Good Life

Fathering | Plan for balance of activities, family

Robert Orndorff
Robert Orndorff

Travel teams, weekend tournaments, AAU basketball and year-round youth leagues are making it tougher to get our family together with extended family.

My son had a Little League baseball game the Saturday before Easter — the day my parents were hosting Easter in Carlisle.

After multiple conversations and some tears shed, we made the decision to visit our family and miss the “big game.”

I don’t remember being pulled so often like a tug-of-war between my youth sports and family outings. There seems to be a growing need (or desire) to get in as many games and practices as possible, even if it’s on a holiday weekend.

Fathers can lead the way in engaging their kids in healthy conversations around the balancing act between the commitment to their team and the dedication to their family.

Action ideas:

Think back to your youth sport days.

Were you pulled in multiple directions like your kids are?

What role did your parents play in helping you strike a balance?

Plan ahead. Work with your wife on being strategic in choosing different sets of family and friends that you’d like to visit or host throughout the year, and identify those (smaller) “windows of opportunity” to get together — whether that’s between seasons or during a slow-part of a season.

Talk with the youth sports coach at the beginning of each season to see where they stand on missing practices and games due to family obligations.