By Candice Wagener | Photography by Hillary Schave
You can easily spot Amy Crowe on the sidelines at her daughter’s games: she’s behind the camera, donning a hat with the words “Do Epic Shit.”
From the ice rink to the basketball court and softball field, the journey of recreational sports through high school athletics with her daughter Emily threw a sharp learning curve at Crowe, who never participated in youth sports herself.
“I didn’t know what to say to my daughter, and everything I said sounded like a cliché,” says Crowe of her response to disappointments like a missed hit or a lost game. “I wanted to raise her so that she had a healthy body, a strong mind and a fun-loving spirit.”
She needed a playbook with a game plan, so she created Sports Mom Mantra, a blog and Instagram account with positive messaging, tips and ideas for navigating the youth sports culture, with a book set to publish in 2022.
“I would capture these moments of [the girls] just being full of confidence and, frankly, being badass. On the court. On the field. And I wanted them to remember that moment.”
Crowe posted her photos with inspirational messages on Instagram, and quickly realized the positive impact when Emily’s teammates shared their gratitude for what she was doing. Knowing she was making a difference was exactly the validation needed to continue growing Sports Mom Mantra.
“We see our kids’ body language and we know that they’re in their heads, so if I can help another mom get her daughter out of her head and help her realize that she is enough, that’s why I wanted to do this.”
Crowe provides tools and resources for raising strong women, whether on the field or in the game of life. She can’t solve every problem her daughter faces — she doesn’t even want that — but she can support a mindset shift.
“[As moms], we get confidence coaching, business resources and self-help books. We listen to Brené Brown and Oprah and whoever else and we take these things and we self-improve ourselves, so why can’t we teach that to our daughters?” asks Crowe. “Why do they have to figure it out when they’re 20, 30, 40 [years old] and they’re dealing with stuff? Why not start it early so that they’re seeking out the resources and they can find things that will help them improve their own mental health?”
Affirmations for Your Daughter
Amy Crowe recommends writing these on your daughter’s mirror with a dry-erase marker:
- I believe in you
- I have confidence in you
- Go have fun
- Don’t worry about the outcome
In the heat of the moment after a tough loss or a missed shot, these are some of Crowe’s favorite ways to reframe the situation:
- It’s the joy of the journey and what you learn versus what you didn’t get to experience.
- It’s OK to be sad that you didn’t reach a dream but it has nothing to do with your self worth; your self worth is not in the field/court/rink/pool.
- You are not defined by what you do out there; you are so much more.