NFL and USA Football #MomsClinic with Chicago Bears

20140902_200002Recently I was able to attend the Mom Football Safety Clinic thanks to the NFL, USA Football and the Chicago Bears.  After attending the clinic at Northwestern a couple months ago with USA Football, I wasn’t sure if there was much I’d learn at the event but I’d never pass up a chance to get back to Halas Hall and the Walter Payton Training Center.

The Bears spoiled us moms with great content, some fabulous goodies to take home and fun photo opps with current and former players.

I have always taken hydration pretty seriously but after learning more about proper diet and hydration from the experts I will be even more diligent about making sure my kids (and any others I can influence) are properly hydrating, before, during and after sports.

I also got a few minutes to speak one on one with Chris Golic (wife of former NFL player and current ESPN radio show host, and mother of three college athletes) about being a football mom.  I asked her about how she encouraged her kids when they struggled and how she dealt with sideline drama and how she managed to keep all those active kids fed.  It all boiled down to two things:

1. Enjoy it.  This passes quickly and is supposed to be FUN!  If that means you have to step away from the pack, shut out the negativity or whatever just let it be fun!

2.  Support your kids 100%.  There is enough critique and criticism coming at them as an athlete so just be the one to tell them you love them and support that no matter what.

Another great remind came with this slide of reasons most moms will site as reasons for signing their kids up for sports.  It’s important to note that 8 & 9 are VERY statistically unlikely so if that’s your reason you may be unhappy eventually.  But there ARE still plenty of great reasons to let you kids play sports.

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If it’s all about the fun (while of course keeping safety in mind) I definitely was on the right path that night because it was a ton of fun!

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Thanks again to the NFL, USA Football and the Chicago Bears!10654886_1461446080798648_584809863_n

Are YOU Ready for Some Football?

sbc_logo(1)While this time of year is considered ‘Back to School’ for most, for our family it really only means one thing…FOOTBALL SEASON!
If you’re a fellow lover of the game, you need to check our ScoreboardChallenge.com where you can enter to win 100 gallons of free gas (valued at $350) with the fuel company of your choice.   Enter now as Week One has just started!

It only take a few seconds to enter and there are no strings, nothing to buy, and no registration needed. All you have to do is enter how many points you think will be scored amongst all 16 featured football games.  If you’re correct, you can win the grand prize! It’s fast, easy, and completely free.  Every single week, a new contest and prize package will be announced. It costs nothing but a few seconds to enter your guess and the winning result could be $350 in FREE gas!  Go enter now as a tie will go to the person who entered first!

Show of YOUR football knowledge and WIN!

Visit scoreboardchallenge.com to enter.

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USA Football Heads Up #ProtectionTour at Northwestern University

protectiontour usa football northwestern riddel stadium panaramicLast month Timmy and I got a chance to head to Northwestern University to take part in the USA Football Protection Tour.  Always one for learning about keeping my boys safe while playing the sports they loved I jumped at the chance.  Of course, Timmy will take any chance he can to get to visit Northwestern as he already dreams of attending there.

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We were both surprised to learn that USA Football and the Heads Up Tackling technique was totally different than what he’d been taught his two previous seasons of youth tackle football.  However I was pleased to learn that the new team he’d be joining this season was a member of USA Football and all coaches are taught and teach the Heads Up technique.
I also enjoyed learning about proper helmet fitting directly from the staff of Riddell.  While coaches are certified and should know how to properly fit a helmet it’s helpful to me to know what to look for just to be able to make sure it STAYS fitting properly all season.

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If you’re not familiar with Heads Up football or USA Football check them out online.  You’ll learn that Heads Up is supported by the NFL as well as college football.  It is the hope of USA Football and it’s supporters that as the emphasis on safety spreads injuries will decrease and the sport can continue to flourish.

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Note: This was a free event open to any youth football player and his family. We were not compensated for attending or for sharing this information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books for Kids: Sports Illustrated Kids Big Book of Who: ALL-STARS

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own honest, personal feedback.

 

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Sports Illustrated Kids Big Book of Who: ALL-STARS ($17.95, Ages 8 and up) features facts on and statistics for more than 100 of the world’s best athletes that every young sports fan wants to learn more about, including LeBron James, Derek Jeter, and Shaun White. The third title in the Sports Illustrated Kids Big Book Of series, Big Book of Who: ALL–STARS recounts the amazing achievements of these all-star athletes in a broad array of sports, including baseball, basketball, football, golf, hockey, racing, soccer, tennis, as well as Olympic and extreme sports. Readers will find statistics about all-stars and sports legends from Missy Franklin to Larry Bird, and Pelé to Cal Ripken, Jr. along with many, many more.

 

I’m pretty sure my 11 yr old would read the phone book if it was published by Sports Illustrated, but he wouldn’t learn a ton more sports related info that way.  The boys loves all things sports including stats and stories or all kinds so he is eating this book up.  But even the less enthusiastic sports fan can’t help but be inspired by these stories of the best of the best.  To me, that’s the best part of sports, the hard work and dedication paying off!  I think this is an easy enough read (less a few of the athletes names) for the suggested age and am sure any die hard fan would enjoy it.

WHITE SOX HOST ‘WILD ABOUT THE SOX’ PRESENTED BY SHEDD AQUARIUM

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Program on August 6 to Feature Presentation by Shedd Aquarium Experts with Animals, Videos and Trivia

The Chicago White Sox will host “Wild About the Sox,” presented by Shedd Aquarium, prior to the game on Wednesday, August 6, when the White Sox take on Texas at U.S. Cellular Field at 1:10 p.m.

“Wild About the Sox” is an educational field trip that leaves the confines of the classroom behind for a real-world lesson about marine life.  Combining the excitement of White Sox baseball with an interactive and fun program about marine life, Shedd Aquarium experts will host a 45-minute presentation with animals, videos and trivia for fans at 10:30 a.m.

In order to attend “Wild About the Sox” activities, specially-priced tickets are available for purchase at whitesox.com/soxwild or by calling (312) 674-1000.  Tickets for the event will not be available at the U.S. Cellular Field ticket window.

Fans attending can enter through Gate 5 starting at 10:15 a.m.  The presentation will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m.

 

Have you been to a Sox game this season?

 

 

Sports Art

When I say the boy lives and breaths sports, I’m not kidding.  If he’s not playing, watching or reading about sports….he’s now doodling them!

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Kenosha Kingfish Take Two with Fergie Jenkins

The only thing better than one day at the ballpark is TWO days at the park, right?  This past weekend we went to our FIRST Kenosha Kingfish game AND our second!  We’d planned to attend the first game with my dad and stepmom (and their Rotary and Kiwana’s friends) for quite awhile, but then the recreation department where the boys play ball organized a night too and I couldn’t pass up going to another game while supporting our recreation board.  So we attended games Saturday AND Sunday.

Our second game included, Kingfish bobble heads, hats AND Chicago Cubs hall of famer, Fergie Jenkins.

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It was also a much less busy day for us so we were able to get to the ball park early. After we made a stop at Wing Stop for our free wings we got from the previous night’s game (I believe the promotion was that each visitor gets a coupon for 5 free wings if a Kingfish player gets walked in the 5th inning.)

Since we had time the boys got to enjoy the kids zone stuff.  It was nice to be prepared for them to play in sand and get dirty!

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It was another gorgeous day.  Started a little warm but as the sunset, it was perfect!

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And Timmy took his first crack at keeping stats.

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Overall another great time was had by all…and the Kingfish won again!

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We’ll definitely be back!

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And there were no fire works this night but we did stop and the boys collected some player signatures before we headed out and stopped for Culvers, again thanks to a promotion from the game (BOGO coupon) that I think was from them getting 5 runs in the game.

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Kick Off Chicago Preseason Football with Essex Inn

Essex Inn sponsored this post and provided game tickets and hotel stay, however, the opinions I share in this post are my own.

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Check out this amazing preseason football game package from Essex Inn.  In addition to watching the BEST¹ team in the NFL without the threat of frostbite this Essex Inn package includes everything you’ll need for a unforgettable game day experience.  This is the perfect package for any fan with a reception with former Bears wide receiver, Marcus Robinson and fan pack with game day goodies. Being only minutes away from the stadium means you’ll be back at the beautiful Essex Inn in no time where you’ll be able to enjoy all the fabulous amenities (including rooftop pool, fitness center and free wi-fi)  it has to offer.

Add a second night for more time to explore Chicago.  Visit EssexInn.com for tons of fabulous area attractions!  While you’re there, be sure to check out the variety of other fabulous packages available from Essex Inn.

Join  special guest Marcus Robinson* (former Bears wide receiver) at Chicago’s Essex Inn for finger food and football talk at our exclusive Pre-Season Reception before each game.
Don’t miss out! Availability is very limited so sack this deal and secure your spot for these special events.

Starting from just $219** per person, the package includes:

  • Entrance to the special Pre-Season Reception prior to the game
  • Fan pack filled with game day goodies
  • Two tickets to a pre-season Chicago home game
  • One night’s accommodations for two people, including tax
  • Hotel valet parking for one car during your stay
  • Free pool, fitness center, sauna and Wi-Fi
  • Free shuttle to The Magnificent Mile and Museum Campus, please check at reception for schedule

To book, call 312-542-5119 and ask for the Pre-Season Pre-Game Event Package.

Hurry, book your package now before they are all sold out! Our reservations team is available Monday – Friday 8am to 4pm CST at 312-542-5119.

*Special guest appearance is not guaranteed and may be cancelled or substituted without notice.
**This package is designed for two people sharing a room. One night stay required, pre-paid at the time of booking and is non-refundable. Talk to our package specialists about taking your whole family.

The Pre-Season games are August 8 and August 14.

Don’t forget to ask about adding a second night!

 

¹Claims not endorsed by Essex Inn and are the sole responsibility and opinion of the writer!

Kenosha Kingfish, Ozzie Guillén and Family History

 

This past weekend we finally got the chance to get up to see a Kenosha Kingfish baseball game.  Because of our love of the sport, we’ve been known to take in a game of just about every level at a wide variety of locations and stadiums.  But there is some definite personal family history at the newly renovated/updated Simmons Field in Kenosha, WI.  You see, my father played baseball at Simmons Field for the Kenosha Pirates, a semi-pro team sharing the fields with legendary players like Satchel Paige.  Simmons Field started as a family tradition with my dad’s Grandpa taking him to games when he was young and comes full circle with him taking his grandson’s there….

And what a great time we had making a ton of fabulous memories.  The Kenosha Kingfish have done an amazing job with not only the stadium but the entire experience.

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This particular night the Kingfish honored the Kenosha Comets.  If you’ve watched a League of Their Own you’ll recognize some of these uniforms (and if you haven’t, you should, right now!!!)…

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AND Ozzie Guillén was at the field signing autographs.  This made my lil sports collector super happy. (Yes we’re Cubs fans FIRST and FOREMOST but have love for all of our Chicago teams).

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Timmy just happened to be wearing Bryan’s Sox hat from T-Ball because he was tired of wearing it after a double header, and Ozzie insisted on signing it for him in addition to the photo!

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It was a great, beautiful day for a ball game with my boys.  And the fact that the Kingfish won was just icing on the cake.

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And the fireworks…were the cherry on top!

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Our Last Season of T-Ball

 

IMG_20140628_130237This weekend we wrapped up our last season of T-Ball…ever!  If Bryan decides to play ball next year he will graduate to peanut baseball.  He seemed to have fun this year so knows what he will decide for next year.  But it’s sort of bitter sweet to think that we are DONE with T-Ball either way.  Granted, T-Ball can be a little …tedious, with lots of reminders to stop playing the dirt, watch the ball etc, it still feels a bit like the end of an era!  I’m still trying to figure out how the little butterball of a baby that spent a sweaty summer watching the older boys play T-Ball got to be so grown up!!

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