Although most of us love the summer and hate to see it go, reality is right around the corner. It’s almost time for our young basketball players to go back to school.
It’s time to for all of us to get readjusted to the stricter schedules, homework, earlier bedtimes, and routines of the school year. Chances are your young player is participating in a fall sport or playing in a fall basketball league. It won’t be long before the school and community seasons begin, followed by AAU basketball or other spring sports.
Tryouts can bring on stress for everyone, multiple kids can mean multiple practices per week or even per day as kids get older. If you are still in the chauffeur stage that can mean splitting up the family to make sure everyone gets where they need to be on time. If your kids are driving that may free up your time, but they will still need some help in managing their travel!
Here are a few helpful tips to prepare for going back to school with kids in sports.
There are now so many web based calendars to choose from that you need to get the whole family using the same online calendar. Ditch the old paper calendar and sync everyone’s devices with the calendar. Gather the dates and times of practices and games and enter them in the calendar as soon as they become available. Color-code the calendar by child or sport. Find a method and a calendar that works for your family and then make sure EVERYONE in the family can access so all of you are on the same page.
Once you have your calendar in place it’s time to start thinking about how you are going to get everyone to their events on time. Look at each day and create a plan. Can you carpool? Which spouse will take will drive on Tuesdays? Who is going to spend the weekend at the tournament. If you figure out all of your transportation in advance (at least as much as you can), you’ll cut down on the stress.
If you have kids who drive, they can often get themselves to and from practices or games. Make sure they know when they are responsible for getting there on their own.
With lots of activities going on each day after school it can be difficult to eat healthy. You may find yourself stopping off for fast food more often than you might prefer. Try to think ahead with healthy snacks that kids can eat in the car. Plan meals in advance so your young player is getting the nutrition their body needs for optimal performance out on the court.
Between practices, games, homework, family obligations, friends, etc. your child may not be getting enough sleep. Make sure that their schedule allows for adequate downtime. A full night’s sleep is an essential part of the recovery process for a young athlete.
Help your young player organize their equipment in one place so they always know where to put it and where to look first when the equipment they need is “lost”. We all know kids aren’t perfect when it comes to putting things away, but if you set up a system for where things go it will make it easier when it’s time to rush out the door and they have to grab their stuff!
The older your child is, the more likely their team or league will require a physical. Schedule a physical well in advance of the date it needs to be turned in. Your primary care pediatrician is probably very busy. You can also try one of the minute clinics in a local drugstore as many of them offer a quick and convenient physical on a walk-in basis.
Back to School time is always filled with mixed emotions. Parents and kids alike have to make adjustments in their daily routines. Use these tips to make Back to School easier for your basketball family!
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