7 Ways to Boost the Back-to-School Sports Experience
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For many families, back to school means back to school sports. If you’re a sports parent, here are seven ways you can help your young athlete get the most from the new school year.
Encourage your child to play multiple sports.
Research shows kids are better off playing multiple sports, even if they love one sport more than another. Children can stay more socially and emotionally engaged throughout the school year.
It goes without saying that school work should come first, but if you also make physical activity a priority, your child will, too. In fact, exercise can help your child become more energized, and focused. Simply create boundaries to help kids stay on track with homework, making sure to work it into the schedule.
Let coaches coach.
Support coaches, even if you don’t agree with their strategy. Letting them do their job is part of yours as a parent.
Find ways to help the team.
If everyone volunteers for just one task, everything can get done. Even small things, like bringing water or orange slices can make a big difference. You’ll become a bigger part of your child’s everyday life, and as an added bonus, you’ll get to meet other parents, too.
Set realistic goals.
Help your child set goals at the start of each season—and make sure they’re doable. Improving specific skills are great options to shoot for, or your child could simply just strive to make a team, or aim to get in shape.
Have your child write their goals out, and then discuss them with you and their coach. This will help fuel their desire to follow through.
Give everyone a clean slate.
Even though you may have heard things about coaches, kids or parents, try to wipe the slate clean at the beginning of the season. Each year is a new start, and everyone has an opportunity to improve and/or shine. Adopting this attitude will help your child do the same.
Model a ‘team player’ attitude.
Parents and coaches preach about the importance of athletes being team players, but the best way for kids to learn this important concept is for parents to model the behavior. How? Support other parents and your child’s coach, and if you disagree about something, agree to disagree.
Janis Meredith is a family coach who wants to help all parents raise champions. You can find out more at rcfamilies.com.
National data actively tracking the safe return of youth sports activitiesSee the map