Parents and players often look forward to the end of the fall season. Suddenly, dinners take place at the table together as a family. Homework and studying become priorities “for real.” There are no longer conflicts between friends’ birthday parties and games, or school dances and practices. And so, the beginning of December usually comes with a sigh of relief for players and parents, no matter how much we love youth sports.
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That is, until boredom sets in.
Downtime for families might be a few weeks before the start of a winter season or maybe is longer if the next sport is a spring one. Either way, once that first free weekend passes, kids often get stir crazy, which in turn, drives us parents up the wall.
So, what can you do?
1. Get the fall team together. What the kids – and maybe even the parents also – do together doesn’t matter. It’s more the fact that they’ll spend a few hours hanging out just like in the fall. It can be outside at someone’s house probably playing football, or a trip to the mall or the movies. But no matter what it is, the team will be happy to be back together again. Even if they never huddle-up once.
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2. Find other ways for your child to be involved in sports. Kids can volunteer to help at a holiday tournament, serve as an assistant coach or helper on a team of younger players, keep stats for a friend’s team or just go watch them play. It might not completely cure their own craving to play but being around sports is often more fun than other options for kids who love to play and compete.
3. Find a team to play on. If your child isn’t registered for a winter sport and is bored already, there’s nothing shameful about admitting that and trying to get them onto a team. Many leagues don’t start until January and some are probably still trying to fill rosters. It doesn’t really matter the sport; what matters is it’s one they want to play. Even if it’s a sport they’ve never played before and might never play again, they’ll get far more out of the experience than playing Fortnite.
The best way to overcome withdrawal from youth sports is getting your child back involved with them.
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Jon Buzby has been involved in and writing about youth sports for the past 30 years with perspectives as a parent, coach and board member. Jon is an award-winning writer and his latest book, “Coaching Kids Made Easier,” is available on Amazon. Send comments or future blog topics you'd like to see to JonBuzby@hotmail.com and follow him @YouthSportsBuzz on Twitter