Over the last decade, my children have been very active in a number of different kids sports. This caused quite a bit of chaos around the house some days. Sometimes we were pulled in a million different directions and the bills, gear, and time commitments were overwhelming. We managed to survive (thankfully!) and now that the kids are teens, our lives have stopped revolving quite so much around sports and focus more on school. I thought I would share a few kids sports tips that helped us keep our sanity intact while the kids were younger. I will also share a few affiliate links for products that you might find helpful.
Kids Sports Tips:
Kids sports have a lot of benefits. Keeping kids physically active is one of the best ways to combat childhood obesity. It also keeps them from spending 8 hours a day in front of the TV. Or saying ‘Mom, I’m bored’ a hundred times a day. Getting them out to run around for a couple hours did wonders for my sanity! However, if you are going to venture into the world of kids sports, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Here are a few kids sports tips to help you survive the season without pulling your hair out in frustration!
Be prepared to spend some money
Unfortunately, kids sports are not cheap. Uniforms, appropriate shoes, balls, club fees, travel costs…it all adds up to put quite a dent in your budget. Look for secondhand gear at places like Play It Again Sports or on Craigslist and Freecycle. Ask the parents of older players on the team if they have any hand me down uniforms that you could buy. Our swim team has a suit swap to help find suits for younger swimmers. Carpool whenever possible to cut costs on gasoline.
Get your calender organized
If you have more than one child in more than one kid’s sports you are going to need a calender to keep track of things. Hang it on the wall in the kitchen and give each child and/or sport its own color-coded marker. Blue means soccer practice for Billy and Red means running club for Rachel. Whatever works to help you keep track of matches, practice, team parties, etc. Hanging a daily wall calendar will help keep your schedule right up front and center.
Pack yourself a sports bag
No, you do not need to back yourself a racket and balls but you might want to pack yourself something to keep busy during practice. While I enjoy watching my kids play, I don’t really want to do it for a solid hour. Pack a book, snack, drink, knitting, or whatever else is going to keep you busy while your kid works up a sweat. Use a decorative cloth backpack to keep your things contained.
Learn to say NO
It is important to realize that family time is sacred. You cannot spend quality time with family if you are always on the go with your kids. Have each child choose the sports that they most want to play and then say no to everything else. This is the hardest one for me to actually follow myself. I finally put my foot down when my daughter wanted to add volleyball to her already packed schedule of gymnastics, running club, tennis, Girl Scouts and piano. There are only so many hours in a day! Helping kids prioritize their commitments will be helpful later in life. Learn how to say no and keep your sanity intact.
Keep your gear contained and ready to go
If you have shin guards in the closet, the soccer ball in the garage and the water bottle missing, you will never make it on time to practice. Find a sturdy bag to help store and carry your child’s gear. Keeping things contained in a sports bag will make it that much easier to get yourself out the door on time.
Hopefully, these kids sports tips help you take back your life from the chaos that is spring ball (or swimming, or running or whatever your child loves to do). Family time and your mental health are important. Don’t let kids sports take over and make life too stressful to enjoy any more!
Have any other kids sports tips to share?
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