Mashelle Smith is best known as “Super Mom” on the U.S. Naval Base in San Diego.
And it’s easy to see why.
This tireless and passionate mom of seven is devoted to helping all kids on the base enjoy positive sports experiences any way she can.
She is this year’s recipient of the prestigious Youth Sports Parent of the Year award presented by the National Alliance for Youth Sports. The award is annually presented to a youth sports parent who best exemplifies the NAYS Code of Ethics for Parents, which are based on tenets such as placing the emotional and physical well-being of children ahead of a personal desire to win, encouraging a playing environment of good sportsmanship and supporting the coaches and officials of the program, among many others.
“I love getting to see kids learn things with new sports they’ve never tried before,” Smith says. “I also know it takes a lot of stress off the coaches to have someone help micromanage all the small things so they can just really focus on coaching and being there with the kids.”
Adds Ron Sexenian, the youth sports and fitness director at the base: “Mashelle has been a wonderful parent volunteer. Her efforts exemplify what we try and accomplish, and that’s to build a solid foundation for all the kids.”
She volunteers as Team Mom for each of her kid’s teams competing in programs conducted by the terrific Youth Sports and Fitness staff on the base. And not only does she abide by the NAYS Parents Code of Ethics, but she takes the time to review these Ethics with all the other parents to help ensure a positive environment for all the kids.
“I think people sometimes forget that it’s supposed to be about fun,” she says. “So, I try to tell parents all the time to just let them have fun and they’ll get more out of it that way.”
You name it, and Smith is ready to step up and deliver.
When duty calls and coaches are pulled away from practices and games, she steps in to oversee the team and keep the season running smoothly so kids don’t miss out on coveted playing opportunities.
“Her organization skills are great,” Sexenian says. “She’s like a jack of all trades out there. She can do it all.”
She encourages recreation leaders to communicate with new parents and let them know how important and valuable their efforts are in lending support to their child’s program.
“I think a lot of new parents don’t know what is expected of them and so they don’t volunteer because they fear that it’s going to be this huge task that they can’t accomplish and it’s really not,” Smith says. “It’s really easy just being there to support the coaches and help make sure everything runs smooth for the season.”
Smith assists with the department’s “Drop In Sports Program” for teens, where she does everything from officiating to participating in the popular kids versus parents games.
And she somehow finds time to volunteer at area elementary and middle schools, working in the office and serving as a patrol guard when the kids are dismissed from school.
“I tend to get very involved and excited about things,” Smith says.
She loves supporting the coaches and knows any task she can do for them frees up more of their time to devote to the kids.
“I think if you are just open and honest with them from the beginning you can have a really good rapport with them,” she says. “And I think having Team Parents helps them be able to focus on strictly coaching instead of organizing the after the season party and things like that.”
Through the years she has also cultivated special relationships with those who have volunteered to coach teams in the program, bonds that remain strong years later.
“I’ve been great friends with all of our coaches and I still talk with a lot of coaches from years ago,” she says. “It’s nice to have that community and feel like family.”
And the community certainly loves having Super Mom heavily involved and making a positive difference in the lives of so many.
View the full 2020 NAYS National Awards Presentation:Parent of the Year Mashelle Smith Parenting Coaching
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