Over the course of the past week at several sports functions, we attended and support, we have been approached by concerned parents asking theses specific questions.
My son/daughter goes to a school that does not offer the main sport they are interested in, but I would like to keep them playing. Are there options for me?
Even though my son/daughter plays sports their school offers they do not want to play only one or two sports year round. How can I keep them in those specific sports when they are not being played by the school?
The answer to the first question is an absolute YES!
The answer to question two mostly depends on the sport and the area you live in. There are many year round programs in multiple sports, however we have learned not every area offers programs for them. Some of the more popular are baseball, softball, and soccer that will go year round. These can be found simply by doing a Google Search (e.g. "Travel Baseball New Orleans"). The top travel team in that area is Gurus Baseball. This search can be done for any sport by a simple search or asking other parents.
There are still some schools that do not offer such sports as Tennis and Golf. Sadly even some of the ones that do are not that great. They are usually run by someone that does not know the sport or does not teach the kids properly. Don't get us wrong however, there are some great programs at some schools.
When it comes to those two sports for your son or daughter the search can be a bit more difficult. Even though there may be multiple programs in the area does not mean the best is the simple option. You have to consider the cost as a parent if it is affordable and the more important, does your child have friends at any of these programs? Besides those two you will need to consider the following about any program.
How many days a week do they meet?
How reputable is the program?
Is the program a manageable distance for after school?
Does the program travel often or stay in the area?
All of theses are key factors in deciding. For your specific are you will have to do your due diligence to find the right program for your child.
When it comes to finding the ones that have the best reputation with children, usually the answer will come from word of mouth. For example one or our good friends Jimmy Headrick (www.jimmyheadrickgolf.com) has a national reputation with kids and golf instruction.
Other sources you can use are U.S. Kids Golf for golf or The United States Tennis Association for Tennis. There are also some organizations such as the United States Specialty Sports Association that have programs for multiple sports.
We sincerely hope this helps all parents that have had those questions, but were looking for answers. We wish you all the best in getting your child into a great program for the sport they want to play outside of school. Please leave any comments below if you any advice you could give others in this area or if you know of reputable programs you have experience with.