Many parents out there currently have a son or daughter who is so committed to the game of volleyball that they are playing year round for both their school and club volleyball teams. You know that each season presents its own challenges and successes for yourself and your child, so how do you find the correct balance? We'd like to share a 4 ideas to motivate and encourage your stud athlete during both seasons so that they learn to enjoy the sport year-round and don't get burnt out.
Try your best to learn from every level of play - School athletics are much different than club sports for a multitude of reasons but for this point lets focus on who you are playing with and against. At the club level, teams are made up of athletes from all different regions of your surrounding city and most kids are playing at different levels in making up their teams. At school, you are most likely familiar with the players that will be on your team because they are from your local neighborhood and community. You might even already know what skill level these players are at because you've grown up with them! Because of these differences, your athlete has a great chance to play with different skill level players during each season.
Club level and school sports give your child the opportunity to meet new friends and test their skills against a bigger pool of kids while also being a great place to also learn teamwork, attitude and possibly leadership skills.
Encourage your child to focus on academics first - We hope that all your child's coaches have standards that each player will be fairly held to in accordance with the school rules. At school, this is managed by school administrators and the athletics director (AD), but in club sports it is usually up to the discretion of the parent, family and coach whether a player can continue to play on the team despite poor academic performance. Encourage your child to keep their grades in tip top shape throughout the year so they don't miss out on opportunities to learn and improve while playing their favorite sport. This will help them as they grow older and get ready for college sports, where it is up to the athlete to stay focused, committed and in good academic standing.
Nurture respect for your elders - Whether it's school or club volleyball, one of the most important characteristics of a great person is how they treat their elders and in this case coaches and coaching staff. It's also up to you as the parent to show your child the way in this regard and a lot of times that means being a well behaved spectator at games (we know this can be difficult at times!). Whether it's playing time, choice of team captains, uniforms, nutrition or traveling as a team, keep your child motivated to buy into the process of what their coach is teaching. This will ensure the best chances for success at any level.
Encourage rest, recovery and proper nutrition - You know your child plays their hardest. No matter what season or team they are playing for, it's going to be up to you and your athlete on what they eat when they're at home, traveling on the road or wherever you may be. By helping your child develop a consistent routine that includes rest, recovery and proper nutrition you are instilling in them a process that they can continue throughout any venture in life - that's something to be proud of. Remember that sleep and nutrition are just as important as sport training and can also help promote immune health, prevent heart disease and promote muscle recovery. A great idea is to prepare your athlete's meals ahead of time so that you are not tempted to stop at a convenient option on the way home from school, practice or games. Keep your child health and keep them on the court in optimal condition, producing at their highest level!