Tips for Helping Your Student-Athlete Become More Responsible

Every parent knows how hectic it can be trying to get out of the door on time with all of the necessary supplies.

If your children are involved with sports, then you know this struggle all too well.

There is nothing more frustrating than getting to a game two hours away and hearing “Mom, where are my cleats?”

As a parent, it's easy to get sucked into the role of doing everything for everyone.

To help make your life easier, why not put your kid in charge of their own supplies?


By teaching your children to be responsible for their own uniform and equipment, when it comes to sports you are teaching them basic and essential life skills.

You are preparing your children to be self-sufficient, which is something that many seem to not learn until their college years. This is a skill that will serve them throughout their life and teaches them that there are consequences to their actions.

If they prepare early, then there is little chance that they will forget essential equipment and gear such as their cleats or socks.

If they wait until the last minute, they will likely struggle and forget something. Your child may experience the feeling of being rushed which teaches them why preparation is essential.

Furthermore, it guides them to think ahead.

It may start with sports equipment, but it quickly translates into preparing for school and vacations. Planning out their school work, sports, and play is very rewarding and gives them a sense of freedom. Scheduling time for work, chores, and social events are things that even adults struggle to balance.


As with any other new responsibility, it can take a while for your child to get used to being responsible for their own gear.

In the beginning, it may be helpful, especially for younger ones, you assist and guide them with packing everything up so they can see how to do it.

When going through the steps sit down and make a checklist of what items they need for practices and games.

By writing out a list together, they can feel as though they have a say in it and control of the situation, which will make it a much smoother transition.

Post the list on the refrigerator door or wherever else you feel may be helpful and let them start packing on their own.

Hopefully, they will remember to check their own list, but it is never a bad idea to go over it after they say they are ready to go.

Organization Check

This is one that you have probably heard for school. Teachers will often suggest going through binders and backpacks every couple weeks to make sure that nothing is lost and to get rid of what is unnecessary.

This is true for sports as well and will certainly help keep things smelling better.

Every week go through the sports bag with your kid and take out any of the empty water bottles and balled up socks that have gotten stuck in the bottom.

Going through sports bags frequently means that it is likely to become a habit and your child can apply it to their own for school, and maybe even to clean their room.

A Spot for Everything

If your child starts to get frustrated with having to do everything on their own, that’s okay.

New responsibilities are always hard, but there are some ways to make this easier.

One of them is to have an organized system.

Most parents want this in their home anyway, everything has its place, and that’s where it should stay, but having everyone participate in putting things where they belong is far from easy.

Having your kid pack their own equipment is an excellent way to get this started because if there cleats and ball and water bottle are always in the same place, then packing will be much more comfortable and less frustrating.

Help your child find the most logical and convenient places for their equipment and remind them for the first few weeks to keep putting things back when they are not being used.

Having responsibilities as a child is never as hard as people make it sound when a child knows what their job is and how to do it.

When given the tools to do it right, they can build the skills that they need for a life full of responsibilities.

This will help you as their parent, and help them prepare for a prosperous future.

Starting with merely packing their own equipment for sports games and practices will quickly turn into far more.

Help your child by walking them through the steps until they can do them independently so that one day they can take care of themselves and you can help with other important life aspects.