Here’s how to balance school and soccer practice for all ages. Each Fall season I hear from at least one [fairly stressed] parent who suddenly cannot seem to make the training appointments, therefore doesn’t know why or what to do. The issue is not usually one of incompatibility with the schedule but with an inability to balance the new schedule well. Everything has its own learning curve; however most people do really well on a schedule. It is the coordinating of your own schedule with everyone else’s schedule that presents the challenge.
Scheduling school and sports
As you adjust to the new schedule, changing of the hours [as days get shorter], school requirements, sports schedules and coordination of parental duties, you may notice that your kid is also having trouble with the change.
I have put together a list of how to balance school & soccer practice with the 6 smartest soccer parent habits for preseason; supporting ideas that might help your transition this season a little smoother.
How to balance school and soccer practice
LOOK AT YOUR KID. Stop for a moment and really look at your kid after school, after training, after homework. You know your kid best and I have found that generally there are 2 groups of kids in the early weeks of Fall transition.
Group 1 are high-energy and they NEED the soccer outlet after being in school all day for a physical release. Or they need the physical activity of soccer for an emotional release. For whatever the reason, they and their parents agree that the soccer training is ideal in helping with the transition.
Group 2 are low energy [usually]. This group needs more rest at the beginning of the school year as they adjust to the new schedule, learning, requirements, etc. For them [or their parents or both] soccer is an extra drain on time and emotion. For these families I recommend they take a 1-month break to adjust to their routine. There is no reason for the training to be a burden and a poor investment. So decide which scenario best fits you: is training an outlet or an extra duty?
I use the word ’employ’ because technology can be a tremendous asset to a new school year if used wisely.
For starters it helps keep families in touch and coordinated.
Second, technology can help safeguard kids as they learn new technologies at school. Technology and apps can keep your family organized AND there are great apps out there for organizing team moms, group activities, carpooling and more. Here are just a few:
This one goes along with technology but is a little different; it may also sound corny but I am a big fan of Google calendars. Why? In part because I and my wife can sync our schedules easier and we can sync to the school’s calendar for our kids and usually we can request any other group to do the same and usually they will accommodate. This little tool makes coordination much easier and can be done from my phone.
Plan a routine
As I said earlier, having a routine is usually a good thing for most of us. Routines are especially great for kids. However, this does not have to be limited to bedtime.
You can also plan your meals to be in a routine for a month. Plan your meals for a week and plan to repeat those same meals over the next months. Of course with just a little variation. This will allow you to buy in bulk, buy less often, pre-fix and freeze [and only fix once].
Don’t spend time wondering what to feed your kids. This 5 minute bonding time with your kid is worth it. This nutritious and fuel-worthy chocolate mug cake is a must for both mind and body.
The most important item to remember is that school is a requirement, but soccer should be fun. The balance comes in knowing when it’s okay to say no for a healthier long-term outcome.
Balance school and soccer practice by training at home
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Parents love that it motivates their kids and that it’s a safe ad free platform.
Kids like it because it makes them improve, which means they end up loving soccer even more.