The following article was written for PLAYSOCCER Magazine published by AYSO.
Social media. Screen time. They are a part of our daily lives. Because so much of life now revolves around screen time and social media, we thought it was a great time to address this dynamic and provide tips and tools to help you navigate this sometimes tricky part of life.
If you're like me, you too get sucked down the rabbit whole of social media and screen time. Roughly 78-88% of people ages 18-49 use at least one form of social media. Chances are you know a youngster or have one yourself who has access to Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, and can be glued to a screen with content at their fingertips. As of a 2015 study, teens are consuming media nearly 9 hours a day, and kids between ages 8-12 spend on average nearly 6 hours a day.
I sometimes miss the days where social media, smart phones, and screens weren't such a major part of daily life, but the fact is they're here to stay, so it's important for parents and coaches to understand the impacts they have, both positively and negatively.
Let's look at some pros and cons:
Youth are still figuring out who they are and how they tick. While social media brings with it a lot of real side effects, it doesn't mean those side effects will happen to your child. But they are certainly possible. The key is to be open and honest about the pros and cons of social media and screen time, and to set boundaries as to how you prefer it to be used in your house and on your team.
I know it can seem overwhelming and you might be unsure how to proceed. There isn't one right answer, but there are some things you can do.
One thing I've learned over the years from working with youth is that coaches and parents need a ton of support as well! Navigating the sports world, trying to be a great support system for our kiddos, and sometimes getting caught up in our own competitiveness can make it hard to know what to do and how to do it. That's why I wanted to put together this post with resources and tips for parents and coaches to help them navigate the tricky world of a youth athletes.
I've been investigating resources that parents and youth coaches can add to their bag of tricks to help them be the best they can as teacher and supporter. I wanted to share with you some of the resources I like best so you have access to them when you need them.
Websites and Podcasts:
Working with Parents in Sport : "Working with Parents in Sport" (WWPIS) is a UK based company that supports parents and coaches in working together to provide children with the best possible sporting experiences.
WWPIS is a great resource that provides you with articles, seminars, workshops, and tips that can help you on your journey as a youth sports parent.
Parenting Peak Performers : If you are into Podcasts, check this one out! Hosted by Kathy A. Feinstein, a fellow Mental Performance Consultant, Kathy talks to athletes, coaches, and parents to give you a well rounded perspective on ways to approach sport parenting. The Parenting Peak Performers website also has other great information and resources.
Youth Baseball Edge with Rob Tong : Rob Tong uses his experience as a father of 7 and youth baseball coach to bring you great advice and experience not only from his own perspective, but from the great resources that he interviews on the Youth Baseball Edge Podcast. His podcast tailors not only to youth baseball coaches, but to all youth coaches, and can help you become a better coach!
Practical Parenting with Katie Hurley, LCSW : Katie came and spoke at the local elementary school a few weeks ago and gave some wonderful tips and insights about today's youth and how we can best support them. She's also written many articles with great helpful information!
Moms Team : I came across this website and it has a lot of great information. One great thing about this website is that the information provided comes from a team of experts in their respective fields. Definitely worth checking out.
Positive Coaching Alliance : The Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) has been an advocate for positive coaching and youth development for years, and is full of resources for parents, coaches, athletes, and leaders. I highly recommend checking it out.
CoachUP Nation : Coach Up is another great resource to check out. The Coach Up Nation website has great blog posts and articles that can help you navigate some of the very things you are experiencing as a youth coach or parent.
I've always believed that as youth sport parents and coaches, our best role is to encourage and support youngsters on their journey to finding their own athletic and competitive spirit. I try to live this vision myself when I'm coaching. Hopefully from the list above, you'll find one or more resources to help you on your own journey as a youth sports parent or coach. As you know, it takes a village, so if you have other resources you'd like to share, please comment below!
Until next time!!
Hey! I'm Katie, and I specialize in Mental Performance. I believe greatly in mindset and the role it plays in life.