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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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Why Isn't My Child Playing?

  
  
  
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Love 'em or hate 'em, there is no denying that Bostonians take their sports any every level very seriously. The other day I came across this article on Boston.com that discussed what is probably the #1 LEAST favorite question a coach gets asked; “Why isn’t my kid playing?” Plenty of youth sports coaches have had to find a way to tactfully answer this question because, let's be honest, no coach wants to say and no parent wants to hear "They’re just not good enough.” While at a young age we at SportsSignup believe that every child deserves as much time on the field as possible, especially when they are still learning the fundamentals. As children get older and the level of competition gets higher some youth athletes are bound to stand out amongst their teammates and the pressure to win grows. Maybe those players are naturally more talented, maybe they were exposed to better coaches at an earlier age, or maybe they just work harder than anyone else. But as players get older some athletes will be at the head of the pack, others will be in the middle, and still others will fall behind.

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Why Does Your Child Want to Quit Youth Sports?

  
  
  
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One of the best things about youth sports is that it teaches our children the importance of commitment. You have to finish what you start and quitting mid-season would mean leaving your team hanging. Even if you don't love baseball/soccer/tennis anymore, you made a commitment to the rest of your team and it's important to see if through. However, there are two sides to every story and your child might have a very valid reason for wanting to hang up their cleats mid-season. If your child comes to you mid-season and wants to quit, the most important thing a parent can do is find out why they want to quit. Their explanation should be what decides whether you let them quit or have them stick it out through the rest of the season.

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The Odds Are Not in Your Favor When It Comes to Athletic Scholarships

  
  
  
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Parents, coaches, and trainers are constantly debating the pros and cons of early specialization among youth athletes. Many parents believe that if their child is going to have any chance of earning an athletic scholarship to college one day they simply have to become a master of one sport as soon as possible. Having an extra few years of training, coaching, and competitive play under their belt is going to make all the difference, right? The counter argument is that early specialization leads to burnout and pushes kids to quit at a young age, and since most kids aren't going to get that elusive athletic scholarship early specialization is hurting more players than it helps. We can't argue that some of the world's best athletes started at a very young age and spent years playing hard, but those are the exceptions, not the rule.

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Should You Coach Your Own Child?

  
  
  
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Most sports leagues survive because plenty of moms and dads are willing to step up the plate (pun intended) and volunteer to coach. And we at SportsSignup applaud those sports parents willing to give up their weeknights and weekends to coach a dozen 8-year-olds and teach them the finer points of baseball/soccer/football/lacrosse. Being a coach is not an easy job! But even if you want to coach, it's important to know that one of hardest things about being a parent-coach is knowing how to handle coaching your own child.

4 Things Great Sports Parents Have in Common

  
  
  
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Everyone always talks about “those” sports parents. The ones that are overly competitive, argue with the coach, build their child up the next Michael Jordan, and coach from the sidelines. Unfortunately those sports parents with the bad behaviors are the ones that make the news and get all the attention. But we feel it’s very important to celebrate the great sports parents, the ones that make youth sports a wonderful place for our kids!

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Does Everyone Deserve a Trophy? Survey Says No!

  
  
  
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We've written about the debate over everyone getting a trophy in youth sports before. It was arguably one of the most discussed and debated topics we've ever hit on! Some people say that giving everyone a trophy (such as a participation award) undermines the value of the award itself and teaches kids that "showing up" is good enough. You don't get a reward for being "average" in real life, so why should we teach kids that lesson in sports? The counter argument is that parents need to lighten up! It's just Little League and giving a 7 year old a trophy is going to make them happy so why not let them have it? Isn't that what youth sports is about anyway?

3 Tips to Manage Sibling Rivalry in Youth Sports

  
  
  
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While professional sports isn't overflowing with sibling rivalries, the Manning brothers and Williams' sisters are great examples for all youth athletes and their siblings to follow. Even if they are competing against each other Peyton and Eli, and Venus and Serena are still each other's biggest fans. They play their hardest, respect each other as competitors, but remember they are family first when they step off the field.

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What If You Can't Pay to Play?

  
  
  
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In the United States, parents spend $671 on average per year to cover the costs of uniforms, registration fees, and private lessons and coaching. At least 1 in 5 ends up spending over $1,000 per child, every year. Last fall we came across this interesting news story that reported;

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Even if Your Child Loves to Play, Should They Play All Year-Round?

  
  
  
Multisport Hands In

Earlier this year ESPN ran a story showing that most kids playing sports do love playing...but is loving the game enough to justify the year-round play (and possible consequences) that comes with high-pressure travel teams?

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