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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?

Why The Physical Presence of Parents Matters in Youth Sports

  
  
  
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Parents can make or break a youth sports season. Not only are they the ones registering their children for Little League or Pop Warner football, they are the ones driving their kids to practice, volunteering to coach the teams, organizing team dinners, chaperoning away tournaments, playing catch at home, and more. The attitudes and actions of sports parents really can make a child love or hate playing sports. But even if you aren't the biggest sports fan yourself, the physical presence of parents during practice and games make a huge difference.

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3 Tips for Managing a Multi-Athlete Family

  
  
  
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If this is the first time you've got more than one child playing sports each season welcome to the family! There are dozens of practices and games to make, team dinners to plan, fundraisers to organize, away tournaments to get to, and more. Managing a multi-athlete family may require a little more planning than you suspect, so here are three tips to make it through the season.

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Three Ways for Parents to Avoid Politics in Youth Sports

  
  
  
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For better or worse youth sports, especially as the competition level grows, can be full of drama. Parents team up against coaches, coaches penalize players for the action of their parents, league administrators pick teams made of their friends, parents get into it with each other, and more. Too much drama can suck the fun right out of a season, and keeping your hands out of the fray might be the best way to ensure your child doesn't get caught in the cross-fire of youth sports drama.

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The Drama of Tryouts

  
  
  
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As youth athletes get older, say around 10 or 11 (although it could be much sooner depending on the sport), the chance to get involved on more elite teams comes around. These high-powered travel teams may play year round, travel each weekend to away tournaments, and compete against some of the best squads in the country. They have access to better coaches, one-on-one training sessions, and other "perks" that can put a child heads and shoulders above their friends that may only play sports casually. Many parents believe that getting on these teams are the first step in building a life-long athletic career for their child and will move heaven and earth to make it happen.  But, in order to get onto these high-powered teams youth athletes have to make it through tryouts. And that's where things can get messy, especially when parents get involved.

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When One Team is Dominating the League

  
  
  
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Most youth sports leagues are organized by age; U-8, U-10, U-12, etc. Some have argued that it's actually better to organize leagues by size (so you don't have a 10 year old boy who weighs 70 pounds and a 10 year old boy who weighs 85 playing tackle football against each other), or by talent skill so that players who have been playing for years are competing against similarly talented players, while those new to the game get the playing time and coaching they need to develop their skills. Hopefully most leagues focus on randomly assigning players to keep the talent pool spread out across all the teams equally (and when a league doesn't it's very obvious very quickly), but not every league takes that approach.

Playing a High-Pressure Position in Youth Sports

  
  
  
Playing a High-Pressure Position in Youth Sports

Even in team sports where all the positions rely on each other to win, there is oftentimes a more high-pressure position; the pitcher, the quarterback, the goalie, for instance. As a pitcher or quarterback, a huge portion of the game rests on your shoulders. After all, it doesn't matter how great your receivers are if your quarterback can't throw decent passes, right? And if a pitcher just keeps walking batters it doesn't matter if they have the best shortstop in the league. Although soccer goalie might not be moving around as much as a mid-fielder, when it's their turn to make a play if they screw up the end result is a goal for the other team. In a typically low scoring game like hockey or soccer, even missing one or two shots can result in a loss.

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