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Sports Moms: Staying Organized Is Key

A short quiz

To keep from going crazy and becoming a burned-out parent (yes, parents can burn out, too), the first key is organization.

But before I list twenty ways to stay organized, what does being organized really mean?  Here a short quiz to find out if you are organized:

  • Do  you allow yourself enough time to get somewhere so that you arrive on schedule?
  • Can you find what you want quickly and without getting stressed?
  • Do you know where to find important information and can you lay your hands on it quickly?
  • If you are asked to do something (like take another mom's son to a game), do you keep your promises so you don't leave someone else in the lurch?

If you answered "no" to any of these questions, if you are often late getting your child to games or practices, if you have to search up and down and all around the house for the directions to the game, or your car keys, or wallet, if you end up exclaiming, "Finally!" when you find it, or if you need another mom hanging, it's time to admit you aren't as organized as you could be, and could use some help.

Twenty ways to star organized

Here are some tips for staying organized - and saving time - to keep from becoming overwhelmed when your child is playing sports:

Planning and Organizing

1. Plan Ahead

  • Registration. Registration for youth sports programs usually takes place several months before the beginning of the season, so you need to be on the lookout for registration information in the mail (e-mail and snail mail), at school, in the newspaper, on line, from your town's recreation or parks department, or from youth sports organizations or leagues, and stay on top of the deadlines. When you send in the registration form, include a stamped, self-addressed post-card that can be sent back to you so you know the form was received. If you register on line or via e-mail, do not assume that your child has been accepted into the program until you receive an e-mail confirmation. Print the form out and keep it handy for the first practice.
  • Health forms.  Completing health or preparticipation evaluation (PPE) forms that may be required in order for your child to play sports will usually necessitate a visit to your child's pediatrician. Since most pediatricians are booked for well-visits months in advance, don't wait until the last minute to try to schedule an appointment; you might be out of luck.
  • Buying equipment. Shopping for the right equipment also should be done well in advance of the start of the season. Make sure you know what gear is approved for that sport (for instance, Little League rules prohibit a fielder's glove from being more than 12 inches long or 7 ¾ inches wide; bats can't be more than 2 ¼ inches in diameter and 33 inches long). If you wait until the last minute, the store may be sold out of what your child needs, forcing you to waste a lot of time running from store to store trying to find the right equipment.

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