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Making Youth Sports A Positive Experience for the Kids

  
  
  
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A lot of sports parents and coaches get so invested (which isn't inherently a bad thing) in youth sports they forget one crucial thing--it's not about you! No matter how much YOU love sports, no matter how big of a sports superstar YOU were, no matter how much YOU want your child to play, at the end of the day it doesn't come down to what you love or you want; it's all about the kids. Yes, YOU are the reason they played t-ball when they were five and six, but as kids get older playing youth sports has to be something they want to do. With 70% of kids quitting sports by age 13 clearly we are doing something wrong.

3 Sports Behaviors Coaches Can't Ignore

  
  
  
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As a youth sports coach, those 12 or so kids are under your watch and your protection during the game/practice, and you are ultimately responsible for what happens to your athletes. And while even the best coaches can't control every single little thing, there are some behaviors that you can't let slip by.

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4 Reasons Online Registration Software Makes for a Better Sports League

  
  
  
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If you are an sports administrator that has to deal with the tedious tasks associated with sports registration and administration, an online registration system can have a huge impact on how you manage your league!

Winter Sports Safety Checklist

  
  
  
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If your son or daughter is a winter athlete than you know firsthand how different it is to play sports in the winter compared to the summer. Being a winter athlete means dealing with a whole different set of circumstances so you need to follow a different set of rules to stay safe!

Celebrating the Small Victories

  
  
  
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Everyone loves to win, there is no denying that. And while the easiest way to tell who won is simply by looking at the scoreboard, as legendary basketball coach John Wooden said, “Never mention winning. My idea is that you can lose when you outscore somebody in a game. And you can win when you're outscored.” It's entirely possible for a team to win by playing dirty, just like it's also possible another team could play the best game of their life and still lose. Losing can certainly take some of the fun out of youth sports, but it doesn't have to ruin the entire season (even if the team your child is on loses more than it wins), as long as you remember to look at and celebrate the little victories.

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Why Do Your Kids Love to Play Sports?

  
  
  
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As parents we all have our reasons when we sign our child up for their first season of youth sports. Maybe we want them to make new friends, play a sport we loved as kids, or get them more active. And while most kids will try a season or two of sports just because mom and dad want them to, at a certain age kids have to actually WANT to play for themselves. But what makes a young athlete want to play? Why do they love sports? (Hint: it's not just so you can relive your childhood!

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How Can We Teach Our Children Good Sportsmanship?

  
  
  
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It's easy to be a good sport when you're on the winning team; when you make the game-saving play; when all the pieces fall in-line. After all, how can you be upset when everything worked out perfectly? But someone's true attitude and sportsmanship level comes through when they lose, when they (or their teammate) makes a mistake, and when everything falls apart. Being a good sport means winning with honor and losing with dignity. So how can we teach our children good sportsmanship?

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3 Ways Parents Can Protect Their Youth Athletes

  
  
  
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There is always a risk of injury when you're playing youth sports. And unless you're just going to cover your kid in bubble wrap for the rest of their lives, there is always the chance that something could go wrong and they'll get hurt. But parents can and do make a difference when it comes to keeping their kids safe and preventing most injuries. All it requires is a little extra attention.  

Do You Believe in the Mercy Rule?

  
  
  
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A few weeks ago we came across this story about a PeeWee football team who suffered a $500 fine and an automatic one-week suspension for their coach when a young player’s first touchdown put the team over the 33 point league mercy rule. It’s probably safe to assume that the 8 year old receiver didn’t think that his first touchdown (a major point in any football player’s short career!) would end up hurting his team. And is a coach supposed to stop a player from scoring his first touchdown in order to not “run up the score?” While there are two sides to every story, the mercy rule in youth sports is often hotly debated in leagues and amongst coaches. Does the mercy rule prevent one team from steamrolling the other? Or does the mercy rule actually hurt more than it helps?

3 Ways Sports Parents Can "Let it Go"

  
  
  
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If you have children under the age of 10 you've probably seen "Frozen" at least once in the past year. Probably even more than once...a lot more. By now you know all the words to "Let it Go" and while the song may be getting on your nerves, the idea of learning to "Let it Go" is something every sports parent should take to heart. It's very easy to get caught up in the passion and excitement of youth sports, but there is a fine line between being an enthusiastic and supportive sports parent and transforming into one of "those" sports parents. Here are 3 ways sports parents can "let it go" when they get overly invested in youth sports:

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