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 son plays varsity football. While we are proud of his athletic ability, we have seen a steady decline in his grades and interest in school. He’s a junior and this year is important for college admissions. How do we strike the right balance between school and sports?
A: It’s difficult to curtail something like sports because it’s healthy and your child yields confidence, self-esteem and enjoyment from the experience. But it’s your role to maintain a healthy balance. As a parent, you need to see the long-term picture, because football ends when your child hits 21. You can’t control it. There’s a saying, “tomorrow belongs to nobody.” Have conversations with your son and discuss what would happen if he sustained an injury that put him out of the game? Or if the coach decides that he’s found a better quarterback next year? Focus on why he’s playing. It’s not because he’s pursuing a career in pro football (most likely). He’s playing for all the positive benefits, which contribute to his long-term development as a person.
The Big Takeaway: Right now your son needs you to be a better coach. You’re not making decisions for him, but rather helping him to make decisions for himself and to see the path to his future. So often parents will allow their kids’ attention and college selection to be based on where one goes to play football or based on the coach that’s going to give them the best look. Thinking that your son’s future is going to be defined by three years of college football is a limiting disservice to your child.
It’s difficult to motivate a student who doesn’t care about grades, but now is the time to open up conversations about his future options. The better his grades, the more options he’ll have, whether he plays football in college or not.
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