Did you know there are millions of kids who participate in youth sports every year, and for each one of them, there are all kinds of options for them to choose? As a parent, how do you decide which program is right for your child? Do you sign up for the first program you find? The least expensive? Before you commit your kid, research the programs in your area. Sports require a lot of time and could have a big impact on your child’s life.
Here are things to consider:
Is the program enjoyable?
First and foremost, keep in mind sports are supposed to be fun. It’s important to find out what kind of experience a youth sports program offers. Talk to other parents who have had children participate in the program. Ask them what they did and didn’t like about it. Ask your kid’s friends where they play. If a youth sports program isn’t fun, your child will not enjoy participating and may even grow to dislike sports.
Does the program offer good coaching?
Remember over the season, a coach will spend many hours with your child and will be setting an example whether positive or negative. A quality coach will not only be a positive role model but may also help your athlete learn the game and refine their athletic ability. Ask the coach things like: Why do you coach? What’s your coaching philosophy? What’s your experience? How do you prepare for the season?
Does the program teach life skills?
An all-around sports program will teach your athlete the rules and skills of the game but also life lessons. Through sports, your child can learn teamwork, following instructions, discipline, sportsmanship, and how to set and achieve goals. These lessons will far outlast their athletic career and may enable them to attain even greater success.
What are the program’s demands?
After you have found a program that will give your young athlete a positive experience, you need to see what the program’s demands are. Ask questions to determine if the program is a right fit for you and your family: Are there any additional costs? How long is the season? How much time will it require every week? Where are the practices and games held? If the program requires more time and energy than you are able to give, the practice time will outweigh the benefits of playing on the team.