Raising Teens

A site for parents of teens striving for sanity

Category: Sports

Dad encouraged football, now she’s reporting live from Superbowl

I love this story posted on Bizwomen.com, mostly because of how Sam Gordon’s father nurtured her talent and encouraged her to follow her passion. It’s a great message for parents of teen girls who show athleticism. I hope some of your daughters see Sam during the Superbowl and are inspired by the opportunities she represents.

sam gordon


From Bizwomen.com:

Remember when this 11 year-old girl was tackling boys twice her size?

The young football player Sam Gordon became an Internet phenomenon in 2012 for her impressive skills on the field. It didn’t take long for her catch national attention — she landed a spot on Conan, smiled on a Wheaties box and joined NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the 2013 Super Bowl.

Now she’s onto her next big gig: She’ll be reporting live from Super Bowl XLIX for MAKERS.

After the 2012 excitement, Gordon took a year off of football to focus on soccer (which she also excelled at), but she missed football too much to stay away. These days, she plays on a boys’ football team near Salt Lake City, Utah, and her dad is her No. 1 fan.

“I said, ‘Hey Dad, would it be OK if I played football this year?’ And he said, ‘Sure, that’s fine.’ My dad never said no to anything like that just because I was a girl,” Gordon said in a video shown at the MAKERS conference last year.

Gordon’s dad said that people were surprised to see a small girl dressed up in football pads and gear walk onto the field. At first, parents and other kids would say, “Oh, look at that girl, she’s so cute.” But when they saw her scoring touchdowns and tackling boys, the tone would shift to, “Get that girl. You gotta get her. Boys don’t get beat by a girl.”

Her dad then posted a video of her playing football online, and in just a few days, the video had 4 million views. TV stations started calling.

“I really felt good that Sam’s story could help promote the idea that the potential of girls is greater than what maybe we give them credit for,” her father said. “Don’t underestimate your daughters.”


Why can’t kids focus in school the way they do in sports?

Over the Thanksgiving Holiday, my daughter Olivia had a Soccer Tournament for her U-16 Girls  Travel Team.  I started to notice over the course of a couple of the games how Olivia was so focused, determined and always preparing for the next play. I was so impressed how she knew what to do and didn’t need to be told to focus or pay attention. Best of all… NO CELL PHONE!

Olivia also plays for her High School JV Soccer team and again that same week, I noticed how much better of a player she has gotten by really listening and paying attention to the coach. I was so proud when Olivia scored a goal for her school. All I kept thinking was “wow, first time I don’t have to worry about her making the right choices”.

After the game, I said to Olivia, “I am so proud of you and Dad is too. I wish all the hard work, effort and focus you put in playing soccer well and winning, you would put into your life and all aspects of it.”

At the Thanksgiving tournament, she actually started! Her hard work paid off! Again, I told her how proud we were and that working hard has rewards.

Why can’t she apply that to her personal life? I just don’t get it. Why doesn’t she want to “win” or “be the best” in school and in her life choices?

Havent figured out a way for her to get it yet but, I will not give up trying. I so hope it’s just a freshman thing because if her passion for soccer continues, which I think it will, no way  will she get a scholarship if her grades aren’t there. See, on the soccer field, no socializing, no texting, its all game. You are there to win.

Well, now I just need her to play just as hard and win in the game of life!

Mom sits quietly in the stands trying not to embarass her teen — well, kinda

My friend Pat Dunnigan at Suburban Kamikaze posted this video. It cracked me up, so I figured Pat wouldn’t mind if I shared it with you (right Pat?) I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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