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.

Equal Playing Time for All vs. Winning a Game – Which is More Important?

Equal Playing Time for All vs. Winning a Game – Which is More Important?

It’s a tricky question and an endless debate to which we have an answer. An answer that won’t satisfy everyone, but after long research and discussion, we believe it to be the only reasonable solution.

It’s Not as Simple as You Might Think

What’s more important in youth sports? Giving players equal playing time or winning the game? More often than not, the two can’t go together. You have to opt for one and sacrifice the other.

If you give everyone equal playing time, that inherently means that the weak players will have to play as well. And that often results in a lost game. However, if you don’t allow them to play and thus learn, how are they to become better players?

On the other hand, if you focus on winning, many players won’t get the chance to shine and learn. That will leave you with matches won, but with a lot of disappointed children and parents.

So yes, it’s a tricky question to answer.

It Depends on the Age

Everyone wants to play the game, no matter the sport. That’s especially true when it comes to children. If they don’t get the chance to play in official matches, it will be like they never played at all, and they might as well be sitting at home watching the game on TV.

When children play sports and join teams, they don’t want to train merely. Training for them is a means to an end. They have to do it to get better and finally get a chance to shine in an official match where there are stakes involved.

As youth sports are all about the children, We firmly believe that the children should have the chance to do what they came here to do in the first place – play the game and have fun. Winning the game comes in second place.

However, that’s not all. That should be the case for children up until the age of fourteen and the high school years. At that point, there needs to be a shift in the way of thinking.

Children at that point are no longer only children, they are now real players, and as such, they need to earn their time on the field. At that point, they prefer winning, and they want to keep getting better. Those who don’t have nothing to look for on the field and don’t have to be there.

The Conclusion

As you can see, the answer is not simple, and there can never be a universal solution for everyone.

As long as kids are kids, they should have fun, and sports are there to provide precisely that. At these stages of their development, they should only have fun while developing their playing skills. The only way to do that is for them to play the game.

When children get older, there should be a gradual shift towards them earning their place in the game along with a focus on winning the games. Nothing in life will come free, everything must be learned and earned, and when your players are old enough, that’s precisely when they should learn this simple truth. However, they should still have some fun as well!

What Kind of Conditioning is Good for Players During the Off-Season?

What Kind of Conditioning is Good for Players During the Off-Season?

However, the modern times have brought upon us a whole different story. Kids today play with their phones, computers, and consoles, and most of that time involves sitting or lying down.

It was easier before in earlier times. Children used to play outside all the time, so the parents didn’t have to worry about their young athletes getting exercise and staying in shape.

Don’t get us wrong; you don’t have to push your child to their limits and not allowing them to have fun. But you should get them to exercise, or they’ll be completely unprepared when the next season starts.

The Best Kind of Conditioning

The off-season is the time for rest, but you still have to keep your young athlete in shape. The key during the off-season is to also full-body conditioning, no matter the sport your child plays.

Full-body conditioning exercises are vital because they build balance, agility, endurance, and coordination. Additionally, they are also strengthening the entire body.

Doing fewer exercises than usual can still be enough, and they will even allow the child to be ready when the season kicks in.

The Exercises to Use

  • Split jacks are simple yet effective. One foot goes back and lowers into a lunge with the arms down. Then quickly jump up and switch to the same lunge with the other side. While jumping the arms should go up. The key is to do these in quick succession.
  • Plank to low squats – your child certainly knows these already. Begin in the plank position and jump with the feet to a squat position, all the while keeping the hands in the same position. Then repeat the moves quickly for a short while.
  • Mountain climbers are a useful type of full-body conditioning exercise. They are all about keeping the core tight and quickly switching the legs as if running horizontally.
  • Pushups are also essential but require no explanation. The only thing most children forget is to breathe correctly by exhaling while going up and inhaling while going down.
  • Speed skaters are tiring but effective. Start by moving to one side by stepping one foot behind the other and getting the legs crossed where the thighs are but getting them to be apart from each other with the feet. Then hop to the other side doing the same thing again. Keep doing these quickly; one after the other.
  • Star jumps are also self-explanatory, but they need to be done right. When jumping, it’s vital to go as high as possible, and when squatting, the knees need to be in line with the feet and together with the bottom, parallel with the floor.

The Bottom Line

All in all, it’s not only important to stay active during the off-season but to do the right exercises as well. The explanations and exercises we gave above should be enough for your child to keep fit and ready when the new season kicks in. Furthermore, these exercises will prevent injuries as well.Contact the League Network if you would like to know more or find out about some additional exercises for your child.

Bombs Away – The Prominence of the 3-Pointer in Youth Basketball

Bombs Away – The Prominence of the 3-Pointer in Youth Basketball

This year, the NBA has suggested a change in the overall rules and guidelines for youth basketball. Among many changes, the most prominent ones are the exclusions of zone defense and 3-pointers.

The Changes – Are They Necessary?

The NBA argues that these changes will help with the development and enhance experiences for children. The current rules are more fit for adults, and many believe that children easily get discouraged from playing basketball as the games are long, the basket is high, and many shots are hard to accomplish, like the ubiquitous 3-pointers.

Many changes have been made, but all of them have been set to accommodate players according to their age, which is why the guidelines divide into four segments, ages 7 to 8, 9 to 11, 12 to 14, and grades 9 to 12.

For the first three segments, there are lower baskets as well as slightly smaller balls. Furthermore, neither group will play zone defense, and the 3-pointer shots will turn into regular 2 pointers. The opinions differ, and it doesn’t mean that everyone in the USA will implement the rules (the NBA and USA Basketball do not govern all youth tournaments in the country).

However, 3-pointers indeed are tougher for younger players, even high-schoolers. So, let’s see how prominent these shots are in youth basketball so you can decide for yourself whether or not they should exist.

The 3-Pointers in the Youth Basketball

Many youth sports have been losing in popularity in recent years, but 3-pointers in basketball have always been popular. However, their prevalence is high in adult basketball, which is not to say that they aren’t popular with kids as well. They indeed are, maybe even more so, however, they are not as prominent as they are in professional basketball because the children do not have the physical ability to shoot 3-pointers with relative ease as the adults do.

The basket is high and to achieve 3 points you have to be very far from the basket, which is a tough thing to accomplish when you’re young.

However, youth players do love basketball, and they usually try to emulate their role-models who are in most cases the big shots from the NBA. Since 3-pointers are ˝cool˝ in the eyes of children, they often try their best to perform them. It usually ends up as a waste of time because they sacrifice increasing their skills in other areas of the game.

Many would agree with this assessment, like one of the greatest NBA shooters of all time, Stephen Curry. He said: ¨My dad had the same kind of mentality of development as I got stronger and bigger. He wanted me to make sure I didn’t sacrifice form and mechanics just to be able to shoot an NBA three before I was ready.¨

For children, emulating their heroes is an excellent way to improve their skill, but when they attempt something that’s almost impossible for them at their age, they are wasting time that should be spent on the improvement of basketball skills in general.

We would love to hear your opinion, especially if you’re a parent or a coach, so comment below with your views on the matter.