Money Smart Athlete Blog

Sport Parenting: Help your child balance education and sports

May 12, 2021 | Parenting, Youth Empowerment

By Niovie Constantinou, Contributor

We have previously discussed the importance of parents helping young athletes excel both academically and in the sports field; a parent can offer emotional support, practical time management tips and encouragement for their child to realize their potential in a healthy manner. It may sometimes be difficult for a young athlete to combine their education with a sport and, at times, it may feel like the two areas are competing priorities. However, with the right attitude, they can enhance each other; helping your child learn to balance school and sports is a lesson that will serve them well through adulthood. Here are a few ways to help your child strike a balance between sport and academics:

  • Teach your child to manage their time well: assist your child in choosing a tool to help them make a plan and teach them to create calendar assignments for games, practices, and other deadlines. You can help them come up with a schedule once they get their syllabus and training schedule and you may discuss and review the plan together at frequent intervals to ensure that it is realistic.
  • Encourage your child to complete their homework on time and stay on top of their assignments, as leaving things for the last minute can cause stress for both you and them. Sticking to their plan and tackling tasks as soon as possible will help them be more in control and avoid getting stressed during their free time, sports practice or games.
  • Help them study in a smart and efficient manner: talk to your child about making the best use of their time, perhaps travelling to and from games may be utilized to complete an assignment, while they should make the most of study halls. Indeed, homework doesn’t only have to be completed at night, be creative with their time management so as to maximize their free time; this way, your child will also learn how to manage their time well.
  • Make time for your child to relax: it is important that your child’s plan incorporates breaks to enjoy their hobbies, hanging out with friends and family, and rest. Having a proper life balance will help them avoid burn out and enjoy the journey, which is what sports should really be about!
  • Be there for them: engage with your child and keep a close eye on their behavior in their academic and social environments; if there is a change in their grades, sleep patterns, social engagements or general behavior, it may be a good idea to discuss these changes and be supportive of your child.
  • Don’t forget your priorities: your child should be able to take a day off of their sports practice or miss a game if there is a family event or holiday – let their coach know ahead of time. It is important that they understand that there are times when personal wants need to come first.
  • Less is more: If your child is involved in too many sporting events, or too many extracurricular activities, and does not get any personal time, then it may be time to reconsider which activities are most important and which can be set aside for now.

Balancing education and sports may be challenging for a child. However, with the right approach, it is a great way to teach children all about time management, discipline, hard work, and skills that will equip them for a successful future. Of course, do not lose sight of the fact that at the end of the day, your child should enjoy the process and gain lifelong experiences that they will cherish for years to come!

For more information on sport parenting and how it can positively contribute to your child’s life, you may get in touch with us at [email protected].