This post brought to you by Chobani. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Growing Up Gabel.
With back to school season in full swing, these tips for juggling after school sports calendars are going to keep you and your family on track. Whether you have one child in sports or five children in sports it is sure to keep you going constantly. These tips will help you to manage everything with ease while giving your kids the support and attention they need.
1. Sync family calendars: One of the main reasons my husband and I got smart phones was for the calendar apps. We live and breathe by our family calendar on our phones. When we both had iPhones we used iCalendar, but now that I'm on Android, we use Google calender. I love Google calendar! Google calendar is one of the most versatile and easiest to work with and can be updated on phones as well as tablets an computers easily. As long as everyone has access, it makes it easy for parents and children to add or edit events on the calendar so everyone stays informed.
2. Create a carpool with other parents: Check with other parents of team members to map out an easy to follow carpool route that everyone can participate in regularly. This will take the burden off of parents to be at every single practice, as well as save money on gas and vehicle expenses. Having a schedule for everyone to follow will also make it much easier for busy working parents to manage juggling after school sports calendars with ease. You can even create a separate calendar for all parents to access (use Google calendar!) that has the dates and times of practices and games and an assignment chart for parents to know when it is their turn to drive.
3. Limit children to one team each: Many kids want to play football, run track or be on the basketball team. While it is great to encourage their activities, it is also important to remember your schedule and their ability to keep up with other responsibilities like school and an after school job, if they are old enough. Limit your kids to one team per semester so they can put their full effort into that team, and you won't be running nonstop without a break for them to complete assignments or have an active social life.
4. Pack a cooler with snacks and drinks: Kids are hungry all the time. The minute they get picked up from school they are asking for something to eat. They are also burning a lot of calories playing sports so it's important to make sure they are eating. One of our favorite on the go snacks is yogurt.
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5. Combine sports practices with your own workout schedule: One easy way to benefit your health and help you juggle sports practices in particular is to combine them with your own workout schedule. If you have to stay at the track or gym while your kids practice, take advantage to do some walking, yoga or jogging during that time. You'll be in the area and nearby to get them when time to leave, but not sitting around wasting time. A friend of ours lost 50 pounds one soccer season when he decided he'd walk around the soccer field during practice rather than just sitting and watching!
6. Use team practice to catch up on work and email: I usually try to sit and chat with the other parents at practice, but sometimes I've got work to do. I bring my 2-in-1 laptop, a portable charger and a hotspot and get some work done. Of course, you can do all of this on your phone, as well.
These tips for juggling after school sports calendars will keep both you and your kids happy this school year. With so many kids focusing more on sports each year, you want to give your family the opportunity to do what is their passion while not stretching yourself too thin. A few compromises and some great organization among all family members will help keep everyone on track for a fun filled school year that includes playing for their favorite team.