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Sierra Soleimani
January 15, 2016

Parents Survival Guide to Team Sports



I bet you can't wait for your kid to get a car, right? Constant driving to and from practices, countless 7 am breakfast contributions, numerous meets, booster club volunteering - the sports participation comes at a heavy price to parental units. Once you've accepted that the clock is cursed and there aren't enough hours in a day, you can channel the frustration into being a hacker parent. Here are a few life tips on how to be a good sports parent without going crazy:

Download Helpful Apps

There's an app for pretty much everything. There's no time for last minute calls for changed venues or weather cancellations. Use apps like Team Snap and Event Bright to keep the team notifications organized and in one place. 

Use a Calendar

Nothing feels worse than that "oh crap" moment when you realize you forgot it was your turn for to carpool. Keep a calendar to remind you of every date and detail along the way, even down to "buy groceries for tomorrow's team breakfast".  At the beginning of each season, put all of the game times and locations into your calendar. 

Volunteer Often

Your kid's team will need help and you can (and should) lend a hand. Here, every skill is important. Are you a good cook? Great! A hoard of hungry kids are headed your way after a home game. Are you better by email? Awesome! You can keep the team connected, help the coach out and coordinate other volunteers. Parents who volunteer join a network of other parents which is a great way to share hacks, ideas and countless car rides. 

Watch the Homework

Your new high-schooler will be really into their sports and their new life, but the assignments in high school are a lot more challenging, so it will take more time to complete them. Help them work on the school/sports balance.

Build a Routine

Help your child build a routine so that they can learn to organize themselves. Encourage them to prep their backpacks the night before and make their own lunch. Less work for you and it sets them up to be self-sufficient when they leave the nest.

Facilitate Friends

All work and no play makes for a grumpy teen. When they have time outside of practice, schoolwork and practice, insist that they hang out with friends, preferably outside!

Eat Dinner As a Family

Crazy schedules can make it really difficult to get the entire game together for meal. But, according to research, teens who ate family meals five to seven times a week were twice as likely to get A’s in school than those who ate dinner with their families fewer than two times a week. Make dinner time an electronic free zone and take the opportunity to talk about each others' days. 

Organize the Car

During sports season, the minivan can turn into a mobile home. Avoid this by keeping the van organized. Keep crates in the trunk to keep loose items from rolling around. Make a car trash can. Place a shoe holder behind the driver and passenger seats to hold small knick knacks. 

Don't Overcommit

If you have multiple children involved in multiple activities, life could get real crazy, real quick. Try to stick to one sport, per season, per child to maintain a good sports/life balance. 

Master the Laundry

Nothing is more frustrating than a lost jersey, not to mention they can be quite expensive to replace. Keep a special drawer in the laundry room for jerseys. That way you can put them away right out of the dryer and your teens will always know where to find them. 

Pin Away

For anyone looking for ideas about ANYTHING, the answer is pinterest. This is where you will find recipes, sports parenting hacks and all things DYI.

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