Monday, March 3, 2014

The Sports that Can Take Over Your Life

Disclosure: This is a sponsored guest post.


All parents are pleased when their offspring take up sports – it’s good for their development both socially, physically and emotionally. But what happens when life becomes one long dash from soccer practice to swimming club to baseball to tennis, not forgetting the horseback riding and dance classes – surely that’s taking things a little bit too far.

If you have just one child involved in a variety of sports it can be bad enough, if you’ve got two or three then life can become almost impossible.  It gets to the point where you dare not even book a family trip or vacation without first consulting your calendar to see if it clashes with some training session or sports game.  There’s no wonder that many parents feel themselves drowning in a life of sports kits, sidelines and energy drinks.
So how does it manage to grab so many families so effectively? How can you stop what started as a pleasant hobby or pastime from becoming something which must come first above all other?


One of the problems is when a particular child begins to flourish in their chosen activity and another child or children does not – but hey, that’s all part of growing up. You must see it from the child’s point of view too though – is Jacks soccer practice always more important than Jenny’s dance class just because she has the grace of an elephant? I didn’t think so . . .


Expense – one of the main reasons why sports become such an important part of family life is the expense involved. Parents will have often invested lots of money in order for their children to play these sports – running to hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year when you start to add up club and team fees, equipment, training sessions, summer camps, uniforms and traveling expenses. This financial commitment means that sports can become the number one priority in life – otherwise you’d be wasting all that money right? Other kids’ activities like sleepovers just have to play second fiddle to the important stuff.



Commitment – is another important area when children play sports, particularly if they are a part of a team. Let’s be honest, some parents almost force their children to participate in sports in which the child themselves has little talent or interest but it is often the case, particularly if a child shows a talent for the sport that the whole family is hooked. Commitment is an important part of growing up into a responsible adult – you really can’t allow your child to let down the entire football team just because you’d rather go shopping now can you?


Sport teaches children to be part of a community, learning together, playing together, winning together and losing together. These are all valuable lessons for children as they mature into adults.  The majority of sports clubs and teams have a terrific community spirit which really envelops the child and the entire family which can only be a good thing. 


There are a great many sports and activities which the whole family can enjoy together without it becoming a chore. Activities like bowling can provide hours of affordable fun and entertainment for the entire family, no special equipment is required although there is a great selection available at http://shop.bowlersparadise.com


No, I’m not suggesting for one minute that you allow bowling to take over your life, just take a quick look at http://shop.bowlersparadise.com for a few ideas of the fabulous stuff available for both the experienced bowler and the amateur enthusiast.

66 comments:

  1. Both of my boys were in karate and the little one decided to drop it & I did a happy dance. Not only was I saving like $100 a month, but I am saving hours of my life now, too.

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  2. All that running around can sure be a pain indeed, bowling sounds easier haha

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  3. My son is too old for little league, but my daughter does gymnastics 4 days a week, and on weekends when she competes.. So the commitment/expense i know all too much about.

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  4. Great information to know. I am thinking of putting my daughter in some kind of sport when she is a little older.

    Michelle F.

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  5. My brother and I were always in activities (sports, dance, swimming etc) but we only did one particular sport a year. It took the load off of having way to much to do!

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  6. I like the idea of the entire family being involved. My son hasn't started any sports yet, but I'm looking forward to putting him in soccer after our next move. Growing up, music lessons was a bigger deal in my family than sports. We always had orchestra rehearsals and music lessons to get to.

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  7. Great post. We have ten kids and all of them have played sports at one time or another. I think a lot of important life skills can be learned through team activities, but I also think it's important to not overschedule them and leave some time for play.

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  8. I've never been that good at sports. My sons duck when it comes to a ball being thrown at them. But they do love swimming and jui-jitsu. We're sticking with those for now.

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  9. My kids have always been active in sports and other lessons including bowling indoors in the summers when we lived in Arizona! it is SO demanding on a family!!! But worth it :) @dapperhouse

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  10. "Grace of an elephant" << love it! You are right, there are many activities and sports that you can do as a family - great idea!

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  11. I loved sports as a kid, it is a little harder to get my daughter as excited, but she is still so young, hopefully it will come in time.

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  12. As a child our commitment to sport didn't involve our parents a great deal. Money was tight and we knew that. If it cost - it didn't happen. And we arranged our own transport to venues. Which mostly meant we walked or rode our bicycles.
    Not ideal. As the current developments where it can consume a family are not. I would love to see a compromise position.

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  13. We've agreed that if my son wants to do an activity, he can do one sport or time-intensive activity, but not multiple. (We only have one child.) I ran track beginning in middle school and continuing through college. It was a great experience for me, but I'm not going to force it on my child! We'll see what his interests are as he gets older.

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  14. I loved playing sports when I was a kid. I think it definitely created a community around me! My mom usually stuck to one or two activities for me and my sister that we were involved in.

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  15. This is so true, I mean once you pay the money, skipping practices or quitting the sport seems like throwing your money away. I love the idea of doing it as a family activity. For me, I'd love for both my kids to try each sport at least once, for the reasons you listed. But I'm not gonna be upset if my kids want to quit. Sometimes its just not for them.

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  16. I felt like this with Dance! My kids were not too into it, and i was getting so overwhelmed...Im so glad they stopped!

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  17. My kids were both in karate together. They both enjoyed it but when they quit it definitely saved me some time and money!

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  18. I have 3 kids who love every sport they try!! i'm almost afraid to try bowling LOL

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  19. It all adds up so fast! Money and time! HArd to balance that fine line between to much and not enough!

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  20. I didn't put either child of mine in a sport, if my youngest showed some enthusiasm for one I would encourage her... hopefully it would be one that was not too expensive... although you are right, they are highly time consuming :)

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  21. As a personal trainer I really believe in having kids get into a sport they enjoy early on!

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  22. I definitely understand! My brothers both played hocked and every night they had practice and every weekend that had tournaments and games! We traveled all over the state. It consumed their whole life outside of school.

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  23. My kids are 3 1/2 and 1 1/2, and my 3 year old is wanting to start ballet now. . . so it begins! Lol I love bowling :) I'll have to check out that page!

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  24. Yes, we never see certain cousins because they have games every weekend. We are more hung up on the 3 instruments and lessons we have to go to every week! But that is why I am here, to chauffeur my son to all his activities. I tell him that is the trade, he has to wheel me around in a few years cause I do all this for him!

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  25. My son is not good at sports, so I'm glad I don't have to spend the money or do the runaround! He does Karate, takes long walks and we have a basketball net in our backyard for daddy and him time!

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  26. It is important that kids should engage themselves to sports as early as possible. Sports can develop their character, values, and morality. Of course, this can be more effective if parents will be supportive. :)

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  27. It may cost money, but it is a good experience for kids to experience the concept of a team and to get physical activity.

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  28. They can definitely be a time suck. Thankfully, Allison only takes gymnastics, and since she is not on a team, we only go 1 day a week. Both of my girls like to take classes at our community center, but since it's drop in classes, we aren't committed to going every day/week!

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    1. We're thinking of signing little man up for drop-in Karate. Man, it's expensive though!

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  29. I have learned that no matter what it is, children's activities take up time and money. However, if the experience is one with good coaches and teachers, both are well spent on the activities.

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  30. It will be interesting to see what my kids are interested in when they get older. My husband and I are both very active, so it is important for us to have our kids participate in some physical activity. I also hope it is a sport that does not just reward everyone for participating, but that is another topic all together!

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  31. I remember when I was a kid you could just participate in sports a few times a week and that was it. Now it is a HUGE time commitment. It is a shame that for many sports it has be be almost "all or nothing".

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  32. We are just getting my son into sports. I am ready to take it on!

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  33. It does seem to be all or nothing at all in the uk too!

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    www.myfamilyandabruzzo.com

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  34. Very thought-provoking post. My boys are still very young, but I already think about this kind of thing. I want them to be involved and active, but I don't want it to take over our lives.

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  35. Sports can definitely end up becoming a chore, and sometimes for the whole family. That is a tough situation, so it's super helpful to find tips that will keep the family busy without it taking over your lives!

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  36. We are definitely a sports family. Both our boys play soccer and our daughter is in cheer and gymnastics.

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  37. Having kids practicing a sport is awesome and I plan to do that with my daughter when she reaches the proper age. But I'm also concerned about the financial issues involved, especially if she falls in love with a sport and wants to go to the next step, a more professional level.

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  38. I don't have kids yet but I can see how sports can take up time and money quickly!

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  39. My daughter played volleyball and soccer for just one season each in middle school. I can really see how sports could take over your life, especially if you have more than one child!

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  40. I lived the life of a basketball mom for many years with my daughter. She plays in college now so the time and effort was worth it. Best thing of all it kept her out of trouble. It was our life from 6th grade until she finished high school. I would not have changed a thing.

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  41. Though i am not an athletic type of person, my mom loves me for having good performance in schools and leadership activities. But I always dreamed of playing sports like soccer but i never had chance of doing it.

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  42. My daughter started competitive dance this year and next year my son will start travel basketball. I have no idea what I'll do when the little one picks a sport.

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  43. I was shocked to find out how expensive cheerleading was for a sport. All the uniform expenses and camp fees killed me! However, being on a team is really important for kids to learn cooperation and all that jazz.

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  44. Sports are great for kids! I did basketball for 8 years but they do become consuming.

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  45. My little guy is too young just yet, but my nephews and nieces are in all sorts of sports/activities. One of my nephews ate, breathed and slept baseball. He was on the "traveling" team and it wore his parents out because they were gone ALLL the time. My nieces are all in comp. cheer. That costs a fortune!

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  46. As with anything in life ... balance. My oldest does cheer and some day would like to get back into soccer. My middle child does soccer. My boys both tried wrestling this year, hated it. My middle child has tried basketball, he didn't like it. I always keep door open for them to try things but I don't allow 2 sports per same season EVER for a child.

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  47. My kids do sports but we do not allow them to consume our family. We go to practices and games together as a family, my husband also coaches my boys soccer team.

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  48. I never got into sports, but my boyfriend played in pretty much every sport ever invented. He's currently investing a LOT of time and money into his Dirt Track car. Let me tell you, I am so over that racecar....

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  49. We only have one child, so her one or two sporting activities weren't that big of a deal. But with practice a couple times a week and games, I can see how it could get out of hand really quickly.

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  50. I think sports are great for kids. Like with all things in life, it's about balance.

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  51. Sports are great for teaching kids how to interact and work out problems. I don't enjoy the driving around so much, though.

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  52. Bowling is super fun! I was on my high school team when I was younger... haha!

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  53. Sports are fun - we are letting him try what he wants for now... you know, smaller commitments...
    but... I do want to take him bowling sometime soon :)

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  54. I have three in sports, and it's very time consuming. We have to look at schedules before adding anything new.

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  55. My daughter used to play club volleyall and it was BRUTAL! Practice 2x during the week and meets that take ALL DAY on weekends. Parents don't get a life when kids are in sports!

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  56. This article is spot on!

    I have on child in dance and one in soccer. soccer is pretty cheap for us and I'm glad the boy choose this...even though I wanted him to choose karate (which I heard is very expensive).

    Dance is tight and there were times we wondered if we'd have to take the girl out. I felt so terribly sad, but she might finish this season yet.

    So if having them in only one activity can be so stressful! Just imagine the child that has more than one!

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    1. Ohhhh, we just looked into karate and it was priced so high we're still 'thinking' about it.

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  57. Yes you are soo right! Sports can be expensive, especially when you have children that want to do multiple things. Then there's the running them back and forth and all of the gas expenses that goes along with it! We've taken a break recently from a lot of sports and activities. It's easy to get burnt out-- and academics come first before anything else.

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  58. Agreed, bowling is a great acvity. I have a 15 yoa son who is in several sports. I enjoy watching him and he enjoys doing it but it's expensive and time-consuming.

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  59. Sports can certainly take over your life! My daughter is in ballroom dance- it sometimes is a big focus every week. Finding a balance is difficult. -April

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  60. My girls aren't really in sports yet, but they are both in Little Gym classes. They're pretty good about watching each other's classes.

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  61. I bet that it's a crazy schedule trying to coordinate everyone's schedule! I'm glad I don't have to worry about it yet :)

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  62. That's a great idea. There's a bowling alley down the street and we love going there as a family!

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  63. Sports are a big commitment, both in time and money. My son was taking karate but decided to drop it. It was an hour and half every day. I think that is just too much for small children (he was seven).

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  64. I can't wait until mine start sports. I was super involved growing up, so I know it's a big time and money investment. It's important though.

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