CEBU CITY, Philippines—Behind every great athlete is a supportive mother.
Her role is important as she makes sure there is a balance in the children’s lives as athletes. While dad usually takes care of the physical aspect, mom is there to make sure they are guided mentally.
One who is known for being good at being a mother to athletes is Fritz Alcoseba.
The 48-year-old Alcoseba is a mother to three promising athletes: Raven Faith, Rolan Renz, and Fionna Alcoseba.
Among the three, it is 19-year-old Raven Faith who is, at this point, the more talked about as she has already won a silver medal in women’s individual triathlon in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam in 2022. This was her first stint in the biennial meet.
While some call her a stage mother to her three kids, Fritz considers it as a gift and as a life-long challenge to be a parent of three promising athletes.
“I’ve been told that I’m a stage mother, probably because I’m always on the sideline, witnessing all their events and achievements,” she says.
She doesn’t mind it, though, as she knows being present in their competitions is important for the children.
“For me, being there is very important, especially during the times that they need you the most,” said Fritz, who is married for 21 years to a husband with a basketball background.
“There were actually times that I felt guilty because I missed watching their competitions. But I always make up a point to be there with them. I’m always their official photographer. For me it’s one of the best ways to make memories, especially my husband who always tell me to take photos.”
Fritz says the challenging part of being a mom to her children athletes is making time for them during competitions. She is also a housewife who needs to attend to house chores and works as an assistant manager of a bank.
“Every day is pressure for me since I don’t have [anyone] at home helping me do the chores for more than two years already. But I’m very glad my kids are becoming responsible and help me at home. Part of my routine is attending and watching their competitions. So, I’m kind of used to it, but the pressure is still there,” she said.
Fritz, like most mothers, knows how to get through the pressure to give her family the best.
One of the best things she did was hone Raven Faith’s skills when she was still young.
That early discovery of Raven Faith’s potential in swimming paved the way for her to become a national team triathlete.
“Raven was already a good swimmer back when she was eight years old after we discovered her potential in a summer swimming clinic in Talisay City. After that, me and my husband decided to help her develop her skills, that’s why she was discovered by coach Andoy (Remolino). I didn’t expect that a simple summer clinic to keep her busy paved the way for her to become a national team athlete,” Fritz recalled.
“Me and my husband helped her with everything we have to support her sports career.”
Fritz’ resolve was tested when Raven Faith suffered a health problem a few months ago, which divided her attention at home and at the hospital.
Despite the challenges, Fritz managed to overcome it, helping Raven Faith recover through from laparoscopic appendectomy.
“I’m very glad that my two kids at home were responsible enough to take care of themselves when I was nursing Raven Faith at the hospital. They took care of themselves and our 10 dogs at home while I was at the hospital,” said Fritz.
“I also realize that I have more reasons to be proud of Raven because she overcome a great ordeal being hospitalized and sidelined for a month, but still she competed in the SEA Games and finished fourth. Despite the short time of preparation, she finished strong. I’m the proudest person for her.”
Be a motivator
For Fritz, there are certain things moms or parents don’t easily see in their children/athletes. That’s why she says they need to be with them constantly to make sure problems are spotted early on and solved immediately, especially when it comes to mental health.
“As a mother of three athletes, I always give them advise all the time, especially for their mental health. I always remind them that problems and obstacles are always there. It’s part of life, but we as parents need to be there with them to guide them through their problems and teach them how to deal with it until they’re mature enough to help themselves.”
Fritz Alcoseba, the mother who has, so far, successfully raised three promising athletes, has this message to those who also have children in sports.
“Tell them the reality, to expect that life will always have problems. [The important thing is] how you handle them. Also, don’t push your kids beyond their limits because that will discourage them from their sports. Just push them and if they give up, then that’s their limit. Parents have a big role in molding their kids, so be a motivator and help them set their goals.”