There might be one athlete in your house that plays two sports in one season. Or maybe you have two athletes that belong to separate teams. However the chips may fall, it means that you’ve got two team schedules to work around—two completely different timetables of practices, games and tournaments. And working with two teams can mean twice as many opportunities for scheduling conflicts! No youth athlete, no matter how committed they are to both their teams, can be in two places at once and dealing with sports schedule conflicts is just one of the side-effects of being involved in more than activity at a time.
Here are a few ways sports parents and youth athletes can better manage sports schedule conflicts:
Be upfront will all your team coaches from the start.
Let’s say your daughter is on a basketball team as well as an indoor volleyball team this winter season. At the beginning of the season you should have approached both coaches (probably during the pre-season meeting) and let them know that your daughter loves playing both sports and you’re going to do the best to can to avoid scheduling conflicts. But life happens and sometimes she might be late to a basketball game (which meant she left the volleyball tournament early) and you just want them to know ahead of time so they aren’t surprised when their starting lineup is down a player.
You should also let both coaches know about any conflicts throughout the season as soon as you know about them, which leads into the next point.
Compare both schedules side-by-side.
Sit down with your team’s season calendar of games, practices and tournaments and make one master sports calendar so you know what days there might be a conflict. The sooner you notice a conflict the sooner you can plan ahead for it. It’s also a good idea to put any school events like parent-teacher night or a school recital on the calendar, as well as any planned trips to the dentist or family vacations on this master calendar as well. It makes it a lot easier to keep track of everything and you’ll never accidentally over schedule yourself or your youth athlete.
Work out a plan with your youth athlete.
If you think there might be a sports schedule conflict anytime this season it’s important to make sure your youth athlete understands what that means. There might come a day where they have to choose one team over the other and that means missing out on something—maybe they can’t go to an away tournament because they have two games closer to home (or the other way around). They might miss volleyball practice for a basketball game, which could mean less time on the court at their next volleyball game if that’s the rules the coach laid out.
We’d love to hear from sports parents and coaches about how they handle sports scheduling conflicts! How do you keep yourself and your youth athlete on schedule?