Families with multiple youth athletes face a unique challenge of working around a set of strict schedules that don’t always line up perfectly. In order to make sure your youth athletes are able to make it to every game and practice, and you as a sports parent get time to see them play, here are four tips for balancing your multi-athlete schedule:
Identify the most important games.
As much great sports parents would like to make it to every game, sometimes it just isn’t a realistic possibility. When you have two or three kids that are all involved in youth sports, sooner or later their schedules are going to overlap. You might have a work event, doctor’s appointment, family function or any number of other things you’re trying to squeeze into your weekend and sometimes you can’t make it all fit. Before the season gets too hectic sit down with your kids and identify the most important games of their season. When is your child playing the cross-town rival? When are the playoffs? When are they travelling out of town? Which games can’t you miss no matter what? Plan the rest of your schedule around these.
Alternate which parent goes to each game.
If you have multiple kids playing youth sports at the same time, sooner or later they are going to have a game at the same time. If they are in different sports or different leagues they probably aren’t going to be at the same field at the same time. In order to make sure each child as a parent present, alternate with your spouse for who goes to which game. That way you get to see all your kids in action throughout the season! Obviously if there is no overlap, the whole family can attend one child’s game and really fill out the stands.
Start a carpool system with other sports parents.
Sports parents, you are not alone! Your child’s team has dozens of other moms and dads just like you that are trying to balance a home life, work, youth sports and a hundred other things. At the beginning of the season work out a carpool system with the other sports parents. What teammates live close by that your child can grab a ride to and from practice or a game with? Are there any travel tournaments you can all fit into one or two cars for to save some money?
Create a master calendar.
Minimize scheduling errors by setting up a master sports calendar that outlines every child’s schedule. When are practices, games, team meetings/outings and so forth for each athlete in your home? By putting it all down on paper and getting a visual of what the sports season is going to look like you’ll have a much better idea of what kind of sports chaos you’re in for! It’ll also be easier to schedule around their sport commitments.