To Play or Not to Play

So she wants to play sports and you’re not sure if either of you is up to the task?
Call me foolish, but in my earlier, not-so-sane times, I spent 23 years in youth sports.  Yes, I hauled the uniforms, carried the Gatorade, brought in the bandages, and secured the safety pins.  I have coached and I have cried.

I watched my children grow up on ball fields and I grew up with them.  Sports for girls and their parents can be a wonderful thing. Team sports teach our daughters life lessons. Being a part of a team has its own rewards. Being a “team player” helps to prepare girls to become better team players later in life.  In addition, the friendships she makes on a team can last a lifetime and the scoreboard helps to nurture a competitive spirit. 

Of course, you may be concerned she won’t get a good coach or that she will learn bad sportsmanship. But these are actually good lessons for her to learn. Learning how to win and lose are equally important lessons in the game of life. Plus, it will help open doors for conversation.

Finding the time, money, and the right sport for your daughter is important, so consider these tips before signing up.

Conditions to Consider:

  • Can you make it fit into the family’s schedule? 
  • Will transportation be a problem?
  • Can you be her greatest fan without being embarrassing? 
  • Can a parent always be there (in high school sports, they would rather you didn’t attend practices but in the youth leagues I would not leave my child unattended without a parent or guardian. Besides you can usually take your lawn chair and make a few new friends yourself)?
  • Will it create a financial hardship for the family (some sports can be very expensive)? 
  • A lengthy conversation should be held with the family, including your daughter about the sport she seeks to play and her seriousness to finish the season (sometimes watching the teams in their brightly colored uniforms looks so much prettier than actually spending hours at practice with sweat and dirt running down your face). 
  • Know your child’s coach.  Never just take for granted the organization has done all of their homework.
  • Read the rules and regulations before you sign her up and make certain you can live with them before you begin.
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