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Playing the Field: A Mother on Parenting through Sports - Synovia Youngblood

Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014

Playing the Field: Synovia Youngblood (Her daughter is on the UCONN 2014 National Field Hockey Championship Team)  Read how perseverance and determination lead her to starting a business to motivate and coach other parents on raising productive young leaders through sports.

The Milwaukee mother on parenting through sports

By Nicole Haase

In Playing the Field, we profile women who are making an impact in the world of sports, either in competition or behind the scenes. For this installment, we spoke with Synovia Youngblood, the mother of two college athletes.

Of the many people it takes to make sports happen, the one that’s the least talked about is the parent—unless, of course, there’s a fight in the stands at an amateur hockey game or a verbal altercation with the refs at a little league game. Professional athletes often thank their parents, acknowledging the time and effort their parents put in to help the athlete achieve greatness, but what does it really mean to be the parent of successful collegiate athletes?

Synovia Youngblood, herself a successful volleyball player at the University of Southern California in her college days, has two daughters currently playing college field hockey. Oldest daughter Camille is a senior at Amherst College outside of Boston and younger daughter Kendall is a freshman at defending national champion University of Connecticut.

Though she knows her kids might have found their interests lay elsewhere, Youngblood knows her life was enriched by playing sports and so is happy her daughters can also have that experience.

“Sports gives you the opportunity to learn how to work on a team, to learn how to develop individual personal goals, it allows you to think about fortitude—your ability to handle failure or losses,” Youngblood said. “Sports serve so many purposes, especially for girls to (figure out) how do you pick yourself up when you fall down, how do you handle defeat, how do you know what you’re good at, how do you do your own PR? ...You can really take the symbolism of sports and apply it to real life.”

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Bernell Hooker

Bernell Hooker is the Founder and CEO of Images of Us (IOU) Sports; a non-profit organization that empowers girls and women through education and sports. "Think of yourself as an athlete. I guarantee you it will change the way you walk, the way you work, and the decisions you make about leadership, teamwork, and success." - Mariah Burton Nelson