Whether your student participates in year-round or seasonal athletic programs, balancing their obligations to both school and sports can be challenging. The more kids in your family, the more extracurricular commitments. If you aren’t mindful, the entire family will feel the stress of keeping up with their demanding schedules.
Organization And Time Management
Delegate one family member to be the planner and organizer. They are responsible for creating a shared calendar that is color-coded for each family member and each area of obligation. This schedule should include daily/weekly practices, games, homework time, assignment reminders, tests, and deadlines for upcoming school projects. This will help you plan transportation and facilitate schedule changes. Don’t forget to include family time and downtime.
Many families use a white board or desk calendar but consider an electronic option that can be accessed and updated on-the-go.
Find Creative Ways To Maximize Time
Studies show student athletes and students who participate in extracurricular activities tend to have better grades. However, it’s challenging to find time to do homework, especially on game days. This means you must find creative ways to maximize time. Driving to and from practice is the perfect time to review notes, or siblings can do their homework while waiting for their brother’s or sister’s practice to wrap up. Middle school and high school students can explore their options in home periods and study hall.
Plan Ahead, But Don’t Overcommit
As a parent, you want to provide your kids with every opportunity to succeed. So, when you hear of an upcoming sports clinic, day camp, tryout for a new team, or competition, you are eager to sign them up. They are eager to sign up too!
Since many commitments are scheduled months in advance, by the time they arrive, their timing may be less than ideal. While it is important to plan ahead, you must also prioritize. This requires balancing growth opportunities with making sure your student never feels spread too thin.
Schedule Time Off
One of the best ways to avoid burnout is to take time off before your child is feeling overwhelmed. While you want to teach your child the importance of fulfilling commitments, you must also teach them the importance of balance and the need to occasionally say no.
- If they are sick or injured, scale back to give them the time they need to recover.
- If you notice homework is piling up or they are stressed about finals, take a day or two off from practice.
- If they are getting behind in a subject, explore your options for tutoring.
- Plan at least one fun activity a week with family and friends.
- Schedule a family vacation, even if you can only squeeze in a weekend getaway or day trip.
- So, they don’t overcommit and burn out, teach your kids the importance of setting boundaries and saying no.
- Try not to overschedule weekends and allow your students some time to sleep in—and be kids.
Last but not least, keep your eye out for whether your kids are still having fun. Sometimes, it is easy to sign your kids up for another season of baseball, basketball, or their extracurricular activity of choice, simply because they’ve been doing it forever. However, ask if they are still interested and keep an eye out for signs they are no longer interested.
As always, let the Competitive Edge team know how we can help your students achieve their athletic goals!