November 12: Happy Birthday, Nadia Comaneci!



Happy birthday to Nadia Comaneci, the first gymnast, male or female, to receive a perfect score, a 10, in an Olympic event. She won three gold medal at the 1976 Olympics and an additional two at the 1980 Olympics. Named one of the athletes of the century by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the Romanian has won nine gold medals at European Championships and two at World Championships.

PassHat: Coach's Gifts Made Easy

Every sports parent has been there, right? You offer to be the organizer of the end-of-season gift for the coaches. You send emails. Talk to parents at practices and games. Send reminders. Collect money from those who have cash with them. Send reminders. Figure out what and how to buy a gift. Send more reminders. And a few more reminders. Thank goodness for PassHat, a new secure online group collection service, that makes the process soooo much easier. PassHat isn't just for coach's gifts. You can use it for any group collection effort: class gift for teachers, co-worker's retirement gift from the office, even a birthday present for a friend from a group of friends. From the PassHat website:
Create, invite, remind, collect and deliver a gift from your group from the comfort of your browser. No more collecting cash, depositing checks, nagging people for a contribution or remembering to buy a gift card - PassHat does it all for you!
The added benefit that I consider the icing on the cake? PassHat offers a variety of gift cards right on its site, so you can select and deliver the gift with a click. PassHat can be used to collect dues, registration fees, pretty much anything that requires the collective donations of a number of people. They're offering a special 50% DISCOUNT for the Dragonwing girlgear community, so don't hesitate. Now, if only it could do laundry.... Check out a PassHat video by clicking here or see below.
No Texting and Swimming! - Dragonwing Girl

No Texting and Swimming!

Now that Thanksgiving is over, high school swim season is just around the corner—Anna’s first meet is four days from now. Two friends and I are the volunteer “meet officials” for her school so we are in charge of the timers, setting up the computer, and making sure everything runs smoothly. Anna’s school has a combined middle school/high school team, which at first glance sounds nuts, but it works. The middle schoolers (7th and 8th graders) pair up with “big brother/ big sisters” (upperclassmen) who cheer for them, support them, and help them acclimate to the team. This is Anna’s first year being a big sister, and she’s taking her job as role model for a tween girl very seriously. She’ll be emphasizing team spirit, cheering for teammates, sportsmanship and helping clean up after the meet. Tween girls go through a lot of changes in such a short period of time that life can get overwhelming for them. There’s sports, school, boys, and concerns about body image. In addition, today’s tweens are dealing with all the social pressures found in social media that we as parents never had to deal with. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat can add to social pressures and in some cases lead to isolation.
photo credit: Jim Bahn photo credit: Jim Bahn
The blessing of swimming two hours a day four or five days a week is that phones and computers are not allowed near the pool—the kids can’t check Instagram while executing a flip turn! But more importantly, there is less time for social media. Swimming on a team, or participating in any sport, leads to real friendships and face-to-face conversations. I know it sounds crazy, but as the first meet approaches I’m really looking forward to managing the meet with my friends and watching the girls form new friendships.