Last Firsts from a Soccer Mom.

It is that time of year for parents of high school seniors when we’re enjoying the last -firsts of many club and high school events.  Last first soccer game of the year, last first day of the last semester, last club night.   Looking back at all the things I’ve learned, I’ve decided (rather than wallow),  I’d share a few of the most useful lessons.  From the importance of chocolate milk to the recruiting process.  Make sure to catch next few blogs.  I’d love to hear your stories and tips too!

Here’s to team Glow Angel -where it all started, and to the coaches, parents and friends I’ve made on the fields.

xo

MaryAnne

Brand-New Resources Page

We have added a new Resources page to our sideline chatter blog! This resource page, entitled “Essentials for a Confident Girl Athlete” includes a growing list of tools that we at Dragonwing think are vital for the empowerment and success of female athletes and for the aid of their parents! Visit our resources page now and keep checking our blog for weekly posts as we add more essentials to our list.

Instagram Contest!

Dragonwing girlgear is sponsoring a contest on Instagram, and we are accepting photos between now and August 8th! All you have to do is post a picture of you playing your favorite sport, and then use #dragonwinggirl and tag us @dragonwinggirl! The winner will receive a $50 gift card, and second and third place get 15% off Dragonwing merchandise! For more information on the contest, see our website, or visit our Instagram account. We can’t wait to see your photos!

instagram contest

“The Only Sports Bra My Daughter Will Wear”

 

We love customer feedback of all kinds — it helps us make the best fitting, best performing girls athletic wear possible. And we especially love to hear that girls love the comfort, performance, and fit of their Dragonwing girlgear.

Vicki wrote to say that the Half Tee Sports Top is “the only sports bra my daughter will wear. She loves that it is soft and lower, so she can wear it to all her games knowing that she is covered!!”

Super soft and comfortable, the Half-Tee is perfect under everyday school clothes and sports jerseys, especially ones with lower cut or scooped arm holes, like basketball, lacrosse, or track. We also hear that lots of girls wear these sports bras under their pajama tops — they’re THAT comfortable!

Customer review: "only girls sports bra my daughter will wear" Click for teen sports bras, training bras

I can’t, I have soccer

I’m busy.  Like really busy. So busy that I don’t know what to do with myself when I don’t have anything to do on a school night.

Since 5th grade I have had to balance homework and at least one activity almost every school night. Earlier on in high school, I would go to school each day, leave from school and go straight to soccer practice, come home from soccer and work on my homework, and go to bed, wake up and do it all over again. I typically had one night off from soccer each week, and that was strictly devoted to homework and sleep. On Friday afternoons, I would leave for the weekend to take a bus trip to another state for two games. Getting ahead (or catching up!) was key.

Now, I have two jobs, a senior level amount of homework, college apps, numerous clubs to keep track of, on top of sleeping, and making time with friends. But it all gets done, and I haven’t gone crazy, at least not yet.

I’ve seen this picture over and over on Twitter…and I disagree! You can even make this a square by adding SPORTS to this and there’s a way to reach all four corners. It’s difficult, and can be exhausting, but there’s always a way to manage.

Knowing what you want to do, and what’s most important to you is the key. I always put school at the top of my triangle, so no matter what, my school work gets done. Sleep typically comes second, although sometimes it comes behind my sports.

As for a social life, yes, it’s true, I’ve missed school dances and other school events during the week. And the “I can’t, I have soccer” has made it out of my mouth more than a few times, but I still believe in my social life. We’re with our friends all day at school! And a soccer game at 3:00 on Saturday doesn’t mean the whole night is gone (although it might feel that way sometimes).  Not to mention teammates can also be good friends.

Being so busy, I’ve grown to worship my agenda! Prioritizing my work, taking advantage of free time and getting ahead when I can, keeps me sane. I’m a girl who can not function on less than 7 hours of sleep. 11PM is my maximum bedtime on school nights. I make a habit of writing down EVERYTHING I have to do, and it feels that much better when I get to cross each event off. You can always make it through another day no matter what your schedule looks like.

Leave a comment below with your biggest challenge or best tip for maintaining your balance.

 

Mom, I Love Cross-Country

“Mom, I LOVE cross-country.” Ok. Wow.

I’m going to take a little detour here because I know Dragonwing sells sports gear for tween and teen girls, but today I’m going to write about my 7th grade son. D is an avowed “nerd.” He swam in the past because I made him and he could see his friends, but it wasn’t something he embraced. Most of his summer activity was whatever was going on at summer camp, summer swim, and watching Netflix.

He joined the (no-cut) middle school cross country team this past week. I want to note that the North Carolina weather has been high 90s with high humidity all week. On the second or third day of practice, he hopped into the car after practice dripping sweat with a bright red face. I braced myself for the complaint. “Mom, I LOVE cross-country.”

Pause. Deep breath. Inside, I was jumping up and down. “What do you like about it?” “I don’t know, it’s fun. We ran through the woods today and picked apples. The trails are fun and it was shady.”

I’m delighted. Beyond happy. Because everything we know about why sports are good for girls also applies to boys, especially the slightly nerdy, not your-typical-jock boy. Over the course of the cross-country season, D is going to benefit from teamwork, hard work, camaraderie, seeing his own times (hopefully) improve, and understand that running, as with almost any sport, can be a lifetime pursuit. And the beauty of running is its simplicity. As humans, we were designed to move and to run. It’s in our DNA.

I’m glad D is literally following in my footsteps. But even more importantly, I’m hoping he has found his “sport.” His go-to activity when he’s having a bad day or needs to work off some excess stress. The “runner’s high” is real. A long time ago, I wrote that no matter how bad a day was, as long as I completed my run, it was a good enough day.

For D, I’m hoping this cross-country season is the season where he discovers the joy of sports.

 

Back to School–A Parent’s Perspective

Following on Emma’s post about returning to school, I thought I’d write about “Back to School” from one parent’s perspective.

My absolute favorite thing about summer is no homework. Zilch, nada, zero. Summer evenings are less tense because we are out of the “get your homework done, eat dinner, go to swim practice, shower, go to bed” frenzy. On the other hand, the kids were binging on Netflix and made it to the seventh season of Supernatural. I am not proud of that.

I LOVE back to school shopping–all that promise with clean binders, new pens, folders, and the promise of a new school year. Everything is bright and new, and as Emma said, the kids seem genuinely glad to see their friends for the first few days.  A few months later, extraneous papers will trail out of my son’s binder and he will have lost several assignments, never to be found.

And as much as I love a lazy week, I’m also glad we’re back on some sort of routine though waking up is a bit tough. By 10 am I’m ready for lunch. However, never underestimate the power of a good power nap. This year Anna has “Emotional Health,” which I believe is a form of meditation often leading to a midday snooze.

And now that we’re back in a routine, my job search is kicking into high gear. My previous freelance gig terminated in July, so it’s now time for me to hit the ground running, resume in hand.

In summary, I have mixed feelings about back to school. I’m glad the kids have structure to their day, and they are being challenged by their teachers. I don’t like being the “homework police” so I’m trying to get out of that job and let my son bear the consequences. We’ll all get used to the early mornings and if not, Labor Day is just around the corner!

How I Became a Swim Mom

I never planned on becoming a “swim mom” but my daughter had other plans. She played rec league soccer and was a good goalie but quit early on because she said, “Mom, I get too sweaty.” I thought that was the end of her sports participation because I couldn’t think of a sport where you DON’T get sweaty. And in addition, she wasn’t very coordinated. Anna was the kid that tripped over lint in the carpet. Literally.

But she always loved the water. When Anna turned seven she decided to join our summer rec swim team, mainly because her friends were doing it. And that was my initiation into the culture of swimming. Swim meets are different from other sports competitions in that it is not a “drop off” experience. Rec league meets require LOTS of parents volunteering—timers, starters, place judges, scorers –you name it, it’s done by a parent. And I was that parent. At the end of the season she won the “most improved” award for her age group. With hindsight I believe it was a testament to her hard work.

Fast forward to middle school. Anna was still swimming on our summer team but the stress of 6th grade was taking a toll on her. She had high expectations of herself and no way to release her anxiety. She was a walking ball of stress. She would do cartwheels and handsprings until 10 or 11 pm every night trying to burn off her anxiety. In desperation, I found a fall rec swim league through our city that her friends were also joining. The pool was close, the price was right ($60 for 8 weeks) and it was a good middle step between summer rec and a full year-round program. Her coach was a former college swimmer who had all kinds of creative workouts and worked the kids really hard. At the end of every practice my anxious, tense daughter would be tired, relaxed, and happy. Swimming was her “miracle drug.”

I couldn’t say no to something that made her so happy. And as an athlete myself I knew all the benefits of training and competition—camaraderie, friendships, challenging yourself, making a commitment and sticking with it, dealing with disappointment, taking care of your body and honoring its strength and power.

Thanks to Anna there are damp towels and swim suits all over my house and my car proudly sports the “swim mom” magnet. I wouldn’t change a thing.

First things first…

Hi, I’m Emma. I currently live in North Carolina, and I have spent most of my childhood here. When I’m not at school, I’m exercising, working, socializing with friends or family, watching Netflix , eating, or sleeping. And I think I love all of those things equally.

I’m a senior in high school and am headed into my 7th year there. I prefer math and science, although the other classes aren’t too bad. I’ve also taken French for 6 years, and while I’m definitely not fluent, I’d like to think I’m close. I also spend a good portion of my time working for one of our school’s volunteer organizations, Beta Club. This coming year, I’m excited to be the president!

As for sports, I play soccer for my high school varsity team. I played competitive club soccer for 7 years, and we had the opportunity to travel all over the country. I finally decided to stop playing in the summer of 2013. I loved it but wanted to focus on other things.

Without as much of my time strictly dedicated to soccer, I love to dabble in lots of other forms of exercise including hot yoga, group workout classes, swimming, biking, hiking and sometimes, although rarely, running.

In my spare time, when I’m not working on my homework, or playing sports, I am a hostess at a local restaurant. I’ve been there about a year and love the opportunity to constantly interact with lots of different types of people of all ages.

I started working with DragonWing in the summer of 2014. I’m very excited to be working with this company. I can’t wait to watch it grow and hope to contribute to that!

 

4 Tips Every Young Athlete Should Know for Staying Hydrated

After a long, cold winter just about everywhere in the US, what a relief it is to have warmer weather and longer days. Practices and games that occur during the heat of the day can bring the risk of dehydration, especially for young athletes.

Staying hydrated can help athletes feel and play their best. The U.S. Soccer Federation uses the acronym GOAL for its recommendations for youth athletes, parents, and coaches.

Get acclimated: Young athletes especially need to give their bodies time to adjust to higher, more humid temperatures. Wearing shorts, tops, and sports bras made of moisture-wicking fabric (not cotton) helps your body cool itself.

On-schedule drinking: Don’t wait until you feel thirsty. Increase how much you drink throughout the day, every day. Develop the habit of drinking a glass of water before you go to bed or when you get up in the morning. And be sure to drink before practice or a game, too.

Always bring a drink to practices and games. Stay away from caffeinated, so-called “energy” drinks that can cause health problems, especially in young people. To replace electrolytes after you finish playing, try chocolate milk, V-8 juice, or 100% fruit juice, which contains more carbohydrates, potassium, and nutrients than a sports drink

Learn the signs of dehydration: dizziness, nausea, chills, and unusual fatigue. If you experience any of these, stop playing, move to a cooler location, drink fluids, and – most importantly – notify a coach, parent, or other adult.

What you wear can help keep you cool, too. Dragonwing girlgear is made from fabric that wicks moisture so your body stays cooler. Check out our new Mesh Racer Sports Bra and Un-Dee Light Compression Shorts.