Good Sports

This post is sponsored by Citi. To learn more about access to the best in live music, sports, dining, family entertainment and more with an eligible Citi® credit card or Citibank® Debit MasterCard visit Citi Private Pass.  To get involved in the conversation happening right now with Citi and sports camps visit
photo 5
I am not a sports person. I never have been and it was always a source of contention growing up because I sucked at absolutely every. single. sport that existed, save for bowling, which I had insane luck with as a kid, and still do. (Not an athletic claim. My form is hideous. My form in all things athletic has always been hideous.) 

Not that that should say anything about my kids' athletic ability. Hal was a big tennis stud growing up and my dad was a competitive runner all his life, trained with future olympians and even landed on the front page of the NY Times Sunday Sports Section in the 70s for a steeple chase... gone wrong. (He fell. And got a huge article. About falling. In the NYTimes.)
I mean... simmer down with the insults, New York Times from the 70s. I'D LIKE TO SEE YOU TRY! Also, you misspelled WOOLF. 
11 ... twice. 

I didn't know what to expect from the Brian Kelly ProCamp but I did read up on ProCamps and thought it sounded like a solid organization.

In their words:

Thanks to the support of national, regional and local sponsorships ProCamps hosts tens of thousands of kids every year, including underprivileged youth from each community

I showed the big kids the website and asked them if they wanted to join me for the day. 

"Football camp?"

"What will be doing there?"

"I have absolutely no idea."

"I'm in."

"Me too!"

And sure, we knew football was involved and that Brian Kelly was the coach for Notre Dame (because I did this new thing called google) but other than that, we knew zero. My kids have never been to a sports camp, let alone played sports outside of school recesses and family kick-the-ball-around-the-yard, so this was not exactly within our comfort zone.

Still, the kids wanted to come so we went all in. I even wore my sneakers and workout gear in case moms were allowed. (They were not.)

Moments after arriving at the camp in Mission Viejo, Archer turned to me and said, "It's too bad Bo isn't with us, she would have loved to do this. We could have done it together!"

And he was right. Bo would have absolutely LOVED this camp. I felt guilty the entire time that she wasn't with us. Not that she would have been able to play. She has a few years to go before she's old enough but, like Archer, I immediately thought of her. THESE are her people, I thought. Fast, physical, fearless... (Fable, not so much. And while I had hoped she'd want to get out there with Archer and give it her all, she was not having any of it. Fair enough. I would have felt the same way. We sat together and watched/talked/danced to the music that was bumping from the PA system like whoa.)

I immediately scanned the field for girls and counted four, out of, well...many more than four.
photo 3
Still, four made me smile. Four made me excited. And it wasn't just me. The coaches were all about the girls who were out there giving it their all with the boys. That takes a certain something to get in there knowing you are outnumbered 1/50.

The coaches actually made me want to love football and watching them do their thing for three hours, I recognized the importance of team sports in a way I hadn't before. And maybe it was just these coaches in particular that moved me in a way I felt compelled to write about... but watching these men TEACH and CARE and THROW THEIR HANDS UP IN THE AIR AND SAY YEAH made me feel all the things. Because, MENTORSHIP. 
photo 2
... Specifically, male mentorship for boys, which is something that is hard to come by these days outside of, say, family... (Archer is surrounded by amazing men in his family but even still, having a male teacher this year has been HUGE for him. MENTORS ARE EVERYTHING. And watching the coaches pump up these kids with all sorts of positive affirmations made me a believer real fast.) 

(I've blogged about Joe Ehrmann before who is one of my heroes and he speaks to this a lot as well.)

At the very least, I thought, Archer will have a really awesome experience surrounded by coaches who love to coach.

And he did.

Archer was way into the camp, which I was not prepared for. He has never taken an interest in sports outside of school and I didn't anticipate he would want to come with me to see the camp, let alone participate. But he was beyond into it and not only that, HE WAS AMAZING.

Like, beginners luck amazing. He was also wearing a Michigan cap all day which I was later told was kind of... well... not exactly awesome. (Michigan and Notre Dame aren't exactly BFFs.) That shows how much I know about this stuff. I mean, everything I know about Notre Dame I learned from watching RUDY. (Which is just the best, isn't it?)

After camp I asked Fable if she was interested in maybe joining a team and doing a sport this fall.

"No thanks! I'll just do art for now."

Fair enough.

And then I asked Archer.


Regardless of whether that maybe becomes a yes, we'll definitely be back. Bo will be old enough to rock some touch football soon and this is JUST the place to take her.  Props to Brian Kelly for hosting such an amazing event and Rod Huber (who MC'd the event) for being such a FORCE. I fell in love with his energy throughout the day and the kids clearly did, too. Great coaches are a special breed.
photo 5
Oh and P.S. We watched Rudy over the weekend... ONE OF THE GREATEST FAMILY MOVIES THAT EXISTS save for Pollyanna which we also recently watched as a family. (We've been watching a lot of great classics this summer. Post forthcoming on that, for sure. In the meantime, I just realized that Pollyanna and Rudy are essentially the same movie. Positive thinking FTW.) 

Henceforth, I would like to end this post with this iconic scene for your daily dose of motivation. Who's the wild man, now...

Thanks for a great day, Pro Camps. Keep on, coaches. Play on.