Monday, 21 September 2015

Published Monday, September 21, 2015 with 8 comments

Youth Sports: How to avoid bullying

Bullying is a disease that practically affects children in all aspects of their life and sports is no exception. In fact, in youth sports bullying can be all the more brutal because a child's self-confidence can actually get major set back due to taboo around sports in schools. Another hard fact is that in most of the cases kids end up being silent victims of bullying without even reporting it.

The only way to curb bullying is to educate children about the ill effects of bullying. Coaches and parents can take up the task with their respective teams. This will not only secure a healthy environment for children to live in but will also bring out better sports personality in each one of them. While the task of educating children can be pretty elaborate, here are a few practical tips that will help children stand-up against bullying.

Do not participate in bullying: This will be the first thing that children need to know. Bullying can be verbal, physical and emotional. Mocking someone, defaming someone, spreading rumors, hitting, snatching personal belongings or troubling in any way is bullying and children need to be told to refrain from it. However, these incidences might not be bullying if there is one time incidental occurrence. It may just be a part of normal child behavior in a group, but if the incidence becomes a repeated exercise or bothers the child involved, it is bullying.

Ask the bully to stop: When bullied or even on witnessing bullying, the first thing you must do is tell the bully to stop. In most cases the bully goes on doing it because no one tells them not to, every one is scared and that is the motivation that keeps the bully going on. Also, it is important to tell an adult about the bullying, preferably the coach if it's in the team.

Ask the bystanders to stop: Usually in bullying there are one or two kids leading the bullying and then there are bystanders, people who are encouraging, laughing or even just watching the bullying. Tell the bystanders that they are making the problem worse by being around and encouraging the act. When children around start looking down upon an act of bullying, it will be a major discouragement for the bully.

Befriend the victim: If you see a child getting bullied, reach out to the child and try and include her in your friends' group. This could help the victim feel better and also discourage the bully as bullies usually target the weak and lonely.

Voice your concern: Do not be afraid to voice your concern even if you are the only one doing it. More kids will definitely join in if they see that you are right and you have the courage to stand for it.
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Thursday, 3 September 2015

Published Thursday, September 03, 2015 with 21 comments

Youth Sports Car Pool Dos and Don'ts

If you ask parents of youth sports participants as to what are the main challenges they face as youth sports parents, most of them will end up answering either ‘time' or ‘money' or both. And if there could be a solution, perhaps they'd be a whole lot more enthusiastic of their child's sports participation. Especially with many single parents who do not have the luxury of shared responsibility, the whole preposition becomes very difficult.

A great solution to the above mentioned problem is car pool. On one hand car pool has direct monetary benefits, on the other it is a great time saver too. But before you get into a car pool group, just ensure a few vital things are in place such that the car pool initiative helps everyone involved, including the players.

Rules for everyone in the car

You might be a good driver, but what if someone in the group isn't? What if someone in the group does not follow basic hygiene etiquettes in the car and next thing you know is that there is food and stuff spilled all over? It always better to be sure than sorry. Consult other parents and mutually draft a set of rules for drivers and passengers in the car. Keep in mind things like safe driving, use of foul language, smoking, littering etc. Also, keep a fine for offenders such that being extra careful of following the rules becomes important.


Make sure full addresses along with clear driving directions is given for each players house. If need be mark it on the digital map. This will avoid last minute inconveniences for everyone involved. Also, ensure there's a way in which this information is shared and preferably stays (is saved) with everyone.

Behavioral guidelines for kids

Basic car etiquette such as no munching in the car, no loud music, no swearing, no fighting, no roughhousing, no removing seatbelts etc. need to be clearly outlined. Do not assume that parents will tell their children these basic things or the kids would already know them. It is always better to state the obvious than be unpleasantly surprised.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

You can't make it to your turn, communicate and ensure someone else is available. You might get late? Communicate. Not happy with a kid's behavior? Communicate. Do not take the onus of doing everything on your own. Talk to the group and let every decision regarding the group be a parliamentary decision okayed by the majority if not everyone.

Get technology to your rescue

There will always be someone who'll forget his or her turn. There'll always be someone who'll forget to communicate. To avoid these human errors you need technology to your rescue. Get an automated group app like InstaTeam that not only streamlines group communication but send automated reminders for every group event.
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