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In it for the Long Haul: Help Your Kid Set Healthy Boundaries for Sports

It’s 2024, and the world of sports is nothing short of demanding. Our kids are faced with immense pressure to perform and perform well. Learning how to handle pressure is a great skill to be learned, but what happens when that line gets blurred? The question now becomes, are they dedicated or are they overexerting themselves? As parents we want what’s best for our kids (obvs) so it’s imperative that we help our kiddos establish healthy boundaries to sustain success and well-being–physically & mentally.

Here’s why… 

1. Preventing Burnout

Getting ample rest and recovery will maintain their enthusiasm and consistent performance. We say it all the time… if it’s not fun, it doesn’t stick.

2. Maintaining Physical Health

Making sure training schedules, nutrition, and sleep are in harmonious balance. This will prevent over-training and (hopefully) prevent long-term injuries. 

3. Ensuring Mental Well-Being

Balancing sports with hobbies, social activities, and downtime promotes mental resilience and a well-rounded life–reducing anxiety and managing unneeded stress. Who needs more stress? Not us. 

4. Building Healthy Relationships

Maintaining strong personal connections by fostering respectful relationships with coaches, teammates, friends and family. Talk about a supportive environment to raise your kid in!  

5. Encouraging Personal Growth

Allowing kids to explore interests and skills outside their sport. This only adds to their personal development, creating a more balanced identity. We love a well-rounded kid! 

6. Enhancing Performance

Some R&R is good for the soul and body. It allows your athlete to recharge, improving the training effectiveness when they are on the field. They can focus better during practice and competitions! 

“So, how do I help them set healthy boundaries?” ...We're so glad you asked!

  1. Encourage athletes to understand their needs and limits by reflecting on what works best for THEM–every kid is different! 

  2. Maintain open dialogues about the importance of boundaries. Creating an open line of communication lets your kiddo know you are always in their corner.  

  3. Make sure your athlete knows the signs of burnout and over-training. You don’t want them to figure out the hard way if you can help it. 

  4. Develop consistent routines that include rest, nutrition, and downtime.

  5. And, If needed, sports psychologists and other professionals are always there to help! 

Putting It All Together

Healthy boundaries are not about limiting an athlete’s potential; they are about safeguarding their well-being to ensure they can be in it for the long run. The sooner we can recognize and respect their limits (physical & mental), the longer athletes can have a healthier, more successful and FUN career. Remember, the goal here is to nurture a lifetime of love for sport, not just winning the next game. Encouraging boundaries is the first step in the right direction. You got this. 



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