Enough’s enough — How many sports should one child play?

Backyard Sports Timeout

Backyard Sports Timeout – Where our coaches field parents’ questions about Team Sports and offer ways to make it the Fun, Enriching Experience it’s supposed to be

Q: My daughter plays softball and now she wants to play lacrosse. We’re happy that she likes sports, but worry she’s taking on too much. Not only that, we don’t have time to drive her to practice every night of the week. Should we limit her to one sport?

A: We as parents sit on a three-legged stool, where we have a family; we have our job and we have our community. When we sit on the stool, we want everything to be in balance so that stool doesn’t wobble. It’s no different with a kid. They have X amount of hours and time during the day to take on their schoolwork, family commitments, and their role as a sports team player.


Kids don’t have the skills yet to be able to schedule themselves and juggle their time. They learn those skills from us. So we have to be in charge, and if we see that our kid doesn’t have the ability to handle all of these outside commitments, we have to be the one to make that decision for them.

The Big Takeaway: Don’t let the kid make the decision. They will always choose sports because it’s fun and social. There’s no one-size fits all answer for this, because every kid is different, every family commitment is different, and if you can’t fit it into a family schedule, you have your answer. There’s nothing about sports during youth development phase that says it has to trump your family and your other obligations.

Trust in your parenting skills to make these tough decisions without feeling guilty. Feeling the stereotypical “mom guilt” only puts strain and stress and anger and resentment into the family dynamic.

I remember my son was five-years old and I took him to CVS and I said, “Max, go get a candy bar.” Max came back with four candy bars. The easy thing to do would be to say “All right” and pay for it, but you know what? We as parents have to say no. We know better. We know best.

Backyard Sports provides weekend and after school sports instruction and game play for boys and girls ages 4-16 years old. Our programs are designed for EVERY child who desires a positive and healthy sports experience. #CompetitiveSportsDoneRight 

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