Jul 8, 2011

Sports Mom Series: Helpful Hints

Photo credit: alexispuentes from morguefile.com

As I mentioned in my first Sports Mom Series post, I LOVE being a mom of kids active in youth sports.
But having one child who plays two seasons of soccer and another who plays baseball and basketball and really wants to play football can get to be overwhelming. 

Before committing to a new sport there are a few things you really need to consider.

There are several classes or things you can do when they are younger that really don't involve a lot of commitment of forethought but when you begin talking about Little League or Football or Cheerleading, you will want to do some research.

Things to consider before deciding on a new sport (or continuing to higher levels in some sports)
  1. Commitment: What used to be a two hour a week sport with TBall and Peanut is now upwards of 8 hours a week for our family.  Because my son is dedicated, we're willing to do this but it's not for the casual player and when those players decide not to show up, the team could end up forfeiting a game at these higher levels.
  2. Scheduling: Sometimes it might be hard to get much detail PRIOR to signing up about dates and times, etc but you'll want to do your best to find this out, especially if your child(ren) is involved in other activities.  Scheduling conflicts can add a ton of stress to you and your child.
  3. Cost: It might 'only' cost you $75 to sign up for a team, but don't forget to consider all the equipment they'll need.  You might be able to get away with just a pair of new shoes with basketball, but parents of hockey players tell me there is hundreds of dollars worth of equipment.  If you have a daughter doing competitive baton or ice skating, you might be shocked by travel expenses as well as costumes costs if you doing do your research in advance.
  4. Travel: Younger kids sports are usually played at local park districts, but it isn't long before teams will be traveling to other towns to play team sports.   You'll want to be sure you find out where you'll be expected to travel to so you can decide if you have the extra time and money to commit to traveling.
  5. Environment: This one is a big one for us as we've learned that various leagues foster hugely different environments.  I'm all for coaches teaching and correcting my kids but some leagues around us have coaches screaming and even swearing at 9 and 10 year old players.  This is not acceptable to me, so I don't care how 'good' these leagues are, I won't be signing up.  Once you're involved in sports, it usually doesn't take more than talking to other parents to start learning about other areas leagues and how the operate.


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