Monday, February 11, 2013

A Man's view: 5 Ways to make the most of the game, with kids

I vividly remember our first USU basketball game as a family. It was a chilly, snowy day in Logan.  I dropped the family off at the Spectrum and had to drive quite a distance to find a parking place.  I parked the car and nearly floated to the Spectrum in excitement. As I neared the Spectrum the electricity could be felt from the HYPER fields. However, after finding my family the excitement diminished. Three of my four kids looked quite bored. In fact our oldest daughter (six at the time) never even looked at the court the entire game.  She sat sideways and had a blank stare.  I knew then that something must change. To get the kids ready to love USU sports we did the following things:

Tradition: We started in 1888 and highlighted the 1940s when their great grandparents attended USU and cheered for the Aggies, the 1960s when their grandparents attended and cheered for the Aggies, and the 1990s/2000s when their parents cheered on the Aggies. A favorite story we tell the kids is how Amber and I would meet at the Merrill Library and study together. We have a memorial brick from the library that sits on our bookshelf and reminds us of the beginnings of our family.

Pageantry: Taught them "The Scotsman." Need I say more.

Legendary Moments: Shared stories about memorable Aggie sports moments. For example, one of my favorite basketball memories happened on March 4, 2000. I was in the Spectrum with a capacity crowd to witness the Aggies defeat Boise State and go undefeated in league play. A magical moment.

Aggie Blue: For the next Game we all wore Aggie Blue. For Christmas that year we bought all the kids Game Day T-shirts. The kids were delighted to dress up in their T-shirts for the next game. This definitely helped add to their excitement level.

Bribery: On the way up to the next game we got pizza and ate it on the way up. The kids couldn’t eat the pizza until they practiced yelling out cheers. This definitely made an impression. The kids yelled so loud that game they could hardly talk the next day. Our three-year-old screamed “GO AGGIES” so loud she had everyone sitting by us energized.

Taking the family to Aggie sporting events is a great way to bring up the next generation of Aggies and to relive some of the fun moments from our days as students. Go Aggies!

What works for your family?

Post provided by guest writer and USU alumnus, Kade Minchey '01 

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