How Youth Sports Can Help Ease Anxiety and Stress

How Youth Sports Can Help Ease Anxiety and Stress

If your child is suffering from stress and anxiety due to school or something else, you should consider getting them interested in sports. Even though there are fewer children playing sports now than before, you should work towards changing that but getting your children to participate in a youth sport of their choosing, or even more than one.

We say this because sports has scientifically been proven to help with anxiety and stress in both adults and children. Let’s take a look at how that works in youth sports and how your child can benefit.

It’s More Than Another Additional Activity

Physical activity should not be considered as a chore, even though some children might feel like that. Physical activity and sports, in general, are more beneficial than they are problematic. Even though your child might already have a lot to do every day, and by adding another ‘chore’ you both might feel like it would do harm, the reality is the exact opposite.

Playing sports will bring your child a lot. They will start leading a healthier lifestyle and will improve their social skills and cooperation. They will learn and gain a lot that will eventually benefit them in later life – competitiveness, ambition, and they will build character.

All of this is why your child should play sports even if that means that they will have a lot more to do every day. It will be stressful at first as those problems don’t go away overnight, but once they get into it, these practices and matches will ease their anxiety and stress.

What Do Sports Do for Our Bodies?

  • They stimulate the production of endorphins

Sports and other physical activities are essential when it comes to our endorphin production as they stimulate its production. Endorphin is, as you probably already know, responsible for our mood. Essentially, youth sports can help your child feel better and thus ease stress and other problems.

  • They promote socialization

It might seem like something that won’t work on stress and anxiety, but in reality more socializing can help your child in many ways. Children need socializing, the need to make bonds with other children, and they need friendship. The best way to get all of that is by playing team sports. That socialization will eventually relieve them of stress and anxiety with which they’ve been struggling before.

  • They lower depression levels and promote better sleep

Finally, it’s worth noting that there are a lot of studies that show that sports can help ease the symptoms of depression and can also promote improved sleep patterns. Sleep on its own is a great way to alleviate anxiety and stress, and when sports induce it, it’s even better.

The Bottom Line Once you consider all of this, it becomes quite evident that youth sports can benefit your child in more ways than you previously thought. It’s thus imperative to get your child to play sports if they are having problems with stress and anxiety. However, make sure you are not pushing them too hard because over-training can bring these problems back.

3 Reasons Why Pre-Game Routines Are Important

3 Reasons Why Pre-Game Routines Are Important

It’s worth noting that the world’s best athletes have pre-game routines, and it’s been like that for as long as we can remember. But why is that the case? Do these routines play any significance in these athletes’ performance?

In this article, we will give you three compelling reasons which adequately explain why pre-game routines are essential for every athlete to have.

1.    They Are the Best Preparation Method

First and foremost, pre-game routines are the best preparation method an athlete can use. Why? Mostly because habits develop your abilities and skills, they essentially get you ready for the match ahead. An excellent pre-game routine will enable you to ascertain everything you know you can do essentially.

Routines do this by making sure that everything you have learned in practice will now be effectively performed in the game. You can develop these routines during practice and repeat them before a match, and that should be enough to get you truly ready for the game.

2.    They Build Confidence in Your Abilities

The only thing in a game that you can control is yourself. You can do nothing about the weather conditions or the knowledge of your opponents. You can barely even control how your team performs. The only thing that you can control is your playing and your ability.

Even when you’re a great player, you’ll still lose faith in yourself from time to time, which is where routines will come in handy. They enable a player to build their confidence and get them mentally ready for the game at hand.

3.    They Calm You Down

We all, as human beings, love routines. We like having some consistency about a lot of things in our lives. It calms us down because it reassures us that everything is alright. That all works on a deep psychological level and in an effort not to get too technical – routines are familiar, we know how they unfold and what will happen, and this certainty inherently breeds safety.

The same can be said for sports and pre-game routines. By repeating particular moves, we’ll naturally feel safer and thus more calm in that period when most athletes are under stress. The game that’s about to start won’t be a scary thing anymore once all the frequent moves, i.e., your routine, have been performed.

Build Your Perfect Routine

There’s no routine out there that can help you achieve what you want to achieve, but you can certainly build one for yourself.

Every player needs to take a look at what works best for them and develop that into a sequence of moves that will work as a pre-game routine.

If you are a coach, you should explain this to your players and get them to start developing their routines if they don’t have ones. Explain to them that the habit will end up being more than merely helpful. They might even lead them to have the best game of their lives. If you’re interested in more articles like this one, feel free to take a look at our blog, or contact us if you want to get more information.

Playing Favorites in Youth Sports

Playing Favorites in Youth Sports

It often happens in youth sports that the coach chooses to use the same players many times over. It leaves the parents of the kids not getting to play puzzled and sometimes angry.

Why is the coach not picking my child? Do they not like my child? Is my child not good at this sport? There are a lot of questions that naturally arise in such situations, and all of these are valid concerns. There can be a lot of reasons why a coach is choosing certain players and not others.

However, the reality is usually straightforward. The coach chooses specific players because they think those are the best players on the team and the coach wants their team to win.

Having Favorites – Is It Good?

For many, this is the clear case of a coach having favorites, and it can get very annoying for both the looked over players and their parents. In the end, the most important thing for both players and their parents is for the players to play the game. Winning matters, but playing is more important to most of those involved.

We at League Network believe that youth sports need to be more about playing and having fun and not about winning. Yes, winning does matter, but it can’t always come at the cost of most players having the chance to shine.

In youth sports, it’s essential for the children, especially in their pre-teen days, to have enough chances to learn and train – and they can’t do that unless they get the opportunity to play in matches.

So, mostly, having favorites cannot be a good thing, especially as it leads to coaches rarely using other players, which leads to resentment and a desire to stop playing the sport altogether.

What Can You Do?

If you’re a parent of a child not getting enough chances to play, the first thing that you should do is discuss this with the coach. Most coaches are reasonable, and they just got carried away with their desire to win. They will give your child a chance if you explain to them what’s going on.

However, sometimes coaches will not listen to reason, and they will remain firm in their stance to only choose their favorites as that’s the best way for them to win the game.

In such cases, the only thing that you can do is to get your child to practice more and try to become much better.

On the other hand, in some situations coaches have favorites because of their relationship with the parents – for example, the parents are their friends, or they are wealthy and support the school, and they demand their child to play. In such cases, it can even happen that the child is a terrible player, so such favoritism is bringing no one any good.

In these cases, the only thing that can be done is for a larger group of parents to confront the coach and try and convince him or her to turn over a different leaf and stop having favorites.

All in all, a conversation is always the best course of action when coaches are playing favorites.

How to Be an Effective Team Mom Without Hovering

How to Be an Effective Team Mom Without Hovering

Team moms are an essential part of the team, even though they’re not playing or coaching. However, many team moms go overboard and become something like a helicopter parent, which is not something that any reasonable parent would want to be.

If you want to avoid hovering and acting like a helicopter parent, there are some things that you need to know. The following tips will help you become a great team mom without the hovering and other annoying things.

Know the Game

The problem with many team moms is that they don’t know the game and that’s somewhat understandable. But there’s no need for you not to know the basics at least, and maybe the terminology used.

Knowing the game will get you respect from your child and other team members and it will also help you support your young athlete properly. However, that doesn’t mean that you should go overboard because children often feel embarrassed if their parents get too invested in the game and overreact to everything they’re doing.

Be All in but Let Others Have Responsibilities as Well

There’s no way for you to be a capable team mom if you don’t commit. You need to go all in and consider your job to be just that – a job.

However, you shouldn’t go too far, or you’ll appear to be a helicopter parent. To avoid that, you should delegate tasks to others. Find people to assist you with certain things like getting snacks, game films, etc.

Additionally, this will help you hover around less, and you’ll also be able to rest a bit and not tire yourself too much.

Be Ready for Injuries and Don’t Freak Out

Injuries happen in sports, and they are a fairly regular occurrence. If it happens to your child, you needn’t worry too much. Try to do your best to help them and don’t freak out. If you do, you will appear hovering, and you won’t be a capable team mom.

Make sure that it’s nothing serious, but do it calmly because doing it otherwise would be a disservice to everyone, both your child and you.

Relax and Enjoy Yourself

The underlying problem with the hovering and helicopter parenting is that the parents who are like that are usually very uptight and worried. There’s no reason to be like that. Everything would be much better if you were to relax and start enjoying the fact that you’re a team mom.

You’re there to help and have specific responsibilities, but you are also there to enjoy yourself. Sport is about fun, and it’s there to connect people as well. The sooner you realize that; the less this hovering thing will be a problem. It will disappear entirely.

With this and all the other tips we gave you, you’ll quickly become the most active team mom which a mom can be, and your child, as well as all the other children on the team, will love you for it.

The Best Catching Techniques & Tricks for Baseball and Softball

The Best Catching Techniques & Tricks for Baseball and Softball

Catching a baseball or softball looks easy when you’re the spectator, but there’s a lot more to it, and many players know it. Even young athletes can bring their catching technique to resemble an art form if they employ several tricks and techniques that can help.

With that in mind, we wanted to give you a guide of sorts on the best techniques and tricks for catching a baseball or softball.

Tricks Every Young Player Should Know

  • They should always be confident and comfortable when preparing to catch. It will enable the player to move more naturally.
  • There’s no need for too much specialization. Many would say that a specific position is vital for a young athlete, but the exact opposite is the truth. At such early stages, athletes need to strive to be well-rounded and more complete.
  • When teaching the player, proper positioning is critical. They need to know the details of their task, how to stand, how to move, etc.
  • Repetition makes perfect. That’s also key in learning to be a great catcher. The young athlete needs to practice the move over and over again, and they should never stop practicing, even when they become great.
  • In the end, it’s not all about the move itself. When a player becomes good, it’s time to turn part of their focus on the overall strategy of the game. Including them in other aspects of the game will mean a lot for their confidence.
  • Learning from the pros should be part of the training. Children love to see the professionals play and they always want to imitate them, which proves to be a big advantage in the end.

The Best Techniques to Adopt

Being a great catcher is all about mechanics and repetition. A catcher has a single move, and that’s precisely why it’s all about the mechanics of the movement and learning to do it by repeating it.

Assuming the proper position involves bending the knees slightly and lunging a bit forward. It gives the player flexibility, improves speed, and keeps their mind sharp and focused.

The shoulders need to be positioned toward the target as that will make it easier to react with enough speed. Furthermore, the player should stand on the balls of their feet not by completely touching the ground. It will also allow more speed.

Many players don’t watch the ball enough, which proves to be detrimental. The key is never to keep your eyes off the ball, which is something that every great catcher would say.

Staying fixated on the ball allows the player to move if necessary, and maneuver they should if the ball is not going straight towards them. Their eyes should remain on the ball because that will allow them to stop when they’re directly in the path of the ball. If you can manage to explain all of this to your catchers and get them to follow these tricks and techniques, they are bound to get much closer to becoming true professionals at a young age. If you want to get more information or tips, feel free to contact the League Network.

How to Help a Young Athlete Transition when You Relocate Midseason

How to Help a Young Athlete Transition when You Relocate Midseason

Moving is usually the hardest on children. They get used to the life they have and moving means starting everything over from scratch.

A move is especially tough on young athletes who have become very connected to their team.

So if you have to move abruptly and your child needs to transition to another team in the middle of the season, what are the things that you can do to help them? What can you do to guide them to transition effectively and efficiently?

Help the Child Learn and Adapt to the New Team

We are assuming that you’ve already talked to your child about the whole move and that they have learned to accept it and are starting to get back to regular life.

If all of that is said and done, the first thing that you should do is reassure your athlete that everything will be fine. Explain to them that nothing will change, they are still as good of a player as before and are now playing with different children. They don’t have to worry about being a mediocre player as they were already great before, and will continue to be so as long as they remain confident with their abilities.

Help your young athlete understand how everything works in the new team and what’s expected of them. Learn the protocols and procedures of the team together to help them get used to everything.

In the end, you can also have a long talk with the coach to see how everything works and if your child will fit in easily.

If or when something goes wrong and your child is having a problem in the team – not being accepted by others, or something similar – talk to them. Understand the problem and work together to overcome it.

Nothing Needs to Change

The thing about a move is that the child will get used to it if they try to meet new friends and get their life to what it used to be.

Children are very adaptable, and with a little encouragement and help from your end, they will get back to a life similar to the one they had before.

Encourage your child to be optimistic, to attempt to make new friends at school, but most importantly – try and become a real part of the new team.

Tell them to continue training and play as they did before. It will show to the team that they have a new player they can rely on. Very soon after, the entire team will want to befriend your child.

When your child starts feeling like part of that team, it will do wonders for their self-esteem and all other pieces of their life will fall into place quickly. When you look at it like that and try to help your child in the way we described, they will once again start having a great life. If you want to get more advice on these and similar issues, feel free to take a better look at our site.