Posts from 2019-01-03

Tips for Helping Your Student-Athlete Become More Responsible

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.


Healthy Snacks

Healthy Snacks

5 on the go healthy snacks for your young athletes

Every person young or old, athletic or not, understands the importance of eating healthy. But when you have teenage athletes it can be hard to both keep them full and healthy. Now there is nothing wrong with pizza bites for snacks every now and again, but when they want four or five snacks a day that can be a bit much. But it is hard to find easy and healthy snacks that will fill them up. Here are a few ideas that are not only good for them but taste good too.


That’s a bit of a given really, but you can never go wrong with apples and bananas, after all “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. But keeping a variety of fresh fruit out for your kids can be an easy way for them to eat better. A large portion of the time we all eat snacks because we are bored more than we are hungry, and chips are one of the most convenient things to grab. But an orange sitting out on the counter is much more convenient, healthy, and even the same color as most of those favorite processed foods. These also do not need to be boring snacks. There are always fun ways to spice it up. And apple or even celery with peanut butter is delicious and gets some protein in the mix as well. Or toss some frozen berries in the blender for a refreshing and filling drink. Whether you eat them plain or add some extra flavor, fruit always makes for a delicious and healthy snack.

Trail Mix

Store bought or homemade, does it really matter? Trail mix is a delicious option for when you are craving sweet, or salt, or anything for that matter. The great thing about trail mix is that it is incredibly easy to make at home with all your favorite mix-ins. The options are endless, and everything is replaceable. Don’t like nuts? That’s fine replace it with some Cheerios or pretzels. Or maybe you just prefer walnuts over your regular almonds or peanuts. Or maybe you want to be adventurous and through in some raisons or a couple extra M&Ms. That’s okay, your secret is safe with us. But whatever mix of ingredients you like you can put in a decorative bowl on the kitchen counter or keep in a Ziploc in the car or backpack as your emergency snack for when they just can’t seem to wait the extra 10 minutes for dinner.


Yogurt seems to come in and out of style as a favorite snack. On the downside it is hard to carry around for an exceeding amount of time without it going bad, and todays yogurts in America seem to have far more sugar in it than one might expect. But on the other side, it is delicious, far healthier than many other things that our young athletes eat and can be mixed with so many good things to enhance the flavor. Make some parfait and tell them that they can have some dessert before practice. Yogurt is one of the most underrated snacks for athletes. It is healthy and helps promote digestion and grow healthy bacteria. It provides your child with protein and calcium, which enhance performance.

Proteins Bars

The busy athletes’ best friend. Calorie dense, easily portable, and tastes like chocolate. We truly cannot ask for more. And thanks to a growing market we no longer are stuck with one or two choices. Now we have power bars, cliff bars, Kind bars, Nature Valley bars, Quest bars and so so many more. Despite different dietary needs and different preferences in taste and texture, anybody can enjoy some sort of protein bar. It may not be your top choice but when you are sitting on the tournament field complaining because there is not enough time to go get lunch between your first and second game, that bar hits the spot like no other.


You heard me. Popcorn is one of the healthiest things that we eat, that is before we drown it in butter and smother it in salt. But there are other healthy ways to makes this classic snack tasty and delicious. One that we strongly suggest is parmesan cheese. It adds enough flavor and some protein to your meal. This simple snack can fill you up without making you feel sick and is deceptively healthy for you. Who would have guessed that snacking at the movies is a healthy thing to do? But now you have the perfect excuse. This is an easy and healthy snack that your child can get excited about.

Eating healthy does not have to be hard and gross. People seem to think that eating healthy means eating nothing but peas, Brussel sprouts, and everything else that you argued with your parents about as a child. But that is not true. Want to go the extra mile? Go on Pinterest and come up with some clever ways to turn cauliflower into a baseball if that is what you want to do. But kids will tend to not fight the healthy move if they see you excited about eating the same foods. Plus, it can be healthy and still taste good despite what the television may say about it. Having healthy snacks may seem like a small step towards a healthier lifestyle, but it is more helpful than you would ever guess. We always count the calories in our big meals, but, forget that the snickers bar and hot pocket we had earlier also count.

“Be a Good Sport!”

What Makes a Good Sportsman

What Makes a Good Sportsman:

It is custom that after a youth sports game, both teams line up and shake each others hands.“Good Game!” We ask them to say, even if they are thinking the opposite!

Competiveness is a natural part of growing up.Especially at a young age, comparison and competition are healthy to have towards siblings and friends. At home and at school they are provided a safe environment where their attitudes can develop productively.

Young kids are in a stage of black and white thinking. Goal oriented, anything becomes a game that can be won or lost: Whose toy is bigger or smaller, faster or stronger.They associate winning with being good and losing with being bad. Naturally, children feel frustrated and disappointed when they lose, or feel they are not the best.

These concepts of winning and losing are harmful to kids. Their interactions with their peers are indicative of how they will respond to competition in the world. As they grow older, teens may find that poor sportsmanship is no longer a game amongst friends but actually pushes them away.

Our role as coaches and parents is to teach and build good sportsmanship, while managing competitiveness.

What is Sportsmanship?

As parents and coaches, we urge our young players to “Be a good Sport,” but what does that really mean?

Good sportsmanship goes beyond talent and the ability to win. It is an attitude and a style, worn before, during and after the game is done. Therefore, integrity is a key to good sportsmanship. An athlete who shows integrity is consistent in their actions, which are truthful and reflective of their inner values.Meaning, a good sport can’t just be on the field-they have to take their good sportsmanship off the field too!

So What Makes A Good Sport?

During the game, a good sportsman:

-Plays Fairly by the Rules:

Rules in a game are to make it fun and safe. Breaking them is not only unsafe but also dishonest. A victory won by following the rules is an earned one, making it more fun and giving kids a real sense of pride. Winning by cheating hurts everyone involved and doesn’t induce the same feeling of pride.Cheaters never prosper!

-Respect the Referees Calls:

Referees know the rulebook inside out. They are there to keep the game fair, safe and fun. Respecting the referees call is as much part of the game as playing it. It is part of being a good team player and having a positive attitude towards the rules. A team player recognizes the rules apply to all their team but knows how to own their individual mistakes without fighting the ref!

-Learns (and Leads) by Example:

We ask our young athletes to be a good sport, but what about parents and coaches? Good sportsmen take on many shapes and forms, including fans and spectators. Friends and family should be supportive and encouraging, emphasizing that winning is not everything. Parents may not always agree with coaches and referees but maintaining a respectful attitude will be contagious. Your athlete will also want to maintain a positive attitude and pass it on to their team.

Remaining positive during the game is fun and participative. After the results, it may be harder to keep up the good attitude.Losing can be disappointing, but the there is much more to the game.As parents and coaches, we must continue to promote the idea of sports as playing to have fun and to be challenged. This will encourage a continued display of positivity and courtesy-on and off the field.

Even after the game is done, a good sportsman understands how to be a respectful winner and a gracious loser.

After the game, a good sportsman:

-Shakes Hands:

Good sportsmen are respectful winners, recognizing their victory was hard earned without any need to gloat about it. They are sure not to put the other team down, and even offer a high five or a handshake at the end of the game. By recognizing it was a “good game” despite the outcome, young athletes are made aware that a good game is not necessarily one that was won, but played well between two great teams.

-Says “Thank You”:

There are many officials and volunteers behind every youth sports event. Shaking hands with the opposing team is important, but recognizing the officials is as well.Expressing gratitude towards the referees and coaches demonstrates an acknowledgment of the team behind the team-those who make their games possible!

-Avoids Trash Talk:

On and off the field! Being mean to opponents is disrespectful to them, to the game and to your athlete’s own team. Even if the other team doesn’t hear the comments, it is a poor reflection of integrity and sportsmanship. Talk positively with your athlete after the game, about the loss or victory and speak well of the other teams and parents.

Good sportsmanship does not come easily to children, as they feel naturally competitive. As parents and coaches, we must continue to encourage positive attitudes and construct healthy concepts of winning and losing. By teaching and role modeling, we can help our kids learn this valuable life skill.

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