This post about youth sports has been sponsored by MinuteClinic but all opinions expressed here are my own.
My children have been involved in youth sports in some way, shape or form ever since they were about 4 years old. They did a few seasons of soccer, swam on the neighborhood swim team, play tennis, do gymnastics and are just all around active kids. There is a certain culture to youth sports. You have an interesting mix of both children AND adults on these teams and if you don’t do a bit of planning and organizing, things do not always go smoothly. If you want to save money, stay organized and keep your kids healthy while they tackle youth sports this season here are a few tips you might want to consider:
Tips for a Successful Youth Sports Season
1. Stick to one sport per season. Unless you feel like running your kid from an early morning soccer match to an afternoon baseball game and have no family time at all, limit your commitments. Weekends should be about fun and relaxing with families…not eating at the drive through and changing in the car because your schedule is too full.
2. Check for second hand gear. If your child is just trying out a sport for the first time, look for second hand gear. He may never kick a soccer ball again and then you are stuck with $200 worth of soccer paraphernalia. Look on eBay, Goodwill, thrift stores and Play it again Sports. Ask the coach if other players may have things you can borrow. Youth sports are NOT cheap and you don’t want to waste money when you don’t have to.
3. Buy snacks and drinks with caution: Rarely do children need hydration beverages like those flavored electrolyte drinks you find on store shelves. Those are nothing more than artificial colors, flavors and a whole ton of sugar. Let them drink water from a reusable water bottle. Your kids will be healthier and you will save a fortune. Skip the protein bars and drinks unless your child is well into their teens and is competing at a rather high level. And even then be sparing. A whole grain granola bar and water makes a great mid game snack.
4. Make time for your kid: Instead of just dropping your child off at the field and going to run errands, consider actually sitting down and WATCHING them play! That doesn’t mean you should stand on the sidelines and yell at the coach. It also doesn’t mean you should tell the kid they did a great job when they wandered aimlessly in the field playing with a stick instead of watching the ball. I believe in positive criticism….complement them on their strengths and encourage them to overcome their weaknesses. In order to do this you really need to put down your phone, stay in the bleachers and watch their practices and games. Nothing is so important that you can’t make an hour for your child.
5. Make sure your child is healthy before they start playing. Youth sports require a certain amount of physical ability. Too often we hear about children suffering from physical problems on the field when outwardly they were the epitome of health. Take time to get your child a sports physical before getting involved in youth sports. Even if your child’s sport doesn’t REQUIRE it, get one anyhow!
Get Your Child’s Fall Youth Sports Physical Now!
MinuteClinic is offering sports physicals for just $39 for a limited time (that’s $20 off!).
Even if your sport doesn’t require it, it’s important to make sure your little ones are healthy & safe to participate!
For more info check out the Minute Clinic website!