10 Ways You’re Causing Your Child Sport-Induced Stress

Participating in a sport is supposed to be fun. In fact, a recent survey conducted by the American Psychological Association estimates that 9 percent of all children use sports to help manage stress. For those children, sports can be fun, but for many children, sports can be extremely stressful.

Children taking part in competitive sports often feel stressed, but the cause of that stress may be surprising to some parents. Often, it isn’t the coaches or your children’s teammates that are causing the stress; it could be you — and you may not even know you’re doing it! Are you guilty of any of these stress-inducing behaviors? Avoid stressing your child out during sports activities by remembering these stressful behaviors parents engage in during games, practices or even around the house.

1. Talking About Your Own Great Sports Accomplishments

Sharing your own sports accomplishments may be inspiring to your child, but if you keep bringing them up, it could become stressful. Many children experience sport-induced stress from hearing stories about how great their parents were at a sport because they feel they have to accomplish the same things their parents did.

2. Comparing Your Child to Other Team Members/Children

Children have their own unique talents and abilities when it comes to a certain sport. Comparing them to other children or other teammates could produce feelings of anxiety and stress, especially when they are unable to perform the same skills or at the same level as the other child.

3. Turning into a Bleacher Coach

You may think coaching from the sidelines is offering your child extra support or help, but it really is just confusing them. Children will feel extreme levels of stress with “bleacher” coaching from parents because they do not know to whom to listen for advice. Should they do what the coach is telling them, or should they listen to their parent?

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4. Making Sports the Center of Your (and Your Child’s) World

Yes, there are a lot of things that can come from engaging in sports. Scholarships, wonderful opportunities to travel and even jobs, but there is no reason it should become the center of your world or your child’s. What if they want to try a different sport or they get injured? Sports may not always be there, and if it’s all you talk about, your child will feel obligated to stay in sports long after they no longer want to play.

5. Arguing with the Coach Over Sports Decisions

If all parents had their way, their children would play in every game the entire time. But that decision rests with the coaches, not the parents — and for good reason. Don’t spend the time arguing with the coaching staff about how often your child is playing. It is embarrassing and stressful for your child!

6. Living Vicariously Through Your Child

It’s natural to want what is best for your child, but when it comes to sports, you have to follow your child’s lead and let them pick the sports they want to take part in. Introduce your children to a sport you played when you were younger, but don’t force them to play just because you loved it and want to relive the good old days.

7. Making Every Game Seem Like Life or Death

No parent likes to see their child lose, and you don’t want to encourage a child to have a “who cares?” attitude, but it is important to make sure winning isn’t everything. When winning is everything, a child will feel tremendous pressure to impress all the time.

8. Forcing Extra Practice Sessions

Children need practice to succeed at sports, but scheduling several extra practice sessions a week can be overwhelming to youngsters and stressful/harmful on the body. Feel free to encourage your children to practice, but don’t force them to practice for hours in addition to their regular practice sessions.

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9. Overbooking Your Child’s Schedule

It is tempting to want to sign up a child for every sport they show a remote interest in, but many sports seasons overlap. The overlapping season leads to an overbooked schedule for your child, which leaves them tired, cranky and experiencing sports-induced stress. Pick one or two sports to focus on. It will be enough to keep you and your child busy.

10. Missing Important Family Events for Minor Sports Events

Scheduling conflicts between your child’s sports team and family events are inevitable. If the family event is important to you or other family members, skipping it could cause your child to feel an overwhelming amount of stress or guilt. After all, you’d be missing something important because of their interest in a sport.

Brandon Capaletti is the Vice President of Cisco Athletic, a Maryland-based athletic apparel manufacturer that designs, produces and distributes custom uniforms for 18 different sports including basketball, soccer, and baseball.

 

 

TeamSnap Offers a New and Improved Team Store Experience

Whether you play for the Tigers, the Narwhals or the Fighting Unicorns, TeamSnap’s new Team Store experience will make it easier for your players, coaches and fans to show their team pride.

TeamSnap’s new Team Store experience has been completely updated and improved and is now powered by KitOrder, the same team order management service that fuels Riddell, Louis Garneau, Sugoi, Sports Authority and Sport Chalet. Now you can quickly and easily choose the items you want to offer in your Team Store, featuring your team colors, name and logo, and share the store teamwide.

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  • Grandma wants a team jacket? What’s her size?
  • Dad wants team-branded warm-up pants? We’ve got him covered (literally).
  • Sister wants a team soccer ball? No problem.
  • Don’t see what you’re looking for? Just ask!

The Team Store offer a variety of apparel and equipment specific to your sport, and team managers can select from hundred of products and colors to find exactly what the team needs for the season. But if we don’t have what you’re looking for, simply let the folks at KitOrder know, and if the item is available, they’ll add it to your store.

How It Works

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Select from name-brand gear and equipment, with team pricing, to create your own Team Store.

  • Click on the Team Store tab on the TeamSnap web app dashboard (if your team manager has previously disabled the Team Store tab, he or she will need to re-enable it at Manager Preferences → Tab Manager).
  • Upload your logo.
  • Select your team colors.
  • Choose your team products.
  • Share with your team and fans.
  • Orders are paid for individually.
  • Orders are shipped directly to the customer placing the order.

With the Team Store feature, there’s no more papers to fill out or checks to collect. Just one more way we make it easier to organize your team!

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Stephanie Myers is the Content Manager for TeamSnap, managing such content as this blog, the TeamSnap newsletter and much more. When she’s not being the boss of content, you can find Stephanie competing in a competitive skee-ball league in Austin, Texas.

 

New Availability Features Make It Easier to Track Your Roster

When I interview customers about how TeamSnap can improve, the feature they most want to talk about is Availability, which is fun for me, because as the team manager of my daughter’s club soccer team, it’s where I spend most of my time, too.  I’m constantly nagging the parents to answer that seemingly simple question, “Will Tina be at the game Saturday?”  Well, at least I’m constantly nagging Tina’s parents with that one….

So to help us managers get what we need from our players, we’ve added a few new Availability features to the web app, now available for all TeamSnappers, far and wide.

First, for players who always show up for everything, we’ve added the ability to mark all undecided events with the same status with just one click on the website. Players can look for the button right beneath their name on the Availability page. No more complaining about one-at-a-time updates!

Second, we have a new button viewable only to managers on the Availability page that will allow them to easily send a reminder to members who have not yet set their availability for a specific event. This is a duplicate of the “Send Sign Up Reminders” button that was hidden on each individual event’s page. I say “hidden” because I was a TeamSnap user for three years before learning of this button’s existence. I had been sending manual “availability nag” emails for years, so you can imagine my excitement when I stumbled across it as an employee. Nirvana!

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Third, for coaches and managers who prefer to assume every member of the team is automatically coming to every event, we have a new setting in the Preferences tab that will set all roster members’ availability to “yes” by default for all newly created games and events (team members will still be able to manually change their availability for any event).

While this has been an oft-requested feature, here’s a word of advice you may want to heed before turning this on: don’t forget to inform all members of your team that you’re doing so! You certainly don’t want to be surprised on game day when players who you think are coming don’t show up.

Of course, you may have to have that one awkward conversation with the player who didn’t let you know.  But to me, one tough talk reminding someone about the importance of filling out one’s availability is a lot better than having to nag them every … single … week!

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Now, this feature may not be right for every team.  Adult teams may want to stay away, as who’s got time to make everything these days?  But for youth teams where participation at every event is the expectation, not the exception, this may be just the trick for you.

So that’s all for now, but there’s more improvements coming online soon that I can’t wait to tell you about.  I hope these new features will help you get those availability deadbeats in line!

 

Introducing TeamSnap for Android 3.0: Now Both Pretty and Awesome

scheduleWe’re super excited today to take the wraps off TeamSnap 3.0 for Android. It’s our biggest Android release yet, and we think you’re going to love it.

The first thing you’ll notice is a spiffy new look.

We’re updating the design of TeamSnap everywhere, and Android users are getting the new makeover first.

We want to make sure TeamSnap looks modern, friendly and approachable on all your devices — phones, tablets, browsers — on every platform.

But it’s more than just a pretty face, because we’ve done everything possible to make the app speedier. Thanks to some major work under the hood, you should now find your TeamSnap Android experience to be overall snappier. You want to locate your next game or look up the coach’s phone number as quickly as possible, and this release is a jump forward in how fast the app runs.

But speed is also about how fast you can get to the information you need, so we’ve moved some key tasks front and center in the app. Our redesigned Schedule screen now has a widget for setting your availability for each game and event. No more drilling into each individual event to event-detailset availability, just fire up the Schedule screen and set and confirm your availability with a quick tap-tap-tap. We’ve also made the game/event detail screens easier to read so you can get all the scoop you need at a quick glance.

Those are just a few of the big things, but there’s much more:

Want to copy someone from your TeamSnap roster to your device’s address book? Boom! One click. Done.

Higher-resolution photos? We got ‘em.

Easier to use Facebook login? You bet.

And of course, there are dozens of little tweaks and bug fixes to make your TeamSnap experience on Android better than ever.

If you don’t yet have TeamSnap 3.0 for Android, hop over to the Google Play store and grab it. It’s free! If you already have it, be sure to upgrade to this great new version.

We hope you’re delighted by this new release, and we’d love to know what you think. Comment here, or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter to give us your feedback. A few surprises are in store for version 3.1, so stay tuned!

 

TeamSnap Customer Profile: Colorado Premier Basketball Club

The stereotype of the overly competitive sports club is a common one — coaches who over-train their players, teaching them that the biggest achievement is to win at any cost; players who can’t handle losing; parents who get into screaming matches with coaches and referees.

One Colorado basketball club is trying to avoid perpetuating this stereotype with a focus on not only athletic development but also on compassion, preparation and having a positive outlook.

“One of the biggest challenges facing the youth sports community is maintaining a positive, competitive environment without parents and coaches getting too emotionally involved, which can manifest itself into a scene made over a bad call, a foul, etc.,” said Mychal Martinez, developmental director for Colorado Premier Basketball Club.

“At the end of the day, sports are about the kids and their development as athletes and young men and women. Our goal as a competitive basketball club is to create a positive, family environment where kids can grow not just on the court, but off the court as well.”

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Colorado Premier Basketball Club is a non-profit youth basketball organization founded by former NBA player Keith Van Horn, who serves as the club’s executive director (and sometimes TeamSnap spokesperson). The club hosts a variety of youth programs including First Dribbles, After School Hoops, Development Camps, Top Flight Group Training and the U10-U18 Premier Academy program.

This a TeamSnap League and Club customer is just two years old but is already making a name for itself in the youth sports community. In fact, in early July, nine of the club’s teams placed first in their tournaments, which sent a wave of pride through the whole organization.

“We have the hardest-working players, parents, coaches and staff members who deserve nothing but the best,” Martinez said. “To see our teams have this kind of success this early is a testament to Keith Van Horn’s vision of teaching kids to love the game and play it the right way.”

Part of encouraging kids to play the game “the right way” is reflected in the way parents and coaches are expected to behave.

The club asks parents to attend Positive Coaching Alliance seminars and agree to a parent code of conduct that includes what many of us might think of as a “sleep on it” rule — a policy requiring parents to wait until the next day to address any team-related issues they may have during a game or practice.

The club’s coaches are also expected to model the kind of professional conduct players should display as well, before, during and after games. Coaches are asked to balance preparing players in practice, displaying knowledge of the sport, appropriately interacting with referees and parents, providing equal playing time opportunities, and, on top of all that, winning games.

“This is a tough balancing act for any coach involved in youth basketball and our coaches have done an exceptional job at it,” Martinez said.

Of course, everyone occasionally has a slip up, no matter how many workshops or behavior agreements they sign. Martinez said the Club tries to take a proactive approach in dealing with these types of situations.

“We have policies and procedures to not only try to minimize negative events but also effectively deal with them when they do happen so everyone can move forward in a positive direction,” he said. “Negative events sometimes happen, and you have to have a plan in place to not only deal with these negative issues but also make sure we learn and grow from them.”

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With that much to think about, the Colorado Premier Basketball Club relies on TeamSnap to help streamline some of the organizational and communication tasks of running a team or league. Martinez was new to team organization software and said he especially found TeamSnap’s club registration features, which allows administrators to easily facilitate online registration and collect waivers and player information, a time saver.

“Between the desktop version of the service and the TeamSnap app, our club has a streamline of communication with our teams and coaches that many other clubs do not,” he added. “One of the biggest compliments we receive as a club is that we are very organized and communicate information well. TeamSnap has a lot to do with that.”

Colorado Premier Basketball Club has even developed an app of its own. Top Flight Basketball App is available on all iOS and Android mobile devices and features a basketball training and skill development program developed by the Colorado Premier staff and coaches.  It teaches players, through video, how to master the skills that produce in-game results. There is also an “Ask Coach” feature where users can directly connect with the folks at Colorado Premier.

Stephanie Myers is the Content Manager for TeamSnap, managing such content as this blog, the TeamSnap newsletter and much more. When she’s not being the boss of content, you can find Stephanie competing in a competitive skee-ball league in Austin, Texas. If you’re a TeamSnap customer who would like to volunteer your story for the TeamSnap blog, please contact Stephanie at support@teamsnap.com