Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Published Wednesday, November 30, 2016 with 6 comments

Celebrating Christmas with Your Team

Christmas is a time of joy, togetherness, sharing and caring, exactly the kind of things you, as a coach or parent, would want your youth sports team to share.

Here are some fun bonding things you can do to bring the spirit of Christmas in your team too.
  • Christmas photo shoot 
    Plan it as a surprise. Call the team for practice, and when everyone arrives, tell them it’s a Christmas photoshoot. Bring in Christmas pros like Santa beard, Santa cap, reindeer horns and so on. Post the pics on social media. Combining it with a surprise Christmas party would be even more awesome. 

  • Joy of giving
    The true spirit of Christmas is in sharing. Ask the team to organize a sharing camp. Ask the team to plan and execute the event. It will be a great team bonding exercise too.

  • Christmas game
    Arrange to play a friendly neighborhood Christmas game with your rival team. After the game have a friendly lunch.

  • Secret Santa
    Secret Santa is not new, but works every time. Ask team members to secretly get gifts for the team mate whose name appeared on the chit they picked up.

  • Christmas picnic
    Take the team out for a Christmas picnic. It could be an adventure trip like hiking or biking, or it could be a typical picnic, Frisbee by the late types. Arrange little picnic packs for each player which would have some eatables and a little surprise activity that they have to do.

While you think, talk and walk the game practically every day, a Christmas celebration could be a refreshing change and a good team bonding exercise. Wishing you and your team a Merry Christmas. May you have a great season.

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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Published Wednesday, November 23, 2016 with 12 comments

Handling Your Little Athlete During Holidays

Holidays can be a curious time. While elders tend to splurge on the warmth of the season with jolly parties and luscious food, kids, especially tweens and teens, tend to have an agenda of their own. Mostly kids spend holidays either playing video games or texting and chatting with friends or on social media.

If you are anxious about your kid’s habits, and particularly how they behave around friends and family, here’s some tried and tested advice to help you have a presumably sorted relation with your kids.

The root cause

Most parents wonder where did the child learn tantrums or misconduct. More so, why are kids at their worst best in front of extended family, friends or even guests? The answer to these questions invariably is, they learn it from us, parents. The child has learned it from a pattern. Kids, as toddlers, throw tantrums for little things. Seeing it as a harmless little wish, we tend to satisfy that demand. Over time kids learn that throwing a tantrum, scorning and misbehaving in public has double the impact. So, practically kids get a remote control in their hands that can control the behavior in public and when they want something, they know which button to press.

How to control it2dsd

If you are helpless with the situation, don’t lose heart. You are not alone. Everybody, almost everybody, who has a tween or teenage kid is going through the same. The first thing you need to do is take control back in your hands. It’s not late yet, actually it’s never too late to take control of things. Give a clear message to the kid, misbehaving will not work, sitting and talking it out will. Do not give into temper tantrums, even if it becomes embarrassing for you in public. Sometimes you might give in because you are too tired to deal with it and giving in is just, plain easy way out. But refrain from doing that. You’ll just give another control to your kid that way.

It is your duty as a parent to teach your kid to learn to deal with problems and demands in a reasonable manner. It will be great life lesson that will help then as adults as well. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Set clear rules against misconduct. Tolerate embarrassment a few times if you have to, but do not give in. Explain the child that talking and explaining will work, misbehaving won’t.

  • Listen to your child, she might be craving your attention for all you know and there might be a genuine problem. For instance, your kid might not be wanting to go to the aunt’s house for the Holiday. Kids have their reasons, don’t undermine them. On the other hand, try and solve the problem, like you’ll let her take her iPad along, or something else. But again, it shouldn’t sound like a bribe, because then you’ll fall in the bribery trap.

  • Do not be loud or threatening while you are setting rules. Be reasonable. Fear will make her insecure and crop emotional problems in the kid.

  • If the conversation turns into an argument and ultimately a fight, walk out of it. Do not allow the child to talk to you in a rude tone. Don’t talk until the kid talks in reasonably respectful manner.  

  • Reward or at least acknowledge her good behavior. 

It won’t happen overnight. But get started now and you’ll be a happy parent as the rationale sets in.

May you have a great time with your loved ones. Happy holidays!

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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Published Wednesday, November 16, 2016 with 5 comments

Thank God for Youth Sports

Thanksgiving is a heartwarming time of the year when you think of all blessings, big and small, that make your life special and show your gratitude for those things. It’s a beautiful emotion.

While I thank the Lord for all things that make our life wonderful, I want to show my gratitude to youth sports and all the wonderful people connected to youth sports who make such an invaluable contribution in our children’s lives. I am really thankful to:

The Coaches who are guides, friends, mentors and trainers as and when needed. Coaches don’t just give training; good coaches give a part of themselves to their teams. They are as involved in our children’s sports careers as we are, if not more. I am thankful to the coaches who dedicate their precious family time, their weekends taking practice games. I am thankful to the coaches who do all this as their duty and not merely as their job.

The Athletic Director for making everything as smooth as breeze so that the coaches and players can concentrate on the game. I thank ADs for taking care of all administrative and management creases and ironing them out. I thank Ads for going all out for our children and making things possible for them

The School for providing our kids the right opportunities. For extending full support to our children so that they can learn and grow. I thank the school for going all out and helping our kids explore life beyond classrooms.

Other parents who have built such a wonderful support system. I thank parents who take competition in the right spirit and treat the team as a unit when it comes to encouraging. I thank parents who help with the carpool. I thank parents who volunteer to help with the practice sessions, snacks at the game, on the stands and with other administrative work.

And lastly, thank you kids for carrying on with youth sports in such a positive manner. I know it gets tough at times, but you act so brave that it melts my heart. You follow a tight schedule, miss out on your socializing and even work harder to catch up on your studies. I understand it must be so difficult to keep up. But you do it. I am thankful for your dedication, I am thankful that you realize this is important for you and I am thankful because you give it your best shot. I am thankful that you are such great children and I am so proud to have you.

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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Published Tuesday, November 15, 2016 with 9 comments

Basic Must-Know First Aid for Parents

If you are a parent reading this, here is some very important information you need know and learn it by heart, especially if your kid is in youth sports. If you are a coach reading this, you might want to forward the article to all parents of your players.

Small cut or scrape

If the cut is bleeding, press hard to stop the bleeding. The timing will depend on how deep the cut is. For a small cut the bleeding should stop in 2-3 minutes. When the bleeding stops, gently clean the bruise with cotton or clean cloth dipped in lukewarm water. Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic like Bacitracin, Neosporin, Polymyxin B or Neomycin. In most cases the wound should be fine but if the bleeding still continues, contact the doctor or rush to an ER. Do the cleaning and dressing for the wound till it is healed. After it has healed, keep the affected area well moisturized, preferably with coconut or olive oil, and the marks will disappear.

Bleeding nose

A bleeding nose can create quiet a havoc amongst kids. Calm the kid and make him sit upright. Do not make the kid lean backwards. Pinch the nostrils together firmly. Stay for 5-7 minutes in that position. Do not check for bleeding in between, this can make the bleeding last longer. Applying ice patch on the sides of the nose’s bridge can also help. If the bleeding still does not stop, rush to an ER or call 911.


When someone is chocking, make the person lean forward and slap on their back. Give 4-5 blows on the back and then stomach thrusts such that the object choking the person come out.

To give stomach thrusts make a fist, position the fist with thumbs pointing towards the stomach and place it just above the choking person’s belly button, and push. Do this exercise 2-3 times. If the person still doesn’t feel better, rush to an ER or call 911.


In case of burn immediately place the affected area under cool running water. Let it be under water or under wet towels till cold subsides. When the pain gets better, gently apply an antibiotic cream on the affected area. If the burn is in a sensitive place like eyes, face, genitals or the burn is bigger than about an inch, immediately rush to an ER. If the burnt area is close to 1/10th of the body, do not place wet towels or do cold compressions. Call 911 and cover the patient with clean sheet till help arrives.

While healing, burnt skin can be irritating and scratchy. Do not scratch. Simply apply antibiotic cream. If there is any swelling, redness or some kind of discharge, show to a doctor immediately. It can be an infection and needs to be treated immediately.

Glass shreds or splinters

Make the injured person sit. Pull out the splinter only if it can be pulled out easily otherwise seek medic help immediately. If the splinter is removed, clean the affected area with an antiseptic cleaner and apply antibiotic cream. If the splinter was a metal, go to a doctor as antiseptic injection may be required. If you have not been able to remove the splinter completely, rush to an ER, where the doctors will do it safely. A scan can help see if the splinter is out or not.

Eye trauma

If the kids got hit on the eye, keep a wet towel. If the pain does not subside in some time, or there’s blurry vision or swelling and redness, call 911 immediately or rush to an ER. In case some chemical has entered the eye, splash water in the eye. Call 911 and place wet towels till help arrives.

Sprained ankle
When a kid gets an ankle sprained, immediately get the kid off the field. Apply ice pack over the affected are to control swelling. Do not overdo cold compression as there can be tissue damage because of excess cold. Spray with a muscle relaxant and wrap the ankle in sports bandage for support and comfort. Do not allow the kid to get back on field till the injury has healed completely.

In case the sprain is severe, make the kid lie down. Place some support beneath the kid’s injured leg such that the leg is slightly higher than the head. Call 911 or rush to an ER, meanwhile apply ice pack on the affected area till medical help arrives.

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Friday, 4 November 2016

Published Friday, November 04, 2016 with 6 comments

The Ultimate Guide to Athlete-Parent Relationship to Ensure Success in Youth Sports

Theoretically, research has proven that the kind of relationship that an athlete shares with her parents is a huge factor in determining her youth sports career’s future. Practically, ask a coach or maybe just look around.

Youth sports is not just a recreation or fun activity anymore. There’s serious competition, school and peer pressure and college scholarship at stake. Naturally, given the perks, parents tend to get highly involved in their child’s sporting course, wherein persuasion often crosses the line as pushing and advise as interference resulting in more of a chaos than career.

It’s not always negative. Parents involvement has also, in many cases, shown a positive headway in the child’s sporting career. These are the parents who have given full support to their kids but also have taken a back seat when it’s called for. And you can almost always tell the difference, body language of the child can show how enthusiastic or disillusioned the kid is at the game. You can also see it at every game; some parents are at the stands yelling while some are cheering, and you will know the difference.

Here are a few tips to help you become the positive force, constructive influencer and encouraging parent to help achieve success in your kid’s sporting career.

  • Let the first takeaway from youth sports always be fun. Although it is just natural to get competitive and victory obsessed, but you need to utilize your super-parent power into refraining from sliding towards the rat race. You can practically do that by:
    • Not showing your disappointment when the kid loses.
    • Not indulging in after-game analysis, unless the kid initiates.
    • Not harassing the kid with ‘lessons-learnt’ lecture, or ‘focus’ lecture.
    • Instead of saying ‘win it’ every time your kid goes out to the field, say ‘enjoy’ or ‘have fun out there’

  • Parents often end up putting imperceptible pressure on their children by trying to live out their dreams thorough them. They get more emotionally involved than being logically involved in their kids’ game. Then there is also the pressure of value-for-money since working parents spend hard-earned money on expensive coaching and on maintaining a sports lifestyle. Children, most often than not, realize these things. What parents do not realize is that kids already have a lot of pressure that put on themselves. Added pressure may just result in to breakdown. 
    • Never tell your child how much money you are spending on her sporting course and she has the onus of getting the value for that money. But at the same time do not get very flamboyant while spending on her sports lifestyle, she should not presume it’s easy on you and start taking things for granted.
    • Do not keep giving instances from your own life telling your child what to do and what not to do. You do not want the kid judging you. Use examples of sports personalities, famous coaches or someone not personally known, if you have to.

  • For some kids, the presence of their parents makes them confident, for some it can add to their anxiety. Know your child and what works for them. Be there and cheer if the kid wants you to, but be a silent spectator if your presence makes the child nervous.

  • Let players be players and coaches be coaches. Do not play the game from the stands or try and coach by constantly giving instructions in the middle of the game. It can be really frustrating for the kid playing and can also be annoying for other parents and for the coach.

  • Allow the kid to take a break from the sport. Kids can get over worked with sports or there can be a temporary frustration on missing a social event. A break can help destress and bring back perspective which is very essential once in a while.  

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Thursday, 3 November 2016

Published Thursday, November 03, 2016 with 2 comments

Not Just for Argument’s Sake

The one thing that all parents, well almost all, would agree with, is that arguing with your teenage kid is one of the most daunting of all jobs you do as a parent. And if you are a sports parent, you are already dealing with busy schedules, keeping up with practice games, living up to the expenses, and then there’s dealing with tantrums.

Sports kids, at times, tend to get a little more argumentative as compared to kids in general, because they deal with an added commitment, which creates added stress at some level. If, as a parent you have been worrying about your kid’s attitude because most of your arguments escalate into high-drama family squabbles, or you are sick because your kid just walks out on you every time you try and engage in a conversation (more of an argument of sorts), you need to calm down for a moment and think logically. There are smarter (and wiser) ways of handling conflicts and arguments with your kid. Just go through the list to help you deal with it better.

  • Never start your argument at a high pitched voice. The kid will automatically get in a defensive mode and will just focus on counter argument. If you want the kid to reasonably understand your point of view, you need to logically present your argument.

  • Accept, acknowledge and understand. If you have a lot going on and you are stressed, so is the kid. Kids have a world of their own. They have their share of problems which can be too much to deal with for a kid. Do not underestimate their situation. Also, what you see as attitude problem may, in all chances, be a stress outburst. Reason out things, try and understand their situation, this will prevent half your fights.

  • Children often think parents are being unreasonable or unfair. So if your kid is not agreeing to a certain point, tell them the frank reason why you are being strict or maybe taking your stand. There’s a fair chance the child will understand. If she doesn’t, she’ll know she needs to have a better reason for it, throwing tantrums will not work. 

  • If the kid refuses to listen in spite of your efforts to make her understand, do not give in because you want to avoid an argument. Be assertive, stand up for the right thing. This will give your child a message that you will not give in to unreasonable demands and will teach her to stand for the right thing, even if it is a tough stand to take. 

  • Always end an argument in resolution. Even if it means finding a mid-way between your and the kid’s point of view. An unresolved argument will leave sourness that can be the root cause of spiteful relationships. 

Need a few tips to keep up at the sports parenting challenge? Read
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