Football Mom Etiquette

Football Mom Etiquette from https://smartkids101.comFootball is in the air and I love everything about it.  But I’ll have to admit, I never loved it so much as I did when I was a Football Mom: The years my son, Cameron, donned purple and gold and played for his school’s team at David Lipscomb… they were so much fun!

He had never played ball before 8th grade, and I have to admit, I wasn’t sure about the whole deal.  A version of this column ran in our local paper, The Tennessean.  It was extremely popular and is worth a repeat. So, here’s to all those calling themselves a Football Mom this year, (including my nieces, Jessica and Joanna) and my piece of advice?  Fasten your seat belt, keep current on your prayers, and enjoy the ride.  It’s a lot of fun!!!

I’ve joined a new women’s group this fall. We don’t elect officers, take minutes or have formal meetings, but we share a lot of stories. The only membership requirement is a son playing varsity football. That’s right, I am a Football Mom.

My vocabulary has changed already. A 6’3”, 265 pound, baby boy doesn’t get “boo-boo’s” anymore. Sacking the quarterback is “sweet.” and “let’s double down” means my son would like to pick up three double cheeseburgers after the game.

Football Mom Etiquette from

In theory, football goes against the maternal instinct. Young men ramming into each other with G-forces that could launch a small rocket seems dangerous to me. Perhaps dads understand it better. My husband brought balance to my nurturing with stories like “Back in my day, Coach said if it hurts, tape an aspirin to it and get back in the game!”

This isn’t sound first aid advice, is it?  The balancing point between warrior and being safe has definitely changed in our home. I don’t want to treat my son like a baby, but I don’t like seeing blood on his uniform either.  I thought maybe a talk with David Lipscomb’s head coach Scott Tillman might help me “juke” my way through my newfound football mom etiquette.

Football Mom Etiquette from

Tips for a Football Mom:

1. The coach is not the parent.

A coach wants what is best for the team, while a parent wants what’s best for the child.    Your job is to encourage your kid to work hard.  Also, remind him you’re proud of him whether he’s a star or on the last string.

2.Football is a rough sport.

Tillman helped me see the difference between hurt and injury.  My child may play with a sore wrist, but he wouldn’t play with a broken wrist, until cleared by a doctor.  Tillman hopes parents will trust his leadership toward the mutual goal of keeping players healthy.

3. Determining mental toughness is necessary.

A kid’s response to adversity in practice predicts his likely response while under pressure during a game. “It’s hard to not defend your child.  We’re conditioned to do that as parents.  However, coaches want to see players thinking for themselves,” Tillman said.

4. Football is a team sport.

Even if he doesn’t spend time playing in the game, your child has won or lost. Some kids want to talk about it and some don’t. Losses always hurt, so don’t minimize them. Learning to deal with disappointment is an important life skill; so take the opportunity to shape his response to losses.

5. Football — like life — is unfair.

Adversity is a great teacher. Some coaches aren’t fair. Some kids aren’t as skilled as others. Commend your son when he contributes to the team.  “A football team is like a family: find your talent, and use what God gives you to help the team,” Tillman said.

Football Mom Etiquette from

As a Football Mom, we each had a great final season in 2007.   Our boys went on to win the 3A Tennessee State Football Championship. Imagine my overwhelming excitement (and, yeah, a little bit of pride!) when I saw the photograph in The Tennessean, an amazing picture of the runner going over the goal line for the winning score.  And the guy making the way for him to go over the goal line?  You guessed it, my baby boy… What a season!

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About Julie Hunt
I’ve lived a full life with many unimaginable joys and heartache like you wouldn’t believe. Our blog exists to encourage folks to slow down, chill out, and love more.

6 thoughts on “Football Mom Etiquette”

  1. Hello, I recently published a short sports parenting guide titled, “Zero Offseason: Divorce, Youth Sports & Tips for the Insanely Busy Sports Mom.”

    It covers how to deal with the uncooperative ex, how to support and communicate with the coaching staff, and how to develop student-athletes. If it sounds of interest to your readers, I’d be glad to send a PDF version for your review.

    1. Aubrey Hunt says:

      That’s really great, Brian! Thanks for stopping by and letting us know about your resource. I found the article on your site and am going to read it now. Congrats on getting it published! 🙂

  2. Donna says:

    My 11-year old site will be playing his first year next year. I just signed him up and I’m already having anxiety lol. Thank you for posting this!

    1. Julie Hunt says:

      Donna! Thanks for reading the blog! We appreciate it so much! Yes! That first season is the hardest, for sure. But it does get easier, I promise! I’m 8 years post Football Mom and it truly was such a special connection between my son and me! We relive and laugh about those days often! Have fun and keep us posted on your son’s journey!

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