Should I Use Social Media for Our Youth Sports League?

Should I Use Social Media for Our Youth Sports League?

If you’re asking the question on if you should use social media for your youth sports league, that means you’re either new to social media, new to youth sports, or both.

Just about everyone is on social media these days. For most, it starts with a Facebook account followed by either a Twitter or Instagram account. Of course, there’s Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn to name a few others. If you’re only just now exploring these channels, you’ll discover how incredible they are at connecting people.

If you’re a youth sports coach, leader, or organizer, social media is a powerful way for you to keep everyone in your community updated and interacting. According to Social Media Today, teens now spend up to nine hours a day on social platforms, while 30% of all time spent online is now allocated to social media interaction. The average person will spend nearly two hours (approximately 116 minutes) on social media every day.

When you think about how often the parents of your athletes and your athletes themselves spend on social media, you recognize that it’s a great channel to keep everyone connected because everyone is already there.

Furthermore, having a social media presence is excellent for fundraising. By having an account on social media for your league or team, you’ve got a platform to spread awareness quickly. You’ll cast a wider net because of social media’s sharing capabilities.

Here’s how to get started:

 

Facebook

Worldwide, there are over 2.01 billion monthly active Facebook users for June 2017. Five new profiles are created every second. Average time spent per Facebook visit is 20 minutes.

As the most used social network, you’ll find most of your athlete’s parents on Facebook. By creating an account on social media for your youth league, you offer parents and athletes an easy way for them to contact you.

It’s also a great place to keep everyone informed of updates, schedules, and general announcements. With most people scrolling through their Facebook feeds every day anyway, it will be hard for them to miss.

Facebook is also a fun place to post photos and videos of anything to do with the league. Parents and athletes can share their own photos on the page as well. To invite more engagement to your Facebook page, you should enlist someone to capture photos at your games and practices. You may even want to invite a particularly social media savvy parent to share their photos with you that you can post them on your league page.

 

Twitter

While you’ll get more interaction on Facebook, Twitter is ideal for sharing news, event reminders, sharing links, and sharing tweets from others. Many pro athletes are on Twitter and retweeting a motivational tweet from a star athlete may be good for your followers.

 

Instagram

Instagram is perfect if you or someone in your organization is great at shooting video or taking photos with their mobile. Visual content is super fun, and Instagram is the place to share it. Parents and athletes will love seeing photos and videos of them in action. You can choose to keep your Instagram account private to only the followers you approve, ensuring that only those in your community have access to the images.

Remember, while your priority in having a social media account or accounts for your youth league is to keep the involved community up-to-date, it’s also the ideal place to make connections for sponsorship opportunities.

Local businesses that will want to sponsor you will love that you have a social media that can do marketing from them by sharing their Facebook content or retweeting their Tweets. Having a social media presence is very appealing to businesses who are seeking to be involved in an organization that has an active audience.

What Is The Proper Amount of Sleep For My Child?

What Is The Proper Amount of Sleep For My Child?

How old is your child? The amount of sleep they should be getting every day depends on their age.

To support their rapid mental and physical development, children and teens need significantly more sleep than adults. In fact, they require a certain amount of sleep that is essential to their proper development and well-being.

It’s crucial that kids get enough sleep; the effects of insufficient sleep can be damaging. Sleep is essential for rejuvenating cells, rebuilding muscle, and restoring the body. Sleep is the time our brains de-clutter and emotions are regulated. Enough sleep balances the hormones which help promote growth in children. It is through sleep that our immune systems are given a boost. And sufficient sleep is what protects mental health.

The amount of sleep children need varies based on their individual age and other factors. Here is a general guideline to how much sleep your kid should be getting:

Age                Recommended
Newborns: 0-3 months

 

14 to 17 hours
Infants: 4-11 months

 

12 to 15 hours
Toddlers: 1-2 years

 

11 to 14 hours
Preschoolers: 3-5 years

 

10 to 13 hours
School-aged Children: 6-13 years

 

9 to 11 hours
Teenagers: 14-17 years

 

8 to 10 hours

 

The sleeping habits of younger children are easier to manage for as long as you are strict with implementing bedtimes. Remove distractions like loud noises in the house such as music or the television. Make sure they have no access to gadgets.

Develop a post-bedtime routine by winding things down at least 30 minutes before their bedtime. Kids tend to fight bedtime because they are upset that they are missing out on something fun by going to bed early. By making the home less exciting before their bedtime, they’ll go to bed willingly.

Ensuring that older kids get enough sleep is more difficult, particularly if they are teenagers. If you suspect that they are sleep deprived, try talking to them and explaining the detrimental effects of inadequate sleep.

How To Get Exposure To College Scouts

How To Get Exposure To College Scouts

How hard is it to get noticed by college scouts?

Some might say that it depends on who you are and where you go to high school. It’s true that some high schools are already on the radar of most college scouts.

But really, the answer is that it depends on who you are and how determined you are. Whether you are from a small town or a high school athletics program, there are ways that you can get yourself in front of the college scouts.

You need to be proactive and prepared for the process of identifying the right college for you and getting the coach to take notice. It’s a daunting process, but well-worth it considering the outcome could be a full ride scholarship. Here are some tips on how to get exposure to college scouts:

Recruiting services may be considered the easiest approach, but it’s also the most expensive. A recruiting service will put together a recruiting video for you by using existing video that’s been shot of your during your high school career. This is why it’s ideal to have had a friend or family member shoot video of you during all your games. The higher quality the video, the better.

The recruiting service will compile the highlights of your video to create a compelling recruiting video that they will send to college coaches.

College coaches revealed that they receive dozens of recruiting videos each week from high school students all across the United States. The good news is that most college coaches have said that they review every single one of them; admitting that they would hate to be the one to miss out on a great recruit simply because they skipped on watching a few recruiting videos.

And if you want to save yourself from spending money on a recruiting service, you can put together your own highlight video. You may have a friend or know someone who can take your existing video and put together a video for you at a fraction of the cost or even for free!

This is where it pays to have been prepared at the beginning of your junior and senior year and had someone present at each one of your games to film you in action. A good quality camera with a good zoom function would be ideal.

Getting college coaches to notice you would also take a lot of research and work on your end. You’ll be the one responsible for sending all the video to the right people. Visit college websites and find the schools you are interested in. Apart from sending the videos, make sure you craft letter or emails that express your interest in their school and sports program.

If you’re not already on a college coach’s radar, it will be challenging to get noticed considering the thousands of others all over the country who have the same dream as you. However, it’s not impossible. It takes hard work and persistence.

6 Exercises to Improve Your Speed

6 Exercises to Improve Your Speed

Speed is the foundation of most athletic activity, making improving speed a goal for every athlete. Regardless of what sport you play, being faster than your opponent can be the difference between winning and losing the game.

Any athlete who must move swiftly and frequently change direction on the court or field will benefit immensely from regularly doing programs like speed training. Speed training should be a combination of exercises that boost velocity, coordination, cardiovascular endurance, and agility.

These 6 exercises for improving speed are excellent for any sport but particularly beneficial for those who play basketball, football, rugby, volleyball, and soccer.

  1. Lunge

The down position of the lunge resembles the airborne position in sprinting.

  • Step forward with a very long stride with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Upon landing, slowly lower your upper body straight down.
  • Shift your weight backward.
  • Extend your forward leg.
  • Return to your standing position
  • Repeat with the other leg for 10 repetitions each.

     2. Sled Pull

When you have a weight attached to your midsection, you are amplifying the movements that help with sprinting.

  • Place enough weight to create resistance onto a sled and attach a rope or strap around your waist or shoulders.
  • Run with the sled as fast as you can.
  • Drive your knees and pump your arms to drive out.

3. Squat

There are many variations to the squat that are excellent for improving speed. However, adding resistance such as a barbell is a great way to build strength as well. Here’s the Barbell Back Squat:

  • Grab the bar with a grip that’s comfortable for your shoulders.
  • Un-rack the weight
  • Brace your abs and push your hips back to descend into the squat position.
  • Squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground or slightly below parallel.
  • Keep your knees in line with your toes, chest up and back flat as you push through your heels to stand up.

4. Depth Jumps

Depth jumps allow you to accelerate into a sprint, jump for a dunk or throw a fastball.

  • Stand on a box
  • Drop off the box, land briefly absorbing the shock
  • Immediately jump as high as possible.

Remember that the landing period (or amortization phase) is typically less than 0.2 seconds.

5. Single Leg Hurdle Jumps

For multi-directional speed and quickness, single-leg hurdle jumps train quick single-leg movements and deceleration

  • Stand on one leg
  • Perform a quick counter squat
  • Immediately extend your knee and hip to jump over the hurdle.
  • Land as softly as possible on the same leg.

   6. Dead-lift

The Dead-lift, much like the squat, increases the amount of force you can put into the ground thus making you run faster.

  • Grasp the barbell with your feet about hip-width apart with an overhand or over/under grip
  • Keep your chest up and back straight as you pull the bar off the floor by fully extending your hips.
  • Keep the bar close to your body throughout the lift.
5 Motivational Sports Movies to Watch Before a Big Game

5 Motivational Sports Movies to Watch Before a Big Game

The following 5 films make up our favorite motivational sports movies for teaching us about sportsmanship, determination, teamwork, and chasing our dreams.

  1. Rudy

Rudy tells the story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger who is an average kid with big dreams of playing football for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame University. This film is a marvelous underdog story that makes most who watch it well-up with tears.

Despite his limited athleticism and all of the obstacles along the way, Rudy never gives up on his dream, and with persistence, he makes it on the team. Rudy is not a movie about an exceptional athlete but the story of a determined young man who by the end of the film, is hoisted on his teammate’ shoulders as the crowd chants his name.

2. The Rookie

The Rookie is the true story of Jim Morris, a high school science teacher and baseball coach who never had a chance to pursue a baseball career when he was younger.

His students believe in him so much that they get him to promise them to try out for the upcoming Major League baseball camp. Despite being 35, Jim Morris is offered a chance to pitch by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Morris, thanks to the support of his family, community, and students, is empowered to follow his dreams. He goes on to spends two seasons in the MLB.

3. Miracle

Miracle is the inspirational story of the U.S. Men’s Hockey team and their underdog victory at the 1980 Winter Olympics over the Soviet Union. The movie stars Kurt Russell as USA head coach Herb Brooks.

Those who were alive during the 1980 Olympics will tell you that the movie, Miracle, beautifully captures the drama of that time.

4. A League of Their Own

A League of Their Own is a sports comedy-drama film that tells a fictionalized account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League(AAGPBL). A League of their Own is light and inspiring.

The movie begins as a candy-bar tycoon enlists agents to seek women who could play baseball while most of the men at that time are away at war. Two sisters, Dottie (Geena Davis) who can hit and catch, and Kit (Lori Petty), who can throw a mean fastball, are discovered.

The team’s coach is a broken-down alcoholic played by Tom Hanks. Inspired by the team and after a few weeks of training, as Dugan sobers up, the team begins to show some promise. By the end of the season, the team has improved to the point where they are competing in the World Series.

5. Remember the Titans

In 1971, two schools in Alexandria, Virginia integrate forming T.C. Williams High School. The white head coach of the Titans is replaced by an African American coach from North Carolina.

Remember The Titans is based on a true story that tells the story of one coach’s struggle to integrate a high school football team who are made up of different races.

Tensions are eased during the two-week training camp in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. However, when the  players returned to Alexandria, they find their city in turmoil due to those who oppose the desegregation of the high schools. But as the season progresses, the team’s success and their perfect season causes the community to accept the changes and see that unity is possible.