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Perfectionist Sports Kids

One of the biggest challenges for sports kids today is our society’s view of achievement.  We live in a world that rewards perfectionism in school, sports and work.  Many parents and coaches become frustrated with their kids’ untapped physical talent.  They constantly worry about their kids not living up to their full potential.  Children are often too hard on themselves, demanding perfect performances and causing them to break-down when they make mistakes.

Perfectionists are very hard-working athletes and highly motivated, but too often for the wrong reasons.  The top 8 signs of a perfectionist athlete are:

  1. Afraid of making mistakes
  2. Fearful of letting others down if they make mistakes
  3. Want to succeed so badly that it makes them anxious and afraid of failing
  4. Worry too much about what other people think about them
  5. Try too hard to ensure their performance is “perfect”
  6. Perform better in practice than game situations
  7. Have unrealistic or very strict expectations about their performance
  8. View performance as either good or bad, with no middle ground

There are two sides to the mentality of a perfectionist.  The good thing about them is that they like to work hard and strive to make their performance perfect.  Perfectionists often have a strong work ethic, are committed to reaching their goals, work hard in practice and strive to learn more and improve their game.  Coaches can count on them to show up and give their all, but their expectations are often too high.  This same work ethic often restricts perfectionist athletes and holds them back in competition because they want to succeed so badly.  When they don’t meet their high expectations and make mistakes they get frustrated and fail to fully utilize their talents.  Perfectionist athletes are often driven too much by the fear of failing and they worry too much about results (i.e. the score, the points they’ve scored, their statistics or the wins they have achieved.  When they worry or try to avoid making mistakes they can’t play with the freedom and creativity it takes to learn, feel confident and excel in their performance.

As parents and coaches, you should identify the high expectations that are hurting your kid’s confidence and performance.  Encourage them to replace their often unattainable goals with small and simple things to strive for.  Remind your perfectionist athletes that sports are all about having fun and not producing the best numbers.  Today, kids feel like they need to be the top scorers, they should make all their shots, and everything they do should be perfect.

When considering the previously mentioned, perhaps Michael Jordan said it best:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

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10 Ways to Save Money in Youth Sports

Team sports have become increasingly expensive over the years. Not only are parents expected to supply their children with sports equipment, but today’s sports parent also must provide for uniforms, team fees and travel costs. It has been estimated that on average, many families spend at least $2,000 a year on sports-related expenses for their children! The following tips can help you save money on your children’s’ athletic careers:

  1. Buy used equipment: You can find a great deal of barely used gear at resale stores such as Play it Again Sports, in online ads such as eBay and Craigslist, in newspaper ads and at yard sales. You can save as much as 40% by purchasing sports equipment through such places.
  2. Know when not to buy used equipment: You must be very cautious when buying used safety equipment like helmets and face masks. Other gear like shoes and baseball gloves are also risky because they are most likely molded to the last owner’s body.
  3. Sell your own used stuff: If your child outgrows some of their old gear, you can always resell them at such places like mentioned from tip 1.
  4. Get on the right mailing lists: If your child plans on playing sports for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to get on catalog and e-mail lists for your favorite stores. Take advantage of coupons and other deals to reduce costs as much as possible.
  5. Keep your options open: Buy equipment that can serve multiple purposes whenever it’s possible. For example, a utility baseball glove can cover numerous positions as opposed to buying specific gloves for each position.
  6. Save on team travel costs: You can find discounts on flights and hotel accommodations through sites like orbitz.com and priceline.com. Try to reduce food costs on the road by staying at hotels that offer free continental breakfast or provide refrigerators where you can store easy-to-eat items.
  7. Have your kid contribute: Your child can help cover costs and other fees by taking responsibility and helping to fulfill chores around the house in return.
  8. Conduct an honest assessment: Determine how motivated and interested your child is with the sports they play. If they genuinely like the sport, are talented and potentially have an opportunity for a scholarship down the road then it could be worth it to pay for higher fees for higher levels of competition. However, if there is minimal interest or motivation, you might be better off signing up your child for more of a recreation level type of league.
  9. Know when to say when: Sometimes you might need to consider limited the number of sports your child participates in. Seasons can overlap and sport involvement can become overwhelming.
  10. Seek out charities: Searching the internet can help you find charities that exist for specific youth sports. You can either donate used gear to such charities or approach them for some assistance if you really need it.

Providing for your children to play youth sports isn’t always cheap, but for the majority of the time the benefits far outweigh the expenses. Being involved in organized sports teaches youths a wide variety of values that they can carry with them throughout the rest of their lives. Interacting with peers and learning about the responsibilities that come with being a member of a team help children mature and experience valuable life lessons. The continual physical exercise will also help to benefit your child and the involvement in extra-curricular activity will help them avoid any bad influences and also prevent them from watching too much television or playing too many videogames. When investing your hard earned money on your child’s youth sports career just remember who you’re doing it for and know that there are several ways to reduce some of the costs.

Being a Good Sport’s Parent

Everyone hears about some crazy brawl that breaks out among parents at their children’s sporting event.  Some people face demeanor charges, others suffer injuries, all experience embarrassing moments that should have never happened in the first place.  Just a few months ago parents of 9 and 10-year-old hockey players got into an altercation that resulted in 8 people facing misdemeanor charges and a father suffering a dislocated shoulder after being pushed off the bleachers.  At a Pittsburgh high school basketball game in February, a referee was treated for a concussion after a parent body-slammed him for ordering the man’s wife out of the gym for allegedly yelling obscenities.

When did youth sports stop being about the kids and start being about the parents?

Some adults get too caught up in their past athletic endeavors and try to relive them through their children.  Others become over concerned with the hopes that their young athletes can gain scholarships.  They push their children to become elite athletes through specialized training, summer camps, and personal coaches, even if their child does not want them.

Today there are nearly 30 million boys and girls under the age of 18 that play some kind of organized sport.  For many of these kids, it’s a good way to make new friends and play a game that they enjoy.

Children as young as 3 can sign up for swimming and gymnastics programs.  Soccer often starts at 4 and baseball at 5.  From there it has become increasingly common for parents to rush their kids into highly competitive situations, sometimes against the will of their own children.

This highly competitive atmosphere can often result in overly involved parents that are ready to explode at any coach, referee or other parent who interferes with their own children’s performances.

There’s a certain danger to a child’s self-esteem when parents send the message to their kids that what they’re doing isn’t valuable unless they can turn it into something material like a scholarship.  More parents view their kids as an economic investment that has to be translated into something later on.

A 2001 study revealed that 70% of American kids who sign up for sports quit by the time they were 13.  The main reason?  They said it wasn’t fun anymore.

The thing that many parents don’t realize is that it’s much easier to get an academic scholarship as opposed to an athletic one (there is about 70 times more money available for academic scholarships).

Here’s some advice for parents on how to avoid becoming crazed, overbearing sports parents with a stressed-out, unhappy child:

  • Reward your child whether the team wins or loses
  • If you have a complaint or concern, wait until after the game to address it
  • Applaud when either team makes a good play
  • Praise effort
  • Respect the referee’s calls
  • Don’t get too caught up in scores or statistics
  • Ask your child if they had fun before asking if they won

It can be very stressful to see your own child play, but parents need to consider what sports are like from a kid’s perspective.  Playing sports as a child are all about having fun and making new friends.  It’s a great form of exercise and something that can teach children values that can be applied to everyday life.  Encourage your child to have fun and be a good teammate, the rest will follow if it were meant to be.

What is MoGo Sport?

MoGo Sport is the first company of its kind to create a flavor-infused mouth guard that can be used by all athletes, both youths and adults.  Here at MoGo we have created a product that tastes great and motivates athletes to continually wear their mouth guards while playing sports.  The flavor is infused into the plastic of the mouth guards, maintaining its flavor for its entire use.  We are starting off with 4 introductory flavors; orange, lemon, fruit punch and mint.  The mouth guards are currently in production and the release date to the public is scheduled for June 1, 2011.  Stay tuned for more information on our products along with other useful knowledge and discussion on youth sports and athletics in general.

For more information about MoGo Sport you can visit our website @ http://www.mogosport.com/

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