Moving is a lot of work and moving with kids makes it an even bigger challenge. With kids in the mix there are so many things to consider like schools, pediatricians, activities, groups and sports! Sports, whether through school or travel leagues has its own unique set of questions and concerns—especially if you have an athlete in the family!
When you are relocating from one city to another there are different leagues and coaches, as well as, schedules. In addition, school schedules will vary from travel leagues and parks and recreation teams. For example, travel softball may begin in May or June in the northern states, but be offered in January or February in the southern states. Be sure to check what’s available in your new area and get all the details about registration dates, try-outs and any other pertinent information that you may need to get enrolled and choose the right environment for your children.
One major concern for parents is often the coaching staff and their style. Here are some key questions that you can ask a coach when considering a new sports league for your child in your new area:
- Tell us about yourself. Who are your assistant coaches? What background do you have coaching and working with children? Coaching Certifications and training?
- What is your philosophy on playing time? Will all players have an equal opportunity to play? Is there a league minimum on playing time?
- What type of first aid training does the coaching staff have? Is there a fully equipped first aid kit on hand at all times at games, practices and in the travel vehicles?
- Do you keep emergency contact numbers and EMT & 911 contacts and a cell phone with you at all games?
- If we are seeing our child is not playing the minimum what would you like us to do?
- Are you planning on playing in tournaments? When are they scheduled and how much will the tournaments cost each family?
- What precautions are you going to use to make sure there is no possibility of harassment or abuse? Use the two-adult rule at all times?
- What are your policies about bullying?
- If a player misses a game or a practice what are the repercussions. Family events, illness, school functions, and injuries?
- What types of practices are do you have? Are you going to teach and develop?
- What is your philosophy on winning?Are you a win-at-all-costs type coach or are going to keep the kids best interest in mind and try to develop players that are competitive and trying to get better.
- Ask the Coach: What is your thinking on making the season enjoyable and the kids having fun and leaving with a love for the game?
- How are you going to model your behavior in regards to game officials?
- How do you handle a child that has made a mistake? What’s your personal style to handle a situation?
- Ask the coach: What type of jobs and assistance do you need from parents? What is the best way to contact you and contribute?
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