Thank you to MyIR for sponsoring this conversation about signing kids up for sports.
Signing kids up for a sports is a right of passage for many families. Kids love spending time with their friends and being a part of things, whether it’s Little League or the local gymnastics club. It’s a rewarding experience with the bonus of regular exercise.
When your child comes home with the sign up form for Little League or Community Soccer, you’ll want to make the choice to sign up for team sports a family decision. Is there parent involvement? Some teams need parent volunteers to bring snacks, act as coaches and assistant coaches or provide transportation. I’ll be honest, I am not a huge hands on parent, so this is definitely a factor for me.
Even if your child is old enough to sign up for a team, consider how emotionally and physically ready they are to participate in the sport they are interested in. If your child is in kindergarten or first grade, they still might be grasping the idea of taking turns. Younger children should focus less on competition and more on fun and basic skills – otherwise they’re going to get burnt out and turned off on sports completely.
Consider how practice times and game schedules will affect family time.. Whether it’s your first year of little league, a community soccer team or high school football, make sure to confirm the time commitments expected of your child to participate. Talk to them about it and make sure they understand that once they are part of a team, it’s not fair to others on the team if they “just don’t feel like going” that day.
Then there is clothing. Some sports are casual, and your kids can go as is, but in reality you will be buying uniforms, swimsuits, leotards and shoes. In many cases you’ll need more than one uniform, pair of shoes, swimsuit or leotard, so factor in that too.
What about quitting? Is it OK to let them quit If your child is on a team that depends on his or her participation, you may want to encourage them to stay to support their team. But if they are overscheduled or unhappy, quitting may be the right thing. You’ll have to make the judgment call when and if the time comes.
Before starting a new sport, your child will need an updated physical. Physicals only last for 365 days and they do expire They are not cleared to play just because you played the previous season. Please note the date of your child’s last physical and schedule a new one if needed. You can also take this time to make sure your child’s immunizations are up to date. If your child does have a current physical, save the trip to the doctor’s office by accessing immunization records online through MyIR. With MyIR, parents who register online can review, download and print their family’s official, state immunization records with MyIR. MyIR is safe and secure.