Thursday, 29 September 2016

Published Thursday, September 29, 2016 with 2 comments

Play the Olympians Way

The the Olympic Moto of "Citius, Altius, Fortius" stands more than just for it’s literal meaning, faster, higher, stronger; it stands for the character and the attitude of sportsperson that always pushes them to be better than what they already are. Kids who are engaged in Youth sports have a lot to learn from the Olympians.

The first lesson that kids need to learn is hard work. Olympic players practice for years and years before they get a chance to prove themselves in the Olympics. This also involves a lot of sacrifices. They stay away from their families, spend hours training hard when their friends are having fun in summer camps or enjoying in parties, follow strict diet regime and practically lose out on their childhood.

The next thing that Youth sports players can learn from the Olympians is focus. If you talk to a passionate Olympic player, they’ll tell you that there’s nothing else they’d rather do. Most of them did not pursue sports just because it was their ticket to entering a good college, but they did so because that’s the only thing in the whole world that they wanted to do. And they do not have options either - what if this doesn’t work? They’re very focused on their passion and they make it work. Many parents might argue that making this decision for a child too early can be disastrous. Well the argument is valid but the irony is that it usually doesn’t work otherwise. The focus on strength that’s needed to be amongst the finest in the world can the best inculcated during childhood. The earlier the better.

Another major lesson that Youth players can learn from Olympians is strength. Olympic players have an amazing capability to take pain. They fall, get bruised, get broken bones and more, but never give up. And pain doesn’t end at this. There’s mental and emotional pain as well.    Players don’t just become experts one fine day. Neither is hard work and practice directly proportional to success. There are hundreds of unforeseen obstacles, unexplained failures and devastating situations these players face on a daily basis. But in the end, none of it is important. All that matters is the game. They put in their best effort again and again tirelessly every single time they play.

"The Olympics remain the most compelling search for excellence that exists in sport, and maybe in life itself."
- Dawn Fraser (Australian swimmer, 3-time winner at the Olympics)

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Published Thursday, September 29, 2016 with 44 comments

Mobile Obsession & Your Tween

The one thing that bothers all parents across the globe is the way their kids are so hooked to technology, especially gaming, social media and texting.  Most parents are worried how their children have totally forgotten playing outdoors and are stuck to mobile screens through out the day. There are several risks involved. On one hand, while children are at the risk of health problems like obesity, weaker bones, weaker muscles, growth related problems and even type II diabetes, on the other hand children are at the risk of social and emotional problems like cyber bullying, lack of confidence in the real world, low self-esteem, acceptability issues amongst peers, lack of sleep and even depression.

That said, technology still remains to be an important complement of modern lifestyle and it is not practically viable to keep children away. Moreover, since everyone around is using technology, you cannot ask your children specifically to refrain from it.

However, there can be a practical path or a midway where in your kids get to the online, socialize with their friends but at the same time do not get obsessed with it. If you have been struggling to find that mid way, here are a few tips to help you get started.

  • Talk to your children –  The first and the foremost step would be to talk to your children candidly and let them know your inhibition about Technology. Tell them the health risks involved I also let them know about the emotional and psychological problems they are susceptible to. Let them know what’s cyber bullying is. You must re-assure kids of your support just in case they get into a messy situation. 

  • Allocate time – You need to reasonably chalk out time for all their activities including online socializing. You can create a timetable or work out a schedule where the kid gets to do everything for a specific time like homework, hobbies, cycling and mobile. Children are often very busy so the kids might need your help sticking to the schedule. Do not get annoyed or lose patience if the child is not able to keep up to the schedule. Understand what’s taking time, you might have to adjust the schedule accordingly. 

  • Trust your kids and respect privacy -  The worst thing you can do is to spy on you kid. Kids want their privacy on as a parent you need to respect that.  Kids tend to turn rebel if they feel they are not trusted or their personal space is being intruded. Moreover, they need their space to learn and grow.

  • A word of caution – While it’s important to give space and freedom to your children, it’s equally important to tell them to be cautious. Tell your kids that’s not cool to interact with strangers especially in the online world. For school, hobby and sports groups, where group interactivity and messaging is important, parents can choose messaging apps that do not compromise number privacy but at the same time ensure group connectivity. Check out team Apps like InstaTeam for team messaging and interaction without compromising number privacy.
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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Published Wednesday, September 28, 2016 with 8 comments

Sports and Studies: Doing the Balancing Act

If you want to see how busy and exhausted your children are, you need to see their personal spaces that are as cluttered and messy as their daily life. Children, these days, do not have time for anything. They are mostly playing catching up, because there’s always so much to do.

In this chaos, kids end up either losing out on their sports participation or on their studies. This is where parents need to pitch-in. With a little help, children can have a well organized routine and can smoothly go through their day. Here are a few tips to help parents put a schedule together for their kids to help them get the most of all they do. It is essential to have a well organized, orderly plan for each day as these are the most important years of leaning for your children and you wouldn’t want them to miss out on anything.

Create a schedule

It is most likely that the school already has one. Nevertheless, it is essential for you to have one for your child. You can either take a calendar and mark all important dates, projects, game sessions and other activities you kid is involved in. This will help you plan accordingly. Although, you can seek help from your smart phone to help you schedule all the events in the digital calendar. Apps like InstaTeam help you create schedules within minutes, give reminders and help you keep in touch with other parents, just in case you need to ask or discuss something.

Make a group of school parents or sports club parents

Having a group who have similar interests is always helpful. You can carpool, share information and also help each other getting through in days of need. Such a group becomes like a community that’s radially available for any help, whoever in the group needs it. Another great advantage is that kids bond very well which is good for the overall performance of the team and individual performance of each child.

Utilize resources

Many a times schools provide extra tutoring or help for kids in sports. this helps kids catch up in their studies too. This is a great resource for all those who have it. You must use all such facilities without a hitch, because these will help your child perform better both in school and sports and will boost her confidence.

Do not take more than what the kid can handle

Overburdening your kid will do no one good. While the kid will lose out on precious childhood, you’ll forsake the happiness of your child. Give your child some free time, some leisure time to stand and stare. This will bring in fresh energy in the child. Allow me-time. It is as important for kids as it is for adults.

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Monday, 19 September 2016

Published Monday, September 19, 2016 with 30 comments

College ‘App’titude

According to Pew research only 6% of teenagers use email daily as compared to a massive 91% who use texting, chat or messaging apps on a daily basis.

Mostly all college students, well more or less all, are connected on their smart phones or mobile devices or least have a laptop or desktop to their access. Students connect with other students, have study groups or interest groups, socialize, and even hangout with their online counterparts.

While the student community is as connected, are colleges being able to leverage on this communication highway? If not, here are a few ways colleges can connect with their students for communication and beyond.

Everyone, barring maybe a handful, everyone is on Facebook. Facebook can be a great way for colleges to connect with their students. A Facebook page for the college may be a common phenomenon, but engaging college students in innovative programs is still the in-thing. Alumni activities, social initiatives, interesting campaigns, it gets as innovative and engaging as it can.


Instagram can be a great platform to engage students in interactive projects. Everyday uploads, notes related to that picture and getting people to notice and appreciate the work, all of it can add both weight and thrill to projects.


The one drawback about Snapchat can actually be its main advantage. What goes on Snapchat, doesn’t stay forever. This can be the perfect platform for news flashes. Or even for broadcasting events or happenings around the college.

Team Apps

Team apps like InstaTeam are a great way to be connected to students. There can be multiple teams for a single college and for each student simultaneously. InstaTeam allows instant mobile access and web access to all team communication. It has great integrated features like team calendar, automatic website integration and updates, event scheduling, event reminders, notifications, team messaging, number privacy, social media connect and so much more. Team apps are interactive and cover the full spectrum of communication and beyond.

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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Published Wednesday, September 07, 2016 with 18 comments

Concussions in Youth Sports: Reality Check

Concussion in youth sports is perhaps the most unfortunate truth. Even more disturbing is the fact that concussions have become more frequent than ever.

If you are a concerned parent, here’s some basic information you would find useful, some common misconceptions dispelled and facts stated, basically essential information you need to take care of such an injury before you get to the doctor.

MYTH – A concussion only occurs if the head is hit.
REALITY – Concussions are most common with head injuries but a concussion may also occur if there’s an impact on the face, neck, or any other part of the body from where the impact is then passed on to the head.

MYTH – Concussion will only occur if the impact of the blow or fall is severe
REALITY – Different parts of the brain get affected with different magnitude of the force. Sometimes even a mild injury on the head may cause concussion. There is no certain way to determine which injury will cause a concussion and which won’t.

MYTH – When a concussion occurs, the athlete will loose consciousness. If there’s no LOC (loss of consciousness), it is not a concussion.
REALITY – Studies suggest that in most cases of concussions, there is actually no LOC. Although many coaches and parents have now become aware of the fact that the athlete may not necessarily be knocked out to be concussed, the fact still needs to become a common reality. and on the other hand, if there is LOC, it does not necessarily suggest that the concussion is very severe. In many cases, athletes who lost consciousness after an injury actually healed faster than those who didn’t. and many a times the symptoms of concussion might not occur until several hours, days or weeks after the injury.

MYTH – The right protective gear can prevent concussions
REALITY – There can be safer protective gear that can help prevent skull fracture or sudden death due to collision in some cases, but there really is no such helmet or mouth gear that can prevent concussions. With lot of research companies have invented material that can be deemed safer, but the reality is that concussions do occur.

MYTH – Boys in more aggressive games like football, rugby etc. mostly suffer concussions
REALITY – This is a very common misconception. In-fact the reality is quiet the opposite, research suggests that girls in games such as basket ball, volley ball etc. are more prone to concussions than boys. Surprisingly, concussions have also been reported to have occurred while cheerleading.

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Friday, 2 September 2016

Published Friday, September 02, 2016 with 426 comments

Is Your Team Falling Apart?

Not all teams loose at the games. Unfortunately, some teams loose it much earlier.

You might have the best of the players but if the team is not connected, there is no way it can be an effective team. There can be several reasons a team would fall apart, and most teams do, but it’s important to tie the loose ends in time.

Given below are some indications that point if your team’s nearing dysfunction. If any of these is true for your team, get your act together and put in the right measures in place; a stich in time saves nine.

  • No communication – No communication is worse than miscommunication. If your team’s players are not talking to each other, or you notice certain groups that do not interact with other groups, it can disastrous for the team. Engage the team in a lot of extra activities other than game practice. Have some fun team-building games, take the team on an outing, organize a social camp and let the team bond while organizing stuff. Make players interact with each other. 

  • No trust – If the players don’t trust each-other, they cannot play together. There will be no passes, no throws and opponents team will get direct benefit out of it. Again, team-building games and exercises are a great way of building trust within the team. You can also use partner system to get players to trust each other. 

  • Unresolved conflict – If there are kids playing together, conflicts are bound to happen. But all conflicts need to settle down then and there. Unresolved conflicts are evil seeds that poison the whole team. There will be groupism, gossip, lack of trust and what not.

  • Lethargy – If the players get too comfortable, lethargy sets in and a lot of things are taken for granted, which is not good for the team. There needs to be a sense of urgency for every action that needs to be taken, for every decision that needs to be made. 

  • Arrogance – This has more to do with “I” than we. If your star player is becoming arrogant of his skills, you need to curb it. this can be the start of so many problems in the team, bullying being a prime concern. 

  • Whining – This might not look like that big a deal initially, but with time a lot of whining (even if it’s only by a few kids or even just one kid in the team) can kill the spirit of the team. It can actually butcher the team’s positive energy. This can be fatal for the team. As and when you see a pattern in the complaints you hear, you know the problem needs to be nipped in the bud.

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