Erica.Diabetes_600

Chronic Conditions, Kids and Sports: Type 1 Diabetes

Having a chronic health condition doesn’t mean that your child has to sit out of the game. Plenty of athletes have health issues that don’t stop them from practicing, playing and competing. One of the major chronic conditions that affects athletes is type 1 diabetes. Pro football players Jay Cutler and Kendall Simmons have it, and so do basketball players Chris Dudley and Adam Morrison, and baseball player Ron Santo. Formerly known just as juvenile diabetes, type 1 often has an onset in childhood or adolescence (but it’s also possible to develop it as an adult as well). People with this disease do not produce insulin on their own. That means they need to monitor their blood sugar, watch what they eat and take insulin injections. Whether your child has this chronic condition or you coach a child with it, understanding how type 1 diabetes and sports impacts each other is critical for the athlete’s health and success.

Blood Sugar and Activity

It’s common to see a drop in blood glucose (blood sugar) levels with or after exercise. What does this mean for a child who plays sports? To start with, it’s absolutely essential for the child to monitor their blood sugar during practice and directly after. Of course, proper blood glucose testing is always a must-do. When you add in physical activity, the child may see a sudden drop. These lows can result in serious symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, nausea, seizures, or unconsciousness.

Many diabetics are able to feel lows as they come on, before they get too severe. But, a child who is intensely into an activity or doesn’t want to leave the playing field may ignore the signs. This puts them at risk for developing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Keep in mind, lows don’t always happen with exercise. For some diabetics, activity-induced hypoglycemia strikes minutes or hours after the exercise is over. This makes post-practice/post-game monitoring extra-important.

Keeping Lows Away

Along with monitoring, the child’s doctor may recommend eating an extra snack before or during exercise. Before starting any new sport, always speak with the medical pro. Ask the doctor for recommendations on dealing with potential lows. Every child is different, and you need to make sure that the treatment matches the diabetic’s overall plan and needs.

Most children will need to keep a small snack nearby just in case of an unexpected low. This is typically equal to 15 grams of carbs, and may include a juice box, fruit snacks or some other carbohydrate. Children can also carry glucose tablets to eat if needed. In the event of a low blood glucose emergency, injectable glucagon is a medication that can raise the level. Diabetics should carry a glucagon kit with them at all times, just in case. Parents and coaches should know when and how to use these injectable kits. They are literally life savers.

Some children may need to stop part-way through practice or a game to test their blood sugar and eat a small snack. This can prevent or reduce the risk of hypoglycemia.

Spotting Problems

It’s the middle of a soccer game. One of the children, a diabetic, is starting to seem sluggish. The child is confused, complaining of weakness, and appears nervous. These are often symptoms of hypoglycemia. These, along with other signs such as headaches, sweating, chills, clamminess, irritability, sleepiness, anger (for no real reason) and lack of coordination, may all mean that the child needs a dose of carbs.

If you spot a possible problem, stop the child immediately. Time is not a diabetic’s friend when it comes to lows. Have the child test their blood sugar. If the level is low, treat it with glucose tablets or a snack. Instead of letting the child go back into the game right away, wait 15 minutes. Have the child re-test. If the blood sugar is still low, have another serving of carbs and wait again to re-test. If it’s normal, the child can go back to the activity.

Medical Professionals and Education

Including the child’s doctor in the choice to play a sport is necessary. Unless there are other issues going on, it’s unlikely that the doctor would nix the notion of playing a sport. The medical professional can create a revised treatment plan, taking the new physical activity into account. The doctor can also provide coaches or teammates with extra information on type 1 diabetes. Along with the doctor, organizations such as the American Diabetes Association, are resources that offer plenty of easy to understand information.

Type 1 diabetes is a complex chronic condition. Exercise can bring on life-threatening lows. Obviously, this is a scary thought for any diabetic, parent or coach. Even though physical activity can drop the child’s blood sugar, exercise and athletics are important for the diabetic’s overall health. Unless a doctor says otherwise, quitting the team because of a diabetes diagnosis is completely unnecessary. From pee-wee football players to pro stars, athletes of all ages practice, play their games and still manage type 1 diabetes in healthy ways.

word secret written under torn strip of paper

4 Things Every Teen Sports Player Secretly Thinks (But Would Never Admit)

Some things are best left unsaid, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist in thought bubbles. Here are some things all teen sports players think but would never admit.

You might not want to admit the following, because they’re secret, but that doesn’t make them any less true. You’d be hard pushed to find a teen sports player willing to admit to thinking any of this, but that doesn’t mean they don’t. Here are just four of the things every teen sports player secretly thinks but would never admit:

1. Look good, Feel good, Play good

Look, nobody is going to admit this. It’s way too vain. But every teen sports player in the history of teen sports  has taken the time to admire their reflection whilst wearing their uniform. Hey, those uniforms cost a lot of money and they signify greatness, you can’t blame a teen sports player for loving how they look. Not that they’d ever admit it.

2. Sometimes Sports Aren’t Fun

Even the most dedicated of sports players don’t love getting up at 6 a.m. to run around in the rain. Who would enjoy that?! Certainly not a teenager, that’s for sure. Getting up early on weekends is tough, even if you’re going at it in the hopes of being the greatest sports player that ever lived. And yeah, sometimes even teen sports players press the snooze button a few too many times.

3. Daydream Believing

Most teen sport players will act coy, if you ask whether they dream of making it big. After all, the chance of it happening is slim. But, deep down, that’s exactly what every teen sports player is hoping for. They dream of glory, fat paychecks and the celebrity lifestyle, of course they do.

4. Playing Sports Helps with Romance

Look, it’s nice to believe that it’s your adorable hairstyle, quick wit and crooked smile that wins the heart of everyone around, but every teen sports player knows it’s really the fetching uniform, healthy physique and school-wide celebrity status that helps them get their beau. Not that they’ll ever admit it out loud, because that’s not why anybody plays sports. Obviously.

What’s missing off this list? Comment below to add your secret thoughts.

SS.Julia.500

Who are the people behind Future Stars? Julia Duffy’s Journey from Camper to Counselor

First day of camp and jittery nerves go together like bread and butter.  Julia Duffy looks back at her 12-year-old self and remembers quite clearly how nervous she was.  As she got off the bus to walk across the long field, she met a camper from a neighboring town.  By the time they reached the end of the field, her nerves had calmed down and she had made a new friend.  For Julia, this chance encounter ended up leading to a long-term friendship with her new friend’s older sister.

Julia and her younger brother were outgrowing their local town camp and family friends recommended Future Stars Camp.  Since then, Julia and her brother have spent all or most of their last 6 summers at Future Stars’ SUNY Purchase Camp location.

Now at 18 and a senior in high school, Julia was a camp counselor for the last 2 years and 3 years ago she was a Counselor-in-Training (CIT).  Her young brother was a CIT last year.  Julia says, ” I went to soccer camp with my brother but I quickly made new friends. I still keep in touch with a lot of campers from my first year.  I even plan to visit some of them at their universities”

Julia loved soccer camp, she tried tennis camp but came right back to soccer.  Julia plays soccer for her high school and attributes her game skills to her first counselor, Anna Edwards.  Anna is now Julia’s manager and current Soccer Director at Future Stars (FS) Camp.   Great rapport with your manager improves employees’ potential and morale, Julia says, “I feel really comfortable asking Anna for advice when I need help with my own counseling.”

At camp, Julia made a lot of new friends from different towns and even different countries.  She remembers playing soccer with French and Italian campers.  When asked what her camp experience was like she said, ” My time at FS Camps, in a nutshell, was a great experience where I made a lot of new, diverse friends who all shared a common interest with me.”

However, her voice takes a real lilt when she talks about how she loved the drills and games both as a camper and as a counselor.  “Typically, each day of the week at soccer camp has a theme. Monday is dribbling, Tuesday is passing, Wednesday is 3v3 tournaments, Thursday is shooting, and Friday is competition day. The counselors really kept me engaged with a good mix of drills and games, along with competition to get us all moving. This experience later taught me to be engaging as a counselor as well. Individually, I’d say I became more confident in my abilities as a player through countless skill drills, and as a team player, I really learned to work with other players of different skill levels.”

Julia’s FS Camp journey from young camper to mature counselor has been fulfilling.  “Being a soccer counselor, in my opinion, means keeping the campers engaged and having fun, as well as, teaching them about a sport I love. I’ve been a counselor for two years and I am playing soccer at my high school. I am not looking to play soccer at a varsity level in college, but possibly at a club level depending on where I end up.”

There are so many aspects to camp and Julia said, “My favorite part of Future Stars were the scrimmages at the end of the day, where different groups of different ages came together and formed teams to play a full 11v11 game. The counselors would join together and have a “draft” and we would have a week long tournament with our teams, and everyone really gets into it.”

You can’t talk about a day camp and not mention food.  “There is an option to bring lunch but the food was so good at camp.  We had a salad bar, pasta station, sandwich station and hot lunch.  It was really cool to go into a college cafeteria and chose what I wanted to eat.”

Future Stars Camps is not just all about the drills, games and the food.  ” Jordan Snider, Site Director at SUNY, Purchase, has had a lasting impression on me because of his dedication to the camp.  Jordan makes an effort to visit soccer camp every day, and even takes the time to join a scrimmage or game.  Every year that I come back to FS, I see a lot of the same people but I also make new friends. It has been a great experience for me, from camper to counselor, and I would highly recommend it for anyone interested in soccer.”

Julia, wherever you end up, they will be lucky to have you.  Thank you too for all the gifts that you have brought to us!

StockSubmitter|||$|00|00000000000000000000000000000000000000|$@_@$$@$$@$@$$@$@$@$@$@$@$@$@$@$@$@$@$@$@$@$@$$@$$@$$@$@$@$@$@$@$@$@$$@$@$@$@$@$@$|||$$0$0$0|_____________________________________|00000000000000000000000000000000000000|

What Can You Do When Your Child Wants to Play, But Is Injured?

A sprain, a strain, or a broken bone. Your child is injured. Injuries during athletics are common. There are more than 3.5 million childhood sports-related injuries per year, according to the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Whether your child’s injury is fairly minor or it’s much more major, it’s likely that they’ll have to sit on the sidelines – at least temporarily. Here’s where the problem comes in. Your child understands the issues that come along with injuries. The pain is real and your child  knows that they have to heal. But, that doesn’t stop your young athlete from wanting to play, practice and compete. What now?

Create an Alternative Role

Participation is a major part of sports play. Your child isn’t just an athlete, they’re a team member too! Now that your child is out for the season (or at least for right now), they need a new role. Talk to the coach, asking what your child can do to stay actively a part of the team.

It’s possible that your child can be in charge of equipment, help pass out water/snacks or act as the team mascot. Get creative and look for ways that your child can do more than just sit alone. Is your child artsy? Maybe it’s time to draw a few “Go team!” banners. Maybe your child loves cooking. Help them to bake cupcakes in team colors or organize a bake sale (to benefit the team) during the game. Obviously, these aren’t the only ideas. Work with the coach, and the rest of the team, to brainstorm other roles your child can play.

Modify the Workout

It may seem like there’s little point in going to practice if your child can’t run down the field, lift weights, or hit a ball. Even though your child can’t get completely in on the action, sitting on the couch at home isn’t the only option – it can be an unhealthy one.

No, your child can’t work exactly like everyone else is. But, your young athlete can do a modified version. Work around your child’s injuries, looking for ways that they can join in or get some sort of physical activity. This might mean extra running (if your child’s arm or hand is injured) or doing upper body-only exercises (if their lower body is hurt).

How does this idea play out on the practice field? Let’s say your child has a broken hand. When the rest of the baseball team is practicing throwing and catching, your child can run laps or do sprints in-between the bases.

Be a Cheerleader

Okay, so this doesn’t mean your child needs to join the school’s cheer squad. Chances are that their injury would prohibit this anyway. Instead of silently sitting in the bleachers and watching the team play, encourage your child to cheer as loud as they can. Turn watching from a passive activity to a totally active one. Whether your child has signs to hold up or is just using their voice, this is an easy way to make your athlete feel like they’re still part of the team.

Watch and Learn

Doing isn’t the only way to learn. Your child can also learn a lot by watching what’s going on. Even though no one wants an injury, this presents a perfect opportunity for some in-depth learning about the sport. Now your child has the chance to sit back and truly see what’s going on in the rink, on the field, or in the court.

Did a play go completely not as expected? Ask your child what they saw that contributed to it. Maybe there’s a sports superstar on your child’s team. Have your child watch what the other player does, learning from their moves and actions. From the best plays of the day to the worst flubs, your child can use this time as a chance to improve their skills through careful observation.

Choosing an alternative way for your child to participate in the sport when they can’t play is a motivating way to keep your young athlete’s interest up. Keep in mind, not all children respond in the same way to injury. Some kids are quick to get in there and cheer for their team, while others let the injury seriously get them down. Talk to your child, asking what ideas they have for participating during this time. Try incorporating their ideas with yours, and the coaches. Make the most of this time and before you know it your pint-sized pitcher or tiny tennis star will be back in the game!

Goalkeeper with selective focus for Sports Backgrounds

Things Every Teen Sports Player Knows To Be True

If you’re a teen sports player, whether you’re into soccer or baseball, you probably already know everything this post is about to say.

There are some things every teen sports player can agree on, no matter what team they’re on. Here are just a few of them:

Nothing Can Match the High you Feel at Game Time

Teens do all kinds of things to enjoy life, but you have all the excitement you need right there when you are playing your sport. There is nothing more exciting than scoring the winning point with just a few seconds left on the clock.

It’s Not Easy Getting School  Work Done

Playing for a team is a demanding hobby. It takes up hours of time and, guess what, you won’t get less school work to do as a result. You’ll have unwritten essays and test revisions piling up while you’re jogging around in the rain. You’ll be up late trying to get schoolwork finished on time because you’ve been out scoring points for your school all evening.

Coach Will Be Tough on You

Even the nicest coaches are tough. They might have hearts of gold, but when it comes down to it, they always favor the tough love technique. You’ll get told off, reprimanded, shouted at and forced to work harder at every opportunity. If they weren’t doing that, they wouldn’t be doing their job. And you know that. What coach says goes.

Playing Sports Gives You the Edge When it Comes to Dating

Spending time working out and prioritizing fitness and health gives you an edge in the love stakes. Peers admire the sports star who knows how to take care of themselves. Plus, scoring the winning points and being the school hero doesn’t hurt.

Not That You’ll Have Any Time to Actually Date

Between matches, practice and school work, good luck finding time to date any of your admirers. You’ll be working all day every day just trying to get everything done. There’s simply no time for cinema dates or sharing sundaes.

When You Do Date, It Has to Be a Sports Fan

If you do somehow manage to find the time to date somebody, it goes without saying it has to be somebody who loves sports. Not because that’s your type, but because most of your dates will be spent at games. They’ll be watching you run around the pitch, so if they are not into sports, it probably isn’t going to work out. Plus, you’d never see each other.

What else does every teen player know to be true?

Full length portrait of an injured soccer football player on crutches isolated on white background

3 Ways To Stay Busy When You’re Injured

When you live for your sport, an injury is one of the worst things that can happen to you. Here are a few suggestions of ways to keep busy when you’re counting down the days until you can play again.

Injuries are an annoying set back. That goes without saying, right? If you live for your sport, there is truly nothing worse than an injury. All of a sudden, you have nothing to do but be in pain and wish you were playing on the team. Sports injuries give you a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out), no doubt about it. So, what can you do to keep busy and stop yourself going crazy when you’re stuck on the sidelines with an injury? Here are three ideas:

Reflect

It’s not often you get the time to sit back and take stock of your life. Your game is strong, your technique is good but there are always things you could improve. An injury, frustrating as it may be, gives you the time to analyze your game. Where are you going wrong? What could you do differently? How can you work towards that goal? It might not sound like much fun, but this injury could actually be a blessing in disguise, if it helps you to improve your game.

Keep Up With Your Exercises

It’s really important that you listen to your healthcare provider to allow yourself the best recovery possible. Speak to your healthcare provider for advice on exercises that will encourage your body to heal and help prepare you for your return to your sport. Do these exercises as often as your doctor advises and make sure they become a part of your regular routine. If you have a bad injury, the exercises may be minimal and seem pointless but it won’t be long before your doctor suggests increasing the amount you do. Remember, your doctor knows best. It may be frustrating having to rest but rest is important in ensuring optimum recovery.

Stay Positive

This isn’t easy, especially when you’re desperate to get back in the game. Having an injury can feel like torture and not just because of the physical pain. It’s that drive to play when all you can do is watch. It’s tough and it’s easy to get swept into a negative way of thinking. Don’t let that happen. Stay positive. Accept what’s happened, there’s nothing you can do now to change it. Yes, it’s hard that you can’t play but there are positives, too. It will give you a chance to focus, to rebuild, and to enjoy the other aspects of your life. See your friends, hang out with your brother, make weekend plans you can’t usually enjoy because you’re playing matches.

How do you keep yourself busy (and positive) when you’re suffering from an injury?

Charlie800

Who are the people behind Future Stars? Meet Charlie VanDercook

We are excited to bring you inspiring interviews with some of our key family members! To kick off our interview series, we’re talking to the patriarch of it all, Co-founder Charlie VanDercook. On any given day during the summers, Charlie can be seen playing tennis with a 7 year old, jumping into a 4 v 4 soccer game, challenging a 14 year old to a push up competition, or simply introducing himself to kids at all of our locations. What is not seen by everyone, is that Charlie has already paddle-boarded for an hour before camp and will go for a mountain bike ride after all the kids go home. His love for sports and physical activities is contagious but even more remarkable is his positive outlook and encouragement to the children.

Youth athletics brings in adults from a variety of backgrounds. From former athletes to educators, you’ll find a winning array of stories when you speak to coaches, staff members, directors and anyone else who has anything to do with helping young people develop their athletic talents. With that in mind, we wanted to know a little bit about Charlie’s background and how he ended up with Future Stars.

On his own background in sports, Charlie said, “I grew up playing all kinds of sports as a kid.” After trying a lot of different sports, he eventually focused on tennis. He played one year of college tennis and spent one season on the 1976 WATCH circuit.

When asked what drew him back to youth sports as an adult, Charlie told us, “I grew up playing tennis and became a tennis instructor. Teaching and coaching kids was a big part of my day and I gravitated to the students.” He went on to add, “I guess I’ve always been a kid myself and love playing games, and I brought that love of the game (tennis) to my junior students in the way of games.”

Charlie’s career didn’t stop at being an instructor – obviously. “I was Director of Tennis at a club in Lake Placid, New York.” While there, he directed the junior tennis camp, a junior program, and organized tennis tournaments. Following this, he was hired as Director of Tennis at the Banksville Racquet Club in Banksville, New York. “The biggest part of our business and our emphasis was on the junior program, where there were 350 participants. I was good at relating to kids, and they liked being with me. I made tennis fun and had aptitude as a teacher.” Between his own athletic background, instructing and directing, Charlie was well-versed in youth sports when he co-founded Future Stars!

Working in youth sports takes a certain love of the game. It also requires adults to consider what they think children can learn from athletics. We asked Charlie, what he thinks children can get out of youth sports?  He said, “Children learn life lessons and most everything about life through playing sports. The fun of striving and competing, and loving the process.” Our Co-founder of Future Stars knows kids can also take away, “The satisfaction of trying your best, whether you win or lose. Learning it takes hard work and tons of practice to achieve goals. They learn to respect the game, the coach, their teammates and opponents.”

The children aren’t the only ones who are reaping the benefits out of sports, and out of Future Stars. Charlie notes, “The biggest reward that I’ve received in my life is that after running Future Stars for 36 years is that, I’ve come into the second generation of campers. Parents that attended are now sending their kids to the camp, because they love Future Stars and they fondly remember their experiences.” And incredibly, Charlie not only remembers these campers’ names after all of these years, but he can tell stories about them from 30 years ago, both on and off the tennis court.

What he’s found particular gratifying is, “The kids I coached come to see me after 20 years, and show me pictures of their kids – relating their stories and giving me credit for shaping their success.” From his early days as a tennis player to inspiring generations of children, Charlie VanDercook has dedicated his personal and professional life to the game!

Young couple: man and  woman run together on a sunset on lake coast.  Silhouette.

5 Ways To Keep Fit Between Seasons

You train hard for most of the year, work real hard on the field and end up in pretty good shape as a result. Then all of a sudden it’s the off-season and the urge to eat junk food whilst binge-watching  movies or television shows is strong, so you’ll need to work hard to stay in shape before the next season kicks off.

Why Stay in Shape?

Having to start from scratch, fitness and ability-wise is not easy, and it means a lot more work for you in the long-term. It’s almost unavoidable that your skills will suffer somewhat during the off-season simply because you won’t be playing as much, but that doesn’t mean your stamina and fitness levels need to drop as well.

How to Stay in Shape

If it’s the thrill of the game that keeps you playing, general fitness training may not be your bag. Here are some tips to help you get started with a manageable fitness routine between seasons:

1. Do it With Friends

The absolute easiest way to make sure you stay health between seasons is to get your friends involved. Make a pact with your team that you’ll all stay in shape and then commit to meeting every few days for some exercise during the off-season.

2. Go Running

Running is a great way to stay in shape. You don’t need much in the way of special gear, it doesn’t have to happen according to a strict schedule and you can listen to music while you do it. Thanks to GPS trackers and phone apps it’s now easier than ever to track exactly how well you’re doing. Why not challenge your team mates to see who can improve their running skills the most before the next season starts?

3. Lift Some Weights

If you want to be better, stronger and more successful, weight training might be just the activity you need. Weight lifting can help you to build your muscle tone, improve your strength and increase your stamina. To get a decent full body workout, you’ll need a gym membership at a facility with a decent weights section.

4. Ditch the Car

A simple way of staying healthy on a daily basis is to simply ditch the car. Instead of catching rides or taking the bus, use your journey time as a chance to exercise. Biking is a great way to improve stamina, burn calories, and build up a sweat. If you don’t have a bike, walking a few miles each day could help you to stay in shape.

5. Don’t Overindulge

You might be able to enjoy sleeping in and worry less about your weight during off-season, but that doesn’t mean you should give up entirely. If you want to stay in shape, it’s important to keep eating healthy. Just because you don’t have a game this weekend, it doesn’t mean you can eat ice-cream for breakfast. Keep eating healthy, protein-rich foods full of vitamins and minerals. It’s also important to prioritize rest, it’s all too easy to get into bad habits when it comes to sleep. Try to make sure you’re getting enough rest even when you do have the occasional late night. Your body is a temple and all that.

Rear view of multiethnic football players with coach standing in the front

Parent or Coach? What Happens When You’re Both?

Parental involvement is key at every level. At school. Obviously, at home. And, when it comes to sports, too. But, what happens when you move from the sidelines and onto the field? That’s right – you’re the coach and a parent at the same time. Not only are you rooting for your child, but you have a whole team of children to help, too. Understanding how this balancing act plays out on the field, and at home is all part of being both parent and coach.

Playing Favorites, or Not

It’s tempting to put your child first. That’s what you do all day. So it only makes sense that you keep going during the one hour you’re at practice or at a game. Right? You need to put the starters on the field, and your child is the natural choice. After all, you’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that they’re the best. Now you get to let them show it. The problem is, you’re looking at your child’s ability in a completely biased way. You see your child as perfect, even if they’re not. It’s totally understandable. That’s what parents do – they see their children as stars.

Now it’s time to take a step back. No one is saying that you bench your child just because you’re also the coach. It’s not a matter of going completely one way or the other. It’s a matter of being fair. This is a shining opportunity to teach your child a lesson, and act as a role model. That said, it’s completely possible that your child won’t understand when you put a teammate in the game. Instead of ignoring the situation, explain to your child that it’s your job to give everyone (this includes your child and everyone else on the team) a fair chance. This means no playing favorites, and it also means not doing the opposite. Assure your child that you won’t purposefully bench them just because you’re mom or dad.

Keeping the Team Separate

Your child doesn’t have your full attention when you’re playing the role of coach. It’s just a fact. You’ve got a group of kids to help, and that means focusing on each one of them. But, when you leave the field, or the court, or wherever else you’re playing, the attention needs to go back to your child. Leaving team talk at practice shows your child that you’re a parent first, and a coach second.

It’s perfectly okay to come home and tell the rest of the family about a game, or what a great job your child did. The important part here is to keep the focus on your child.

When Your Child Makes a Mistake

You haven’t been playing favorites, and are pretty proud of yourself. But, then it happens – your child makes a major mistake. There are three options when this happens. The first is to forget you’re on the field, go into mom or dad mode and shout something along the lines of, “You’re grounded”.  Okay, so that won’t work.

The second option is to flip back into mom or dad mode and rescue your child. Again, that won’t work either. The third option is to treat your child like you would any other team member. When another child storms off the field after missing a goal and screams, “That’s not fair!” at the player who stopped the ball, you talk to them about good sportsmanship. The same should go for your child, too.

Talking to Other Parents

Even if you’re the most equitable coach ever, some parents may still think you’re playing favorites. When your child plays for 31 minutes and their teammate only gets 30 minutes of game time, the teammate’s parent may say that you’re not being fair.

Create a set of fair play and fair treatment rules that you expect yourself and all of the team to follow. Explain these to the other parents, and invite them to ask questions, if they need to. Along with this, consider asking some of the other parents for their help. An assistant coach (or two) is always appreciated. And, with a few other moms or dads helping out, no one can say that you’re playing favorites.

Balancing your roles as parent and coach is a challenge. You want to be there for your child, but you also need to be there for all of the team. Yes, it can be stressful taking on both jobs at once. But, the rewards are worth it. Not only will you get to spend extra time with your child, but you get to act as a role model too!

People Friendship Togetherness Pizza Activity Youth Culture Concept

5 Reasons to Have the Team Over

Having an sports team squished into your living room might not be your idea of a dream evening, but it could be just what the team needs.

Sports teams are about way more than just sports. As a team player, you know this, of course you do, but are you putting it into action? Are you using your time and energy to build strong relationships both during and after games? If not, it might be time you invited the whole team over for pizza and a movie. Here’s why:

It’s All About the Bonding

Strong teams are built on strong friendships. With team members coming and going over the years, it’s important to make sure the team gels well even when key players have moved on. The best way to do this is to invest time in getting to know each and every player. Spending time as a team can help you all to get to know each other and build strong bonds which will make you an even stronger team next time you’re on the field.

It’s Extra Curricular

Ok, you don’t need to do it. You can see people at practice and still enjoy a healthy friendship, but it might be worth putting in that little bit of extra effort. It could give you an edge over the other teams. The team who eats pizza together, scores together… or something like that. Go the extra mile for your team by being the first to host a get together. It could be a pizza night or more of a party, whatever floats your boat. Just as long as it’s your team socializing together, it fits the bill.

It’s a Bit of Light Relief

You know what’s stressful? Sports season. There are well-earned scores, near misses and plenty of defeats. Every team member is under pressure to perform their best at every opportunity. On top of all that, there are school deadlines, part-time jobs and family commitments. It isn’t easy being a young sports player. Adding some team social dates to your diary gives everyone the chance to relax. It gives the team a chance to laugh about the near misses, celebrate the victories and talk each other up.

You’ll Get to Know Your Team Better

You know which player is great on defense and who can run faster than anyone else, but how well do you really know your teammates? This is your chance to get up close and personal. Find out what makes them tick. Let them get to know you better. This will strengthen your relationship both during and after game time.

It’ll Get the Ball Rolling

If regular team social events aren’t common, it’s up to you to change that. Take the initiative. Invite everybody, host the first event and show them how it’s done. Then pass on the baton. It doesn’t always have to happen at your house. Team gatherings can happen anywhere, but this is your chance to get everybody involved. Make it fun and the next one will plan itself. Go on, what are you waiting for?