Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians knows the power of Mom.

“We feel like this is our sport. It’s being attacked and we [have] got to stop it at the grass roots. It’s the best game that’s ever been f’ing invented, and we [have] got to make sure that moms get the message – because that’s who’s afraid of our game right now. It’s not dads, it’s moms.”

Coach Arians, are you nuts? C’mon dude, you can’t be attacking youth sports moms like that! I mean, is it true that moms are more concerned than dads about the health and well-being of their children? Are moms spoiling all the fun because they are tuned in to the dangers of head trauma?

In his own very caveman way, Coach Arians is basically saying, “Hey guys, tell your women to shut up.”

Well, my friend, that’s not gonna work.

Sports would be better, not worse, with more input from moms. They are the true barometers of success for any team. Look around at any game or event; the best teams tend to have the best moms. The worst teams tend to be overwhelmed by dads who think they know better than the coach. It’s not that moms don’t know what’s going on. In fact, just the opposite, many moms know the ins and outs of the sports much better than the dads.

Why? Well, because it’s the moms that keep the train chugging down the tracks.

Moms tend to be the organizers who get the kids to the games or practices in the first place. They tend to be the ones who keep score on the computer or keep track of things at the table. The amount of wrestling knowledge my wife has accumulated after years of keeping score is overwhelming. You want to know if that ball was a hit or an error, don’t turn to the clueless dad of the kid that hit the ball; ask the mom who is keeping track on Gamechanger (a computer program that scores baseball games amongst other sports).

Moms know what is happening, when it’s happening and most of the time why it’s happening.

Coach Arians really gets it wrong; his Neanderthal statement neglects to realize that it is the moms, not the dads, who are the backbones for participation in any sport. The difference between sports dads and sports moms is quiet and rests below the surface, but it is powerful.


Brenda Wilmore
Baseball mom

In my experience, I get to go to games and support my son from the sidelines. I feel that I provide the emotional and logical development of the sport to Adam. I am not always the one out there throwing the ball or practicing with him, but I am there for him when he gets hurt physically or emotionally. I am the one that gets to help him work through his feelings about the sport and how it might be affecting his game, friendships and the love of the game.

Marianne Hojnowski
Baseball, soccer, basketball and gymnastics mom

Sports dads focus on the actual game. The logistics of it. Developing and targeting skills related to the sport. Winning and losing. I am all about the intangibles. What life skills develop simply by playing a fun sport? The skill of winning and losing graciously. Teamwork. Being a good teammate. Discipline and focus. Dealing with disappointment. Dealing with success. Making memories and friendships. Taking care of and being responsible for their own equipment. To name a few.

Michelle Petty
Football and baseball mom

Moms like to see the experience, the learning and the teamwork that the kids are getting out of it. I feel like the dads get a bit too caught up in the winning and losing.

Shannon King
Football mom

Some moms are too prissy; some dads are too intense, reliving their own glory days. Indeed, if you want to ask somebody how it’s supposed to be done, just wander into the stands at most youth sporting events. You will find a wide assortment of dudes pacing about, questioning every move the coach is making and quick to tell you about how “he” did things back in the day. These aren’t bad guys. In fact, these are some of the most loving and supporting dads you will ever find. However, watching their progeny often seems to be a direct reflection on their own self-worth. Sports moms see things differently, but they are no wallflowers.

Ashley Peifer
Cheerleading and soccer mom

I actually think sports moms are way more competitive than sports dads. But sports moms have lots of drama involved, like high school cliques. Sports dads have no drama. I think when you are paying $5,000 to $15,000 for sports per kid per year, everybody is competitive – from the kids to parents. Seeing your kids be successful is most important. But nowadays, you have to think about scholarships for kids at a young age, and that’s very important.

Julia Lyons
Basketball, softball, football and lacrosse mom

Sports moms are more concerned with the overall sports experience and growth of our kids’ emotional and physical strength than the outcome of each game. That’s not to say we don’t enjoy watching our kids win, but we also love to see their confidence, teamwork skills and ability grow even if they lose a game. They have learned valuable life skills that carry over into every other part of their lives by being in sports and a member of a team.

Mary Alice Hagerty Richey
Baseball and swimming mom

I am calm and supportive, but cheering loudly on the inside – they don’t like when I cheer. Dad is vocal and takes it personally when something does not go well.

Denise Trujillo Kilber
Baseball mom

I may be just as enthusiastic as any dad out there. I think the main difference is I wanted him to physically be healthy as well as mentally healthy – sunscreen, massage, proper arch support, hydration, sunglasses, etc. Dads tend to look past these smaller necessities. I also bring a medical bag… just in case.


You see coach Arians, your paranoia about moms is rooted in the fact that they simply think of things that would never occur to the dads. The dads are superior because they forget stuff? To praise sports dads over moms is to simply say that you prefer people that leave you alone. Have you ever seen what a dad actually brings to a game? Nothing!

The moms have all the stuff! And if you have all the stuff, you have all the power. Mom after mom rolls up to the games with a collapsible cart filled with everything you can imagine. These carts are a new revelation. They used to run upwards of $100, but you can get a good one now at Sam’s Club for $50. Inside are umbrellas, blankets, chairs, sunscreen, bug spray, coolers, first aid kits, chargers, pens, markers, scorebooks, iPads, snacks, sandwiches, ice packs, water, soda, Gatorades, cameras, banners and my favorite – duct tape.

Rebecca Pierce
Roller derby mom

We have one daughter who plays roller derby for Denver Roller Derby. My best memory is watching her jump up after taking a wicked hit and she kept pushing through the pack to score. She had landed on her skate and had wheel bruises on her leg. The best thing a derby mom can carry – duct tape. It’s the cure for all skaters. Velcro on pads won’t stick? Laces broke? Duct tape reigns supreme.

I mean, a sports dad might have some duct tape in the trunk, but I bet it’s not handy.

Coach Arians, moms aren’t ruining sports, they are making the entire experience better. They are smarter and more reasonable. They are caring and nurturing, while still being fiercely competitive. It’s not whether or not you’ve played the game; it’s whether or not you support the players playing the game.

In the end, it will be the moms that the players go to. Have you ever seen a kid leave a dugout to ask for advice from his dad? Nope. But you’ve seen plenty of dads go bug their kids in the dugout (myself included!). No, when the kid leaves a dugout, the first person he is seeking out is his mom.


Well, she has all the stuff.

Bruce Arians and others who want to minimize and marginalize the sports mom are a sad, out-of-touch crew. To think that a sport’s demise is because of moms is absurd. If kids aren’t playing a sport because a mom doesn’t want that kid to play a sport, it’s time to look at the sport.

Not the mom.