This post is part of a series as a compensated #CapriSunCrew ambassador.
As we head into a new school year, it’s also time for a new sports season. My three boys play some of the same sports but not all. Between them, this fall, they’ll be participating in soccer, baseball, karate, and running (let’s not count basketball for right now since it doesn’t start until December). Though I’ve also heard them talk about gymnastics, dance, chess club, and the school musical.
Before you sign your child up for a new sport or activity, there are four important questions to ask yourself:
Does my child want to play?
This is the most important question to ask when you’re headed into a new season. If it’s a new-to-your-child sport, you might not know the answer until they’ve had a chance to try it out; you never know what is going to spark their interest.
But if it’s a sport your child has played before, make sure you know whether or not your child wants to continue. Unless you’re at some crucial point where there’s a scholarship up for grabs that season, there’s no harm in taking a season off from one sport to try another. Maybe the new sport will end up being what your child truly loves or maybe it will show him that he misses the old one and he’ll want to sign back up the next season.
You want your child to want to play and to have fun. Sports can take up quite a bit of your family’s time and the last thing you want is to have each practice and game cause an argument about whether or not your child is going.
What are the fees involved?
If one of my boys really wants to participate in a sport or activity, we’ll try to work it out no matter what. But it is important to understand all the fees involved: registration fees, monthly/weekly dues, uniforms, equipment, tournaments, competitions. It all adds up, especially if the kids in your family play multiple sports.
Some leagues have payment plans, discounts for multiple children or for volunteers, as well as scholarships. Don’t let the fees stop you if it’s something your child is enthusiastic about, but go into a new sport aware of them.
Can we make the time commitment?
When are the practices? How many days a week? How long is the season? When are the games and tournaments? How much travel is involved?
You don’t want to overschedule your kids. That can look different to each family; my boys participate in a few sports each season. But it’s impossible for them to be in two places at once and I’ve yet to figure out how to clone myself, so I have to consider if they can get to the majority of their practices and games and if I am able to get them where they need to be (whether I do it myself, my husband does, or we know another parent on the team who can help).
With multiple kids playing multiple sports, sometimes my family will have to miss a practice or a game. But if you know going in that your child will be missing the majority of them due to scheduling conflicts, you might have to make a choice between different activities instead of trying to fit them all in.
Will we still have free time?
If adding another sport means that my boys’ free time and our family time is drastically reduced, we take a pass on adding another sport. I want my kids to have time to relax and to play however they want, using their imaginations to come up with new games.
Should they stare blankly at me when I suggest they go outside and play something, Capri Sun has creative ideas with Push Play, where you can get ideas based on what equipment you have, where you are, and how many kids are playing. While I’m a huge believer in organized sports, I also want my kids to have creative, free play time, too, and Capri Sun supports that.