If you are looking for a perfect, smooth, and seamless experience for your child, then don’t sign him or her up to play sports.
Don’t get me wrong; youth sports can be a whole lot of fun, but it also gets very very messy and if you are looking for a good excuse not to get sucked in, here’s four you can take as your own:
Excuse #1: It Costs Too Much
There’s no debate that the cost of youth sports is rising. Add up the cost of equipment, fees, travel team costs, private lessons, and uniforms and I’ve talked to many parents that are paying anywhere from $100-$1000 a month.
A 2014 CNBC post stated:
Spending on baseball equipment is expected to rise 4.4 percent in 2014, according to a National Sporting Goods Association projection. For lacrosse, the figure is 5.7 percent. Other youth sports equipment costs are rising as well.
Paying to play on sports teams is now the norm. Almost two thirds (61 percent) of students participating in middle and high school sports in 2012 paid to do so, with only 6 percent receiving fee waivers, according to a study by the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
Yes, the numbers are depressing. Yes, the costs are rising. But here’s the deal: you don’t have to get sucked in to spending a lot of money! There are cheaper ways to manage your child’s youth sports experience. And there’s some pretty innovative and easy ways to raise money for your child’s team; Flipgive is a a pretty cool answer to that problem. So if money is your only objection, there’s ways to overcome the challenge; don’t let that stop you.
Excuse #2: It Takes Too Much Time
Depending on the team and the age of the kids, teams practice from 2-5 days a week, plus games. Add that to washing uniforms, volunteering for the team, taking game trips–some of which take up the whole weekend–and there’s no argument that youth sports takes a stinking lot of time.
However, what’s the alternative? You certainly don’t want your kids sitting at home watching TV or playing video games all afternoon. If your alternative is another activity such as music, art, drama or Scouts, then time is an issue there too.
As long as you guard some time to just hang and enjoy being together as a family, it’s okay to be busy with activities that your kids love. And when done correctly, youth sports can actually bring families together; Turn weekend tournaments into family trips, encourage siblings to help out at sibling sports events, and celebrate each child’s successes as a family.
Excuse #3: There’s Way Too Much Drama
No argument here. There is way too much drama. And, for many, that complexity destroys the joy of youth sports.
Unfortunately, drama follows you wherever you go in life, whether it’s at work, in the neighborhood, or with your family. So the question should then be, how do I handle the drama? rather than how can I get away from the drama?
You handle it by ignoring it if it doesn’t concern you. You handle it by ignoring if it does concern you because people who are creating drama about you are not your real friends. You handle it by letting the coach do his job, letting the ref do his job, letting the players play without parental interference, and steering clear of the negative sympathy groups that form in the bleachers and on the sidelines.
Excuse #4 (For Coaches & Team Parents): It’s Too Much Work!
If you are a coach or team parent, you know the demands of your job can be very time-consuming. And although there’s no tool on this earth that will erase all that work, there are ways to make things run a lot smoother. In one word: TeamSnap. Use it for team messages, rosters, event schedules, fundraising, volunteer management, and payment tracking. They have a new feature now that allows you to build a team website and another that lets you track your child’s game when you cannot attend.
So quit making excuses for not helping your child’s team! TeamSnap has you covered.
No More Excuses
If you’re looking for an excuse for your child not to play sports, you will really have no trouble finding one. But keep this in mind: there’s no perfect experience for your child because people are human and will disappoint and make mistakes.
So find what he or she likes to do, stop making excuses, jump in with both feet, accept the challenges, and get the most out of the experience.
Youth sports are definitely worth the investment. I learned all my leadership skills playing team sports!