, basically I’ve been, I’ve even had husbands and partners, say to me, gosh, Christina, you know, this is we really like what you’re trying to do, because it would be really great if my whatever, girlfriend, wife,
Unknown Speaker 13:30
whomever, just knew a little bit and, and watch the game with me, and you know, just the connection of all of that, and the whole,
Unknown Speaker 13:40
you know, journey that sports takes us on, depending on your level of fandom and travel and just, you know, sharing a lot of traditions and all of that. So in terms of kind of learning a little bit No, I
Unknown Speaker 13:59
for a league of her own. So I put together weekly, like sports shorts. So they’re very quick reads of just basic headlines and sports. So I don’t I’m not intending to overwhelm women, again, everyone’s busy. And, you know, they’re just kind of I really want to support women and empower them and engage them at their pace. So I’m not looking to make sports announcers of the women that I meet, but just trying to, you know, help guide them a little bit in whatever sport that they like. So I send out my
Unknown Speaker 14:39
my weekly sports shorts, it’s it’s a one sheet, quick read on, you know, the major sports headlines, and then I do sports, training camps. I’m going to start right now I’ve got football, and then we’ll go into basketball and so on and so forth. So those are soon going to be available like on YouTube and
Unknown Speaker 15:00
I have playbooks. And before the pandemic, I would have a bunch of women get together on a Thursday night, and we watch an NFL game. And you know, it would be at a nicer, not really a sports bar, but a nicer gathering area where, you know, it’s very social and and women were in a very comfortable environment where they can ask questions and not feel that it was a dumb question or that something that they should already know. And I did also want to share with your listeners, there is a website called sports engine.com. And it is a treasure trove of all kinds of guides on what’s happening in you know, your communities in terms of youth sports,
Unknown Speaker 15:52
or, you know, mental health, nutrition. If you want to start your own team, or your own League, all the all the tools, and the best practices to do that. So that’s a super, super great resource for parents to kind of go and reference really anything that is related to us sports, because it’s, you know, like I said, it is a multi million dollar business. And, you know, it can get pretty ugly, the parents sometimes it’s typically on the news, if it really gets out of hand, and the parents are more adamant about, you know, something that’s gone awry on the field than the kids themselves.
Unknown Speaker 16:39
Yes, yes, I have seen those stories. Now, you mentioned a couple of different tools or resources. And I will make sure to include all those links in the shownotes. So if you’re listening, and you want to get a hold of those, make sure you either go down to the description of this podcast episode, and you’ll find it there or go to the episode number on Real Happy Mom calm, and we’ll get that to you. But these are really good. And you brought up a couple of things about, you know, understanding and in just finding ways to, you know, understand more about the game or the sport that your child is playing, but I was just wondering, in particular, how or what advice would you offer us when we’re trying to get our kids into different sports and some of the pitfalls that we should avoid when it comes to you sports, because I’ll be honest with you, it’s a lie in it can get expensive. So I just wanted to hear what your advice was?
Unknown Speaker 17:36
Unknown Speaker 17:38
I the advice on on being the parent of, you know, trying to encourage your child in a in a sport, if they’re not, you know, inclined, and really don’t have a sports background is,
Unknown Speaker 17:54
you know, make it fun.
Unknown Speaker 17:57
And really, don’t impose your own
Unknown Speaker 18:02
demands and your own vision and expectations on your child. And, you know, start small, don’t, you know, don’t put them in baseball, thinking that he’s going to be the next Mike trout he might be. But, you know, the odds of that are pretty small. And clearly, and just do it for the right reasons. Do it for the reasons that we started this podcast with and the, you know, not only the physical health and learning about team play, and all the lessons that we’ve already mentioned, but, you know, just make like, you know, I can’t stress enough just make it fun. And yes, it is, depending on the sport, especially if they’re paying, you know, if you’re playing ice hockey,
Unknown Speaker 18:55
that’s an expensive sport. And there’s equipment and there’s travel and you know, all of those things in anything, whether it’s football, baseball, what have you, but, you know, there’s some of the pitfalls are that parents get a little over their skis, in the expectation and it becomes as much about their own
Unknown Speaker 19:19
needs, sometimes selfish over their child and kids can certainly feel that pressure. And, you know, if they, you know, for instance, I, my father came from a, I came from a big baseball family. So it was just a very natural decision that my father when he would have me on the weekends, he would take me as a child to the baseball fields and the batting cages and I was a decent athlete and when I went to high school, and went to a four year high school in Southern California and my freshman year
Unknown Speaker 20:00
I tried out for the softball team and I made I was the only freshman on the varsity team. And because I had been raised
Unknown Speaker 20:10
with, you know, playing baseball, and I and I enjoyed it, and I played one season, and I quit, and,
Unknown Speaker 20:18
you know, my father, I end up going to UCLA, which is, you know, a huge huge softball,
Unknown Speaker 20:26
softball school and as, as the PAC 12, as a conference, and he was enormously disappointed that I stopped my buddy’s softball career. So quickly, and it didn’t match up with his expectations that I could have possibly continue to play. And, you know, who knows, you know, he had, he had dreams of me getting a scholarship, a softball scholarship to UCLA, but I never felt that pressure. We talked about it now, half jokingly,
Unknown Speaker 20:57
many, many years after I graduated, but, you know, it was my decision, and he respected that, and he didn’t press me and push me to do something and be someone that I really did not, wasn’t intended to be. So I think, you know, especially with sports, and,
Unknown Speaker 21:17
you know, when you obviously get to elite levels, you know, it’s it’s life changing, in terms of, you know, material rewards, and all of those things. And that seems to be like the brass ring, but boy, just parents really need to keep it in check. When they’re getting little ones, into into sports, and just, you know, make it fun. And, and, yes,
Unknown Speaker 21:44
learn a little bit, just, you know, don’t be intimidated, that you need to, you know, whatever, no, every rule and, and,
Unknown Speaker 21:53
you know, every detail about whatever, football or baseball or basketball, but you know, even if it’s just some, just a little kind of
Unknown Speaker 22:05
painting, just a little bit of interest in, you know, whatever, wherever part of the world or the country that you live, you know, the favorite team, that favorite player, and it’s surprising, if you just kind of focus on one aspect, or one sport, or even no one player or coach, where you have any kind of
Unknown Speaker 22:29
familiarity with or affinity towards how much you will, you know, organically continue to follow and just through almost through osmosis just learn a little bit. And then, you know, like I said, between some of the tools that I can provide, and some of the tools that sportsengine certainly provides, just kind of put it all together. But you know, from a parental perspective, just don’t go easy on yourself.
Unknown Speaker 22:59
Don’t expect to be the world’s expert in in a week, you know, just take your time and, and go on the journey with your child together. And it’s it’s incredibly, incredibly bonding as you experienced with your dad. Oh, yes.
Unknown Speaker 23:14
I tease him now. Because now he has grandkids and he lets the grandkids beat him all the time. But I’m like, Hey, Dad, what happened? used to be so tough. Now. You’re both softy. So yes, definitely. It has definitely increased that bottom there. And I love a lot of the things that you brought up, because I’ll be honest, just watching some of the moms that I seen growing up and even with parents in general, growing up in different sports and seeing how I felt like they were almost like living their lives through their kids. And you know, really taking it hard. Like when the kids didn’t do well or something, you know, the the kid didn’t get what they thought they should they deserved in the game or sport, whatever it is that they’re doing. But in particular, I don’t know if I told you this, Christina, but I used to dance from the time I was four all the way through college, I was dancing, and I competed and did the whole nine. So I’ve seen all the crazy dance moms out there. In it just always amazed me like, some of those moms that were really really intense. Like, I was like, do like back up, like let her breathe like it’s okay. And like, I never had that pressure from my mom. My mom actually, I don’t think she really wanted me to, like go out to like Juilliard, or I’m in a league or any of those places, but, um, because I think she wanted me to do something else, which is fine, but I never felt the pressure like you said, you know, when I stopped or if I didn’t do well, because there I remember one time. I had an audition and I literally forgot everything. Like I was just spinning around in circles because I was like, I don’t remember any of the choreography. You just taught me like it was the worst ever so I’m pretty sure my mom could have been like what happened?
Unknown Speaker 25:00
To you, but it was, I don’t even think she remembers it. And we don’t even talk about it. But I love that you gave us those parameters and saying, you know, let it be fun because it should be. That’s why we started in the hole in the beginning. So I love all of what you brought up.
Unknown Speaker 25:15
Well, thank you. And thank you. So yeah, and I have had a guest on on my podcast. she, her name is Amy Rodriguez. So she’s another a rod. And
Unknown Speaker 25:29
I’ve known her parents for years and years and a couple of decades, actually. And she is a soccer player, she was a great youth soccer player, then she got a full ride to USC, she won two Olympic gold medals and World Cup. And so and now she is a mother of two boys. So, you know, she has been a great guest on my show to talk about not only her upbringing, as an elite athlete, and the support from her parents that never ever pushed her, she was her own drive, and certainly her own town, and then how now she is still playing professional soccer now, and she’s also a mom, and how that all you know, bounces and she, you know, the lessons that she is passing down to her sons, who probably will have some pretty good sports genes, and, you know, not applying that pressure, and just supporting them, and at whatever level, they want to stop, they know just not stereotyping your child into, you know, abilities that they may have, and they don’t want to explore or, or vice versa, you know, that’s just, you know, it’s part of being a parent and just being there in whatever capacity and letting your child kind of lead
Unknown Speaker 26:59
their own interests and not being not impressed. Yes, definitely. Now, Christina, you’ve given us quite a bit to think about as far as you know, how we can make things fun, and also things to think about when we’re putting our kids and youth sports. But before we wrapped up, I just wanted you to share with us either a motivational quote, or words of encouragement for us Real Happy Mom.
Unknown Speaker 27:24
Well, I have a quote that I pulled up this morning.
Unknown Speaker 27:30
And it says, behind every young child who believes in himself or herself is a parent who believed first, you believe in your child, make sure they know that you do.
Unknown Speaker 27:43
That’s perfect. I love that. Yeah, well, thank you. Thank you. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 27:51
It says a lot. Both of our fathers, you know, that’s part of that confidence building. Not only that, you build confidence in yourself when you are playing a sport,
Unknown Speaker 28:05
and testing yourself and trying to, you know, be the best that you could be. But also, the confidence that my father had in me to make the commitment to support me in my sports,
Unknown Speaker 28:20
is, you know, it’s priceless. It’s the connection I still have with my father who just turned 86 last Sunday
Unknown Speaker 28:28
is the greatest blessing of my life, you know, and we still will sit and watch hours and hours and hours of sports together. So, you know, if especially in you know, I again, I’m not a mom, but I certainly have seen it with many of my friends experienced it in my own life. But
Unknown Speaker 28:49
sometimes I think parents
Unknown Speaker 28:53
kind of lose the connection with their with their kid, and how do I relate? And how do I you know, with all of the distractions of digital and devices, and you know, everything that’s going on,
I don’t think there’s any replacement for really having what whatever the platform is, I’m sharing that with your with your son or daughter because it will carry on through, you know, your whole life. Absolutely. Now, Christina, if we want to connect with you learn more about to get some of these tools that you mentioned, where can we find you online, you can go to a league of her own life of a league of her own dot live and sign up for my training camps, my sports shorts, obviously, my by my own podcasts there, but yeah, a league of her own Delphi. Awesome. And I will again, make sure to include all of those links in the show notes. Christina, thank you again for coming on and sharing all this with us. I really appreciate it. My pleasure. Happy to do it. Thank you.
Now that does it for this week’s episode of the Happy Mom podcast to find all of the links that Christina mentioned, go over to Real Happy Mom comm slash 108. There, you’ll find everything that she mentioned, as well as a couple of things. When there’ll be a box down on the bottom, that is going to be a way to capture your information so that I can send you the ultimate WORKING MOM hacks. Go ahead and put your name and email there, as well as a box for you to actually send me a voice message. If you are wanting to hear anything in particular on the podcast or you have a question that you would like answered on the podcast. You scroll down to the bottom, you’ll see a little box that says Would you like to leave me a message and you can record a voice note and send it over to me. Now if you are loving this podcast episode and you enjoy listening to Real Happy Mom podcast, do me a favor and leave me a rating review and Apple podcasts. This helps me out more than you know when because let’s be honest, when we are going to shop for something or we’re looking for a place to go we’re looking at the reviews and if there’s not very many, we probably won’t go now. I’ve been doing this for 108 episodes now and I would really love for you to leave me a rate review to help me out to get the message out to more moms. Now that does it for this episode. Make sure you stay tuned for next week for another cool episode. Take care and with that solo
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