Monday, 3 September 2018

Published Monday, September 03, 2018 with 2 comments

Youth Sports: High Time We Got Real

There are two types of youth sports parents. Type-1, parents who realize the ancillaries of youth sports can be far more rewarding for the child than the skill of the sport itself, things like team spirit, physical fitness, cooperation, determination, discipline and the list goes on. Then there are the type-2 parents who dedicate their time and money to youth sports keeping in mind college scholarship or even a sports career for their child.

There is nothing wrong with either of the types, but it’s important to know which side of the fence are you on. It’ll save you a lot of time, energy and of course money to know the level of commitment you need to give to the sport.

The first thing you need to do is let your child decide if she wants to play. If the child doesn’t find a calling then, there’s a fair chance she will give it up later, even after having taken professional training. The best place to start would be paying attention to your child. expose her to different sports. if there’s something she likes, you might want to introduce it to her as a trial. If she likes it, you’ll know. If she doesn’t, let her try some other sport. Even if she’s giving up too often, you get to discover what’ll not be. Even that’s good for a start.

When your child picks up a game she likes, and is faring well at the game, you might want to go easy to begin with. Going easy would not mean pulling back on the exposure, but it really means don’t jump up to buy the best of gear, or enroll too early in professional training, or go overboard on the expenses. Remember, this is just the start. There’ll be more expensive gear, travelling, private training and so on. Being good at a sport is one thing and being passionate about it is another. Give your child the time and space to figure out if that is her calling. Till then you might choose to play local, join parent groups for carpool, swap gear or try used gear at a goodwill store or even organize one such camp yourself.

The next thing you will need to work on is your budget. Make a budget where you have allocations for everything including your retirement planning and college fund. Once you know how much money you have and how much you can cut other expenses down, you will be able to take a fair call.

Last and the most important thing to do is be realistic. You need to look for an anchor to base your commitment. Is your child good at the game? Is she passionate about it? is she willing to walk the extra mile and give the kind of dedication sports demand? Not all ‘good’ players become pro and not all pros have a sprawling sports career. Having said that, you need to take your call as to what ‘type’ are you, and given what you are investing, is it worth it?


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