School sports schedules are the things nightmares are made of for some parents. Especially if you are a single parent having to do all of the drop-off and pickup schedules on your own. I’ve decided to share some of our top tips for how to manage school sports schedules when you have multiple kids. Hopefully, these tips will help keep you and your family on top of things without having to sacrifice work, family time, or the sports teams themselves.
How To Manage School Sports Schedules With Multiple Kids
When you are working on trying to figure out how to juggle everything, the school sports schedules are probably at the top of your list. Encouraging kids to be involved in a team sport is really important for their emotional and physical development. It’s also great for older students chances at finding a good scholarship for college. Sports are a win-win in our book, but managing them can be a struggle. That’s why we implement some basic ideas to manage school sports schedules easier.
Use a shared family calendar. One of the best ways to manage school sports schedules is to create a calendar that can be synced among all family members phones, tablets, and computers. This helps your older kids be able to let you know fast if there is a chance in their schedule, and can also keep everyone appraised of the expected pickups and drop offs.
Google Calendar is a great option, but you can use many calendar apps and simply share with everyone. Alternately, if you prefer to go the old fashioned way, a printed or dry erase calendar in a central location can help everyone keep up with schedules. You may even want to have both in place for easy access if you want to share your calendar updates with you spouse or an older teen, but the younger kids won’t have access to a phone or device. It makes it a great and easy way to keep track of things and assign pick up or drop off to the right person.
Limit number of teams they can join. Yes, you want to encourage your kids to be a part of a team, but there should be limits. Especially if you have multiple children, it is important to make sure you set a reasonable limit on how many teams and groups your kids can join. Not only will this help your budget, but it will help your kids to focus, maintain their educational goals, and of course, do their best for the team.
Ways to manage this:
- Allow your child to join only one team per semester. This helps when there are different sports that begin in the fall but aren’t active in the Spring. Things like playing football in the fall and participating in track in the Spring are common.
- Encourage your kids to think about why they want to join a team. If they want to be a part of multiple sports programs, make them write down the pro’s and con’s on each team. Make sure they list everything, including the schedules, time away from home, and how it might change their grades.
- Encourage your kids to join team that don’t include their current friends. This is important for building new friendships, and for stepping outside their comfort zone. If one of their pro’s for a sport is because their friend is on the team, make sure they must also add in other pro’s to be able to participate in that particular sport.
Ideally, you can manage school sports schedules easily when your kids focus on the teams they truly love the most. You want their experience with that team to build confidence, compassion, and the ability to work with others. Limiting their participation to just one group per semester will help them to slow down and learn more.
Learn to say no. This one is the most important one on the list. It isn’t about telling your kids no, but about telling others no. If sports are important to you and your child, then it is okay to tell others you can’t take on projects, meetings, or dinners during the sports schedule for our kids. Making them your focus, and helping them to know you love them and value their hard work on a team is far more important than any other obligation you could fall into. Set your schedule to allow yourself the time you need to manage your work and have time for friends, but if you feel you are constantly being pulled in different directions, then learn to say no.
Some things you may need to reconsider to allow school sports schedules to be easier to manage:
- Instead of volunteering for a fund raiser, make a donation.
- Skip the carpool. While it can be convenient, you need to weigh the odds of how it will work out to benefit your family. Sometimes the team carpool just isn’t helpful.
- Don’t become a “team mom”. Sometimes, being responsible for things with a team can just be too much when you have multiple kids to manage. You can spread your time out amongst the teams and help as needed, without obligating yourself and having to skip things on one team because you signed up to help with another.
Look at teams outside the school. One huge time saver that I have discovered is actually joining sports groups outside of the school. With the Boys & Girls Club of America, as well as the Upward Sports Program, you can easily have your kids going to practices for different teams all at the same time. They also tend to have games in the same locations. This can make it much easier to manage those sports schedules since they are all in one location.
As you juggle busy school sports schedules this year, take the time to really focus on what sports are all about. Remind yourself and your children that it isn’t about who wins, but about having fun doing something they love. If your child just doesn’t like a specific sport, then that team isn’t for them.