Breaking the 'soccer mom' stereotype - WNEM TV 5

Breaking the 'soccer mom' stereotype

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) -

Behind every youth soccer player is a soccer mom and dad making it all happen.

"Mini vans packed full of balls and cleats and smelly socks. I think they're more of a minivan class," said Kim Harsh, sports mom.

That's what comes to Harsh's mind when she hears the term "soccer mom." A term fitting for Nancy Harnick, who has been playing the role for 14 years with her three kids.

"I'm not the one who shows up with the orange slices, but yet I'm there every day, every game, every practice," Harnick said.

Harsh's son Jackson doesn't play soccer, but he has been heavily involved in other sports like baseball and football. While some associate the term "soccer mom" as something negative, she said she sees it as a good thing.

"Noble for sure. I don't find any negativity in it. I think it's great," Harsh said.

Harnick said she has always loved getting her kids involved in sports.

"It's been a lot of fun, a lot of fun. The kids never played travel soccer, but they've always done recreational soccer since the 19-year-old was in kindergarten. And they've played all since through high school," Harnick said.

When it comes to the term "soccer mom" she is not a huge fan.

"I don't really like the term soccer mom, but I get where it's coming from. I'm just a mom," she said.

While the minivan fits right in with the soccer mom stigma, Harnick said she couldn't do without it.

"Yes I have a minivan. I needed it for space. I love it. She's never let me down," Harnick said.

Tricks of maintaining the chaos

"You give up a lot of time, a lot of weekends, camping time. You have to get up extra early if there's chores to do," Harsh said.

Time, energy and money are just a few of the things that go along with signing your kids up for youth sports.

"Well, there's always costs. There's uniforms, costs to join the team, to feed them. You get good at packing snacks or you'll go broke eating out," Harsh said.

While it is time consuming she said she wouldn't trade it for the world.

"Sacrifice is a good word, but it's well worth it. These kids are so passionate about this and they just wanna play," Harsh said.

She said there are things to remember when you're playing cheerleader on the sidelines.

"Warm clothes, sunscreen and sunglasses," Harsh said.

Harnick used her more than a decade's worth of experience to share some valuable tips.

"You don't need to be the coach. We have coaches that are great. Let the coaches coach. Enjoy it. As far as supplies, you need a little of everything from shorts to parkas to gloves and umbrellas," Harnick said.

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