Are youth sports right for your family? Good question. There seems to be a huge emphasis on sports in our society. I know plenty of boys who play three or more sports, are on multiple teams, or focus on one sport for the entire year. It’s not just the boys. The girls are showing what incredible athletes they are as well. Most of us parents sit in the stands dreaming of sports scholarships as a way to pay for college. Things sure are different than when I grew up. Back in the day………..we played one sport for a season and then we were done. Maybe by the time we got to high school, we might play a couple of different sports. Now, kids are starting sports at younger and younger ages. I’ve heard of soccer leagues that allow children as young as 2 to play.
As each new sports season rolls around there are opportunities to sign your children up for teams and individual sports. There are lots of benefits to playing sports, but before you sign your child up for a new sport there are several questions you should ask.
5 Questions to Ask Before Signing Your Kids Up for Sports
1. Does my child want to play?
This is probably the most important question to ask. Not all kids like to play sports. It is important to find what makes them happy. It may be hard to know if they like sports until they try so be prepared to listed to their opinions. My youngest played baseball for several years and then decided it was too slow-paced for him. He wanted a sport with more activity. With some sports there can be a safety issue if your child decides that they don’t really want to play. Forcing a child to play a sport that he/she isn’t interested in could leave them open for injury. Make sure your child is ready for a routine. Sports seasons can be really long if they are more interested in running around the field than actually playing the sport. Help your kids to find joy in physical activity by encouraging them to find a sport that they like.
2. What are the fees involved?
It is important to really understand the fees involved before committing your child to a sport. Registration fees are just the start. Is equipment provided by the league/organization or is that something parents are expected to purchase? Uniforms, tournaments, travel, and even team snacks can really add up and become a problem if you are not prepared.
3. Can our family make the time commitment?
Being a sports parent is a lifestyle choice. You give up some of yourself to make sure your child has a good youth sports experience which is why this questions is so important. Find out how many days a week they will be practicing? How long are the practices? Which days? Where are the practices? How much travel is involved? If you have multiple children in sports you are likely looking at a scheduling nightmare. Make sure that your family has the proper time to give to the sport.
4. Does the league/organization take safety seriously?
You are signing your kids up for a little fun and certainly not for a life-long injury. Make sure the sports group takes safety seriously. Do they have proper safety equipment? Are the facilities maintained in order to reduce potential for injury? Are there protocols in place to evaluate injuries? There is a lot a talk right now about concussions in sports. Soccer and cheerleading are at the top of the list for concussions……….yes, even more than football. Make sure your sports group takes concussions seriously. Your child should never be encouraged to play injured.
5. Does the league/organization background check their coaches?
I really hate to bring this one up, but it is important. Your child will be spending a lot of time with their coaches. You want to make sure that they can be trusted. A good organization will background check all of their coaches each season. Some groups may choose to background check their coaches every other season. Find out what your organization’s policy is on background checks and make sure you are comfortable with the procedure before you sign your child up for the sport.
There you go………5 questions to ask before you sign your child up for sports. What would you add to this list? What sports does your child play? What is your favorite part of being a sports family? Leave me a comment below and let me know.
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