How To Help Your Child Juggle School and Youth Sports

In August 25, 2016

Finding the time to juggle youth sports and schoolwork can quickly become overwhelming for many young student athletes. The pressure to get good grades and excel in sports can take the fun out of what used to be a favorite activity. Developing time management skills can sometimes help student athletes enjoy the game while still getting all of their schoolwork done. Below are a few more tips on how to help your child juggle school and youth sports.

  • Teach your child how to prepare a schedule. While this may seem like common knowledge, it can be helpful to work with your child to fill out a calendar with important dates, times, and notes. Setting aside even just 30 minutes to 1 hour on the weekends to schedule for the week ahead can help keep your child on track with upcoming assignments, tests, practice, and games. Once they know what to write on their calendars and how to write it, they will have this skill for the rest of their lives.
  • Talk about priorities with your youth athlete. Many young athletes are focusing on getting sports scholarships and awards, which are fantastic. However, it is also important to stress that good grades are also a part of being eligible for such scholarships and awards. There may be times when your child has to miss a practice or a game to focus on their school work and if you have set priorities, these missed practices and or games shouldn’t be as big of a battle.
  • Talk about personal goals with your child. Being open about your expectations of their school work and athletics can help keep the lines of communication open, which is crucial during times of stress. If you set the expectation to have good grades, it shouldn’t be hard to get your child to focus on school work after practice or during a study hall period.
  • Use sports as an incentive, not as a punishment. It can be very easy to say that you will take sports away if your child’s grades are suffering, but phrasing it differently can help encourage your child instead of discourage them. Instead of saying you will take away a sport, say that as long as the grades stay at your level of expectation, they can play all of the sports they want.
  • Be aware of how hard you may be pushing your child. As a parent it is natural to want what is best for your child, but be sure that you aren’t putting them under an impossible amount of stress. If you know your child has a busy week coming up, encourage them to continue to do good work and understand that something may slip. Perhaps they forgot to clean their room or do the dishes, but on busy weeks that can be okay.

Following these tips should help keep your youth athlete on track with both their academics and their sports goals. Remember to always keep the conversation open so they can ask for help if their schedule gets too hectic. Always remain aware of their schedule as well so you can intervene if needed before grades slip or their athletic performance suffers.

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