sports

The unspoken Saturday morning sport rules all parents should know.

Combantrin®
Thanks to our brand partner, Combantrin®

For many kids, there’s no greater joy than being part of a team. Whether it’s basketball, soccer, netball or any number of ball-related sports, they all have one thing in common – Saturday morning time slots.

When I was a kid, there was nothing better than hitting the bitumen in a fresh pair of sneakers, breathing in that crisp Saturday morning air and playing netball. But after shuttling me to hundreds of games over my 13 years of education, I’m not sure my parents would agree.

It’s too early. It’s cold. Sometimes it’s wet, and it invariably involves a number of dramas, such as shorts that weren’t washed, lost shoes and having no idea where the match is actually taking place.

But one thing we can agree on is that playing sport comes with many benefits, and not just for your physical health. Learning to problem solve, communicate and work as a team are all skills that I still carry with me into my adult life.

"Creating a routine around Saturday morning sport can help keep last-minute dramas at bay." (Image: iStock)

So while the value of getting kids into Saturday morning sport is clear, all that's left to discuss is how to survive it. By implementing time-saving strategies to give everyone in the household peace of mind, ensuring this weekly activity is a joyful experience for both kids and parents can be done.

1. Form a routine. With a milkshake, maybe.

Whether you've got just one sports star to worry about or a whole car full, executing Saturday morning sport comes with a lot of moving parts. Between organising uniforms, breakfast and coordinating drop offs, creating a routine around this shared activity will keep the unexpected dramas at bay.

And aside from winning, one of the best parts about playing sport on a Saturday morning for me was making a toasted sandwich at home with my dad after the game. Regardless if we won or lost, I could always count on, and look forward to this routine and debriefing how the morning went.

Whether it be grabbing a milkshake (or whatever you like to drink) at a local cafe, swinging past the bakery or eating lunch together at home, making a ritual out of your morning can make the experience feel less like a chore.

"Being part of a Saturday morning sport team was the highlight of my schooling." (Image: iStock)
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2. Share the duties.

Just because you're the designated Saturday morning taxi driver, it doesn't mean all the organising should fall entirely on your shoulders. With playing a sport comes responsibilities - assigning these to your children not only takes the pressure off your morning, but helps to instil valuable skills in time management and ownership.

Things like knowing the match location ahead of time, preparing their own breakfast and making sure uniforms are placed in the laundry straight after the game are some ways kids can take responsibility of their own participation in Saturday morning sport. In our household, a handy whiteboard on the fridge made sure each child knew what their jobs were.

That's not to say socks won't go missing, and guernseys will always be washed (because we all know they won't) but sharing the duties serves the dual purpose of teaching a lesson in responsibility, and giving you an extra snooze or two.

Saturday morning sport is a great opportunity to teach a lesson in responsibility. (Image: Supplied)

3. Be prepared for EVERYTHING. Even worms.

Despite all our best efforts to make sure things run smoothly for the whole family, there are always things that are just out of our control. And with Saturday morning sport, it's most commonly injuries and illness. Although both are part of the rough and tumble of playing and sharing with other children, it's important to be prepared for any bugs your child could pick up on the field.

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Unfortunately, the combination of wintry conditions and lots of children in close proximity creates a breeding ground for bacteria and sometimes worms. All it can take is hand-to-hand contact for worms to be shared, but there's no use worrying too much about it. It's a normal part of participating in the joys of shared activities like school sport.

Nothing should get in the way of kids being themselves, especially their health, so the best thing is to be prepared for wormy situations before they strike. Keeping a pack of Combantrin chocolate squares or tablets in the cupboard to quickly and effectively get rid of any unwelcome worms is the easiest way your child to stay healthy on and off the field or court, and stay social with their friends.  As for you, arming yourself with warm clothing, an umbrella, a hot coffee and a good podcast will make things a whole lot more enjoyable.

Sharing nasties like worms is a normal (but unfortunate) part of playing school sport. (Image: iStock)

4. Get involved somehow.

It's tempting to hide away in the car while the kids are doing their thing on the court. And while there's nothing wrong with multitasking while you watch, making an effort to be present during the match is the best way to get the most out of the morning.

For some, this means volunteering to score or refill the drink bottles. For others, it's as simple as cheering and providing positive reassurance on the sidelines. Be it at every match or once a fortnight, being involved in your child's Saturday morning sport goes a long way in turning the experience into a positive one, rather than a weekly burden.

Now go forth into the chilly Saturday morning air and enjoy knowing if all else fails, there's always the Sunday sleep-in to look forward to.

What's your Saturday sport ritual? Do you cut the oranges or are you more of a one-person cheer squad? Drop your thoughts with us below!

This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Combantrin®.

Combantrin®

Holiday care, kids’ sports and school environments are all ideal breeding grounds for worms. While they are easy for kids to pick up and be spread through human contact, they might come back again – and that’s OK! It’s easy to be prepared with COMBANTRIN® and COMBANTRIN®-1 products at hand to ensure the whole family is worm free. Available in both tasty chocolate squares and orange-flavoured tablets, COMBANTRIN® can effectively treat worms.
COMBANTRIN® is Australia’s most trusted worming brand.*

More information can be found at www.combantrin.com.au.

* Aztec sales ANZ pharmacy grocery MAT 21/05/2017.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist, see your health care professional. ® Trade mark.

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