The key to surviving high school sports

Want to see life turned upside down? Get a high school athlete in the family! Every year, seven million kids are doing the same thing. Should you permit this craziness? There's no question that participating in school sports programs have a lot of positi

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  • Want to see life turned upside down? Get a high school athlete in the family! Every year, seven million kids are doing the same thing.

  • Should you permit this craziness? There's no question that participating in school sports programs have a lot of positive aspects. Here are a few:

    • The opportunity to play a sport he loves at a competitive level

    • Great exercise and physical training she's unlikely to get elsewhere

    • The chance to make more friends

    • Sports takes up time that might otherwise be wasted

    • A group to belong - so pivotal in high school social circles

    • Learning sportsmanship and working as a team

    • The possibility of college scholarships

  • Despite the advantages, get used to the idea that there will be sacrifices and adjustments that can affect the whole family. Here is a list of possible obstacles:

  • Money

  • High school sports are usually expensive. Fees vary, but the student athlete is often expected to pay for items that add up fast. Uniforms, warm up clothing, equipment, shoes, and gym fees might be required - and aren't cheap. Sometimes, teams hold fundraisers to help cover some costs. Get ready to spend more at the grocery store, too.

  • Time

  • Brace yourself—the time commitment is enormous. Between practices, games, and traveling to "away" venues, student athletes spend hours and hours per week involved in their sport. As a parent, you'll find yourself spending a lot of time, as well. If you're the type of parent that plans on supporting your child by attending games, get used to sitting for hours on hard wooden bleachers.

  • Schedules

  • Because of the time required, you'll need to rearrange family schedules. Practices and games can rarely be missed, so everything has to take a back seat to these demands. Some sports have practices that begin in the summer or take place over holiday breaks. Family vacations may require some juggling.

  • Injuries

  • They happen. It's rare for an athlete not to suffer from one.

  • How do you survive this as a parent?

  • The adjustment is easier if the family fully supports the athlete. Attending games as a family offers time together as well as for the athlete. Kids love to look into the stands and see the family cheering them on.

  • From the beginning, parents and students should work together to find the right balance of school work and athletics. Although it may seem impossible, the child needs downtime, too. Juggling everything isn't easy.

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  • Remember the many life lessons your student will learn. The sacrifices and chaos will, hopefully, benefit them throughout their life. Perhaps, one of the best things to tell yourself when trying to survive high school sports is, "Yes, the season will end." Hang on for the ride and remember to have fun.

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Margot Hovley is the author of the novels "Sudden Darkness" and "Glimmering Light." Her self-reliance blog is at mynewoldschool.com, and she blogs about her writing adventures at margothovley.com.

Website: http://www.margothovley.com

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