How did mom influence your athletic career?

Recently espnW asked its 21,000-plus Twitter followers how their mothers influenced them as athletes, and the responses ranged from hilarious to heartwarming. Whether you are an Olympian or were your high school's blooper-prone backup centerfielder, it's clear that it was often mom who made you believe in yourself -- and, oh yeah, bought your sneakers, shuttled you to practice and braided your hair. In no particular order, here are our 10 favorite responses, plus a few from the pros.

1. Lauren Lobrano @lclobrano
She drove me to every practice, watched every game & always made sure my braids and ribbons were perfect! pic.twitter.com/DMuYoGoK

2. Sarah Ferguson @ferguriffic
My mom supported me in the 70s when I wanted to play Little League baseball. Every time I got cut, it hurt us both. Finally made it!

3. Alex Gibson @gibs11
My Mom signed me up for every sport possible when I was young because she didn't have the opportunity to play sports. #thanksmom

4. Jillian Fay @jillfay
Never let me quit a team/sport I had made a commitment to, even if I hated it

5. Sports Betty @TheSportsBetty
Mom treated me just like my older brother. She expected me to compete at everything and I never wanted to let her down! #thanksmom

6. Risse8 @FCPBreakers
By telling me that if I came home w/ anything less than a B on report card during the season, I couldn't play basketball.

7. Alfred Epps @mralfredepps
Helping me sell all my candy to raise funds for our bball uniforms.

8. Lauren Lappin @lappin37
She was my taxi driver, hair braider and cheerleader. Most importantly, Mom showed me how to be active, committed, and passionate!

9. EricaIsBusy @EricaIsBusy
My mother never told me there was a difference between what a man could do and what a woman could accomplish. #IsItMothersDayYet

10. Amanda Watson @amandamo32
She begged me not to play and I did to spite her.

And a few from our espnW contributors and pros:

Heather Mitts @heathermitts
She not only taught and inspired me to become active but then made me believe through hard work I could achieve anything #SuperMom

Laura Gentile ‏@LauraLoo23
My mom was the rock! Supportive always and a shining example of hard work, tenacity, resilience. Janice G.

Adena Andrews @adena_andrews
Told my mom I didn't want to swim anymore b/c I think i have asthma. She laughed and sent me back to the pool. All I had was excuses.

Jessica Hardy @swimhardy
140 characters isn't enough! Love u @denrob45

Wendy Boglioli ‏@wendyboglioli
Without mom I wouldn't have had my first swim coach, fun at meets, love at home, and a Gold & Bronze Olympic medal #IsitMothersDayYet

Tweet @espnW to tell us how mom inspired your athletic career. Use #isitmothersdayyet

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