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How do you know when your child is overcommitted to sports?

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How do you know when your child is overcommitted to sports?

Well, I tell you, that's a big problem in youth sports today because of all the select and the club sports. There's too much practice time. There's only 24 hours in a day, and sometimes we have to make sure that we allow our kids to be kids. When that focus is constantly on sports and you're finding that your child's doing his homework in the car on the way to school, as opposed to having appropriate study time the night before, then maybe that's too much. I think we just have to let common sense take over when it comes to some of these issues of children spending way too much time in sports. Unfortunately, common sense isn't so common anymore, so we could look at some of those warning signs. Is your child fatigued? Is your child not excited about going to a sports practice or event? If those things are popping up, then that child is probably on the verge of burnout. Burnout is a definite reality in youth sports today, and it's up to adults to make sure that hey, this doesn't happen.

I know when I work with youth coaches, a lot of times I'll tell them, "Hey, maybe some practice when they show up, put the baseball bats away," if we're talking about a baseball practice, "And pull out a kickball, and let the kids play kickball. Watch how their energy returns back to the task at hand, because we've thrown them a curve ball, so to speak, and change things up."

Be on the lookout for those warning signs of your kid being fatigued, complaining about going to practice, and those things. But it's definitely a topic that adults have to be on top of and watch. Part of that is ahead of time, check with your organization, your youth sports organization. Find out, what are the time requirements? Are they age appropriate? Obviously as we go through the cycle of growing up and through puberty that we can handle more practice time. But there's a tipping point where after a certain amount, you really don't get much more out of it. So we have to make sure that that practice time meshes with the age of the child.

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