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Cal South E-News // December 2009 PARENT EDUCATION

December 17, 2009





FREE Access to Sports Path/Cal South Parenting Course

Knowing Me, Knowing You:
5 Simple Questions

Parents, you are incredibly important to the sustained development of youth sports, spending an estimated $5 billion per year on organized youth sports coaching, even during a recession!

As members of Cal South, your children are obviously signed up and playing sports. You want your children to get the most from their sports. They probably play more than one sport. Have you thought why they like one sport more than another or how to avoid them giving up sports altogether?

How do you think you can provide the best assistance?

Question #1: Have you asked your children, "Why do YOU like to play sports?"

"Winning is not in the top 5 reasons' says Michael A. Clark, Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, Michigan State University - after a national survey of 10-18 year olds.

Research shows that the reasons most children start and continue to play sports are;

• It's fun to play
• To make friends and spend time with them
• To learn skills which enhances their self-esteem

Most parents would probably agree, but why not check for yourself and ask your children why they like the particular sports they play?

Question #2: Have you asked yourself, "Why do YOU want them to continue playing?"

Research shows that parents would answer this question that not only would they want their children to have fun, make friends and learn skills, but also because of these additional reasons:

• It's safe
• To continue to be socially active
• To learn life lessons: dedication, commitment, discipline, teamwork etc.
• To foster a healthy lifestyle

Question # 3: So why do kids QUIT youth sports?

A study of US youngsters found that 70% of participants who sign up for sports quit by the time they are 13 years of age.

Give this some thought as you think about the sports you played as a kid yourself.

• At some stage you stopped playing them - why did you stop?
• If you have recently started to take up a sport or an activity - why?
• Have your children stopped playing one sport in favor of another - if so, why?

Question # 4: How do you think you can provide the best assistance?

• Read the policy statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics, regarding this issue
• Accept that as a parent your most important role is to select your child's sport program and check the coach. Parents have played a critical role in developing Youth Sports and they continue to raise standards by demanding the best for their children
• Keep in touch with kids to make sure it's your children who are driving the experience -not you or their coach. Some tell tale signs are :

- Does their sport still enthuse and excite them? Do they talk to you about their sport when they see it on TV or read about it?
- Do they initiate discussion about their own performance, their practices and their competition?
- Do they organize at least some of their sports equipment by themselves ready for practice and competition?
- Are they mostly ready on time? (Remember the Disneyland comparison: they don't need to be dragged there!)
- What happens when their coach's name is mentioned in conversation? (Smile? Scowl? No reaction?)
- In their own leisure time, do they still practice their sport?
- How is their sport impacting their sleeping, eating, and/or studying habits? There is, after all, a strong, positive correlation between sports participation and educational performance.

Question #5: What to look for in a good youth sports program?

• Do some research here.
• Develop a check list - here is an example.
• Try out the online courses for parents at www.sportspath.com
Read this interview with author Mark Hyman on his new book 'Until it Hurts'

For FREE access & instructions to the
Cal South Soccer Parent Course, go to:

http://www.calsouth.com/en/parenting-ed

About Sports Path :
Founded by Robin Russell in 2005, Sports Path is the world leader in the provision of e-learning in soccer. Robin is currently the Football Development Consultant for UEFA (The Union of European Football Associations). Sports Path clients include UEFA, NSCAA, and the Soccer Associations of England, Northern Ireland and Turkey. Robin has previously written 6 books on youth soccer with combined sales of over ¼ million. For more information, please visit www.SportsPath.com .