Why Sports Matter to Me: Lisa Mauvais

What sports mean to me.

Playing sports at a young age has taught me so many valuable life skills. I was raised by a single mother of five so I didn’t have a lot of parental supervision as a young person. My mom worked hard to keep us involved in sports so we could have an outlet to stay active and out of trouble, meet new friends, be social, and to experience all of the other wonderful benefits that come from playing sports.
Growing up I played a wide variety of sports including basketball, softball and soccer. Some of my fondest memories come from playing sports. I remember playing in the outfield on an all-boys baseball team doing cartwheels and playing in the dirt. Traveling to softball tournaments, playing in the hot Virginia summers and just having fun with my teammates. I always enjoyed practices and games and my favorite things in high school was riding the bus to games blasting music on my teammates giant boom box.
Playing sports to me was just fun and it allowed me to just be a kid. As a kid, it did not occur to me that the skills I was unconsciously learning through sports would someday serve me well as a teenager, adult and mother.
In my twenties and early thirties, I enjoyed competing in triathlons, 10k’s, snowshoe races, and playing co-ed softball. Today, at the age of 54, I enjoy biking, hiking, trail running, lifting, group exercise classes, swimming, skiing, pickleball and anything that involves sweating. Staying active still makes me feel like I’m competing and is also a way to clear my mind and stay fit.
When my son was young he used to say, “Mom, help me not to be shy”.
For me, a lot of the skills I learned through playing sports included accountability, perseverance, sacrifice, courage, discipline, self-advocacy, sportsmanship, independence, communication and doing things outside my comfort zone. As an adult, these skills have become very valuable in my professional career. My coach is now my boss and my teammates have become co-workers all working towards a common goal.
My kids were also fortunate to experience all of the benefits of playing sports. They were both very shy when they were little. In fact, I used to have to hold my daughter’s hand on the soccer field because she wouldn’t go out there by herself. With a little encouragement from her family, teammates and coach eventually we couldn’t get her off the field. She excelled at the game and went on to play 15 seasons of competitive soccer. She was even the captain of her high school team. Now at the age of 22 years she is still very active, independent, personable, responsible, and a self-advocator.
When my son was young he used to say, “Mom, help me not to be shy”. He played a variety of sports growing up including soccer, basketball, flag football, swimming, and lacrosse. He is now 17 and a competitive swimmer and football player. He is also independent, responsible, personable and a self-advocator.
Sports has played such an important role in my family’s lives and it continues to be a powerful tool for developing essential life skills! That’s why playing sports is important to me.
Lisa Mauvais,  Partner Success Manager
Every Kid Sports