Vol.2, No.4

What to expect when your child joins a school sports team

So your child wants to try out for a school sports team? It'll require lots of decication from you and the child.

Child on school sports team
Photo Credit: Bill Grove
When your child tries out for a sports team, usually through the school, it can be very exciting. By the time the child goes for try-outs he has probably been practicing for quite some time. Only a few students will be chosen to represent the team and that's rather disheartening for those who want it so badly but don't make the cut. Assure your child that there will be future try-outs and that it's not the end of the world. Help him to practice for the next year's team selection.

Should your child be one who is athletically inclined he or she probably will make the team and that spells money and time. Depending upon the sport you, as a parent, may be responsible for purchasing uniforms, shoes, and plenty more. When the team travels the parents of the players are often responsible for pitching in on the bus rental. The team also goes out to eat sometimes, after the game. These expenses will fall upon the parent.

Weekly practice sessions are a given but sometimes the practices are even more frequent. Plan on driving the student back and forth to the practice sessions, over to friends' houses for more practice and sometimes to out-of-town games. And your child needs your support so plan on trying to be at all his games. You will be very proud when you see your child as a member of the team.

One big concern when you have a student playing sports is injury. It's a fact that the players often get injured, sometimes seriously. Be sure and have medical insurance against this type of occurrence. Should this happen to your child he will likely be off the team at least temporarily. This can be a depressing and upsetting time in the child's life. Make sure when he's ready to go back that he really is ready. A child might tell you he's feeling okay but in reality he just wants to get back on the team. Get the okay from a doctor before allowing the return to the games.

There are those students who can handle the academic workload as well as being a member of a sports team but for others, expect grades to fall somewhat. After practicing long hours and attending games many students see their grades fall a little. That's to be expected but if grades fall too low you might consider removing the child from the team. Sports are important to some children but grades are much more important. The school often has regulations about a particular grade average that must be held in order to remain on the team. If the student is removed from the team by the school for poor grades your child may need counseling. It's a real devastation for some players when this happens and they may need help to deal with it. Try not to make the child feel badly about the removal by saying things like "it's your own fault" or "it's not that big of a deal". To the child, it is.