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Learning How to Lose with Integrity

  
  
  
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When two teams face each other on the field, only one team can be declared a winner. That’s just how sports work. In a perfectly equal world we would all win as much as we lose, but in reality some teams might win more than they lose, and some might lose more than they win. But no matter how many times you lose, it’s important that you as a youth athlete learn how to handle a loss with integrity and grace.

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Pre-Game Nutrition Tips for Youth Athletes

  
  
  
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Any sports parent knows that the right food can make or break their player's performance! A hungry athlete is an energy-less athlete and it's impossible for them to play their best if their body doesn't have the fuel it needs in order to perform! But just because you fed your child on the way to the game (we've all done the drive-thru run) that doesn't mean they are actually in tip-top shape. Being full isn't the same thing as being 100% ready to play!

Handling the Pressure of Tryouts

  
  
  
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Unlike league sports, where everyone who registers gets to play, teams/travel leagues that require tryouts are usually much more competitive and bring out the best of the best. One tryout could easily have 3 or 4 times the number of athletes than there are actual spots on the team, so even good athletes might get lost in the shuffle. There is certainly a lot of pressure, especially if this is the first time your athlete is trying out, so here are three ways parents and players can manage the pressure of tryouts:

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Making a Case for the Multi-Sport Athlete

  
  
  
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There are a lot of debates in youth sports; the value of participation awards, the success of co-ed teams, the effectiveness of the mercy rule and more. But the last decade or so has led to a new debate in youth sports: early specialization versus multi-sports. Should a young player commit to one sport year round or is it better to try a different sport each season?

4 Ways to Make Managing League Volunteers Easier

  
  
  
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Without volunteers most youth sports leagues wouldn't be able to keep the fields open for long. Every league manager knows this, and while getting new volunteers can be hard, you want to make sure that you are getting the most out of the volunteers you do have!

Is Running Up the Score Cause for a Fine?

  
  
  
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Just the other week a story ran about a Southern California high school basketball coach that was suspended and faces accusations of "mercilessly running up the score" after his team won a game 161-2, making it one of the most lopsided basketball scores in the state history.

Are Participation Trophies Worth Giving Out?

  
  
  
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In November 2013, Keller Youth Association football decided to stop giving out participation trophies at the end of each season. Needless to say, this local sport's league decision went national with parents and coaches taking hard and fast stances on whether or not participation trophies were a good or bad thing in youth sports. It's arguably one of the most debated things in sports these days, so what's your opinion?

The Importance of League Policies

  
  
  
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Running a sports league is a lot like running a business; it works better when you have policies and processes in place! That way everyone is aware of what's happening, what is expected of them and how to react in various circumstances. And even though your league has been around for decades, it's never a bad idea to revisit some of your policies and make sure they are up-to-date! Especially considering how things in our society change, you might need to create brand new policies!

Overcoming a Fear Failure In Youth Sports

  
  
  
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It seems crazy that a fear of failure could actually lead to more failure, right? But sometimes athletes are so afraid of making mistakes they freeze on the field and actually end up making mistakes they would never make otherwise. A little pressure is good, because it forces athletes to step up their game, but if you let the pressure get to your players it can suck the fun right out of the season!

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5 Things New Coaches Need to Know

  
  
  
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Are you stepping up to the plate (pun intended) this season and finally volunteering to be a youth sports coach? Well first off, congratulations. And secondly, thank you! Without parent-coaches most sports leagues wouldn't exist. Plenty of SportsSignup team members coach their children and we can tell you that you're in for a wild ride! It's going to be a lot of work, but it's also a ton of fun. Here are five things we think all new sports coaches should know:

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