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Independent Sports Practice

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Do you make your children practice their sport outside of their regular practice? If so, how often? How much time do they spend in regular practice each week?


Are your expectations for individual practice time higher because they're homeschooled?


If your children participate in more than one sport, how does that affect what you expect out of them for each?



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Hmm, kind of depends on the sport.


DS12 is our sports lover and one at least one sport/team every season, and sometimes two. We don't MAKE him practice outside of team practice, but he wants to/likes to.


Baseball is his big sport, is on travel teams/All-Stars/Advance teams. He and his father do practice a few times of week on their own, mostly pitching, and batting. Depending on the team, he will have practice 2-4 times a week, plus games. It's not a forced thing, it is a mutual agreement for DS and DH, and something they have always done. I can tell you that the boys on his teams, the "advanced teams", they are practicing outside of team practice. I guess this extra practice has got them to where they are at this point beyond their natural abilities.


Football can not really be practiced at home, at least not DS12's normal positions. DH will give him pointers and advice, but they don't really "practice".


Basketball is not really DS's sport of excelling, but he plays in a rec league. He will practice at home, with shooting.


The thing with DS is he is ultra-competitive and wants to be the best (and WIN) so it is his drive that brings the extra effort.


Now DS7 is not into sports. But we are a sports family. We have signed him up for a few different sports hoping he would find his "thing". So far, nothing has appealed to him. DH will offer to go outside and practice with DS7 to get ready for soccer coming up or during the soccer season, and DS7 pretty much always declines.


DS4 so fars shows love of sports (course he has grown up going to older DS's games and practices) but it appears he will be more like DS12. We'll see.

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Thanks for the replies, Ladies. I ask because I think my kids should be practicing outside of regular practice. I think it will help their individual development in their sports and show commitment. I don't think this is such a burden time-wise because they homeschool and have more free time than public schooled kids.


I'm wondering if other homeschooling parents think the same and what they expect out of their children.

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You know, our family sacrifices a lot of resources so that our kids can play sports. It is my opinion that they should put the effort in to be the best they can be :001_smile: I encourage my children to practice about 30 minutes a day on the days they don't have practice. We are fortunate that we have multiple children in each sport so they can practice together. Also, my children love to be active, so they don't balk at the extra practice time.



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We swim and the dc do not practice outside of the team's regular practice time.


I can't think of a faster way to kill a child's love of a sport than to force them to do extra practice on their own.


I also coach swimming and, as a coach, I do not want my swimmers practicing outside of regular practice. The schedule is designed to be appropriate for their age and skill. If they go and swim extra on their own the results are usually:


a) cementing incorrect techniques through repeated, uncorrected repetitions

b) injuries, resulting from overuse and incorrect techniques

c) loss of enthusiasm for the sport

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I encourage mine to, but don't force them. All three do gymnastics. We have a beam and often pull out a mattress ( mostly for the three year old to practice somersaults, back handsprings with me, etc). I don't want to force too much practice on them because I want them to enjoy it and continue with it because they want to, not have to.

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Make them? No Encourage them- yes. They know if they want to get better, it takes practice. But I refuse to turn into one of "those" parents. It's nice to win, but I really don't care if my kids make the "A" team, the "travel" team, or even .... the team. It's not like 99% of any of these kids have a chance of becoming pro- so why push them. If they don't enjoy it anymore (especially because of being pushed to practice all the time), then why do it? This is one of those things that we let them take responsibility for themselves. If they want extra practice, great! If they don't- that's ok too. But they aren't allowed to whine about it if they choose not to practice and don't get what they want.

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I see what some are saying about killing the love of the sport, but what about practicing an instrument? We can't afford that, but I hear daily practice is the norm.


Also, sports like swimming are often 5 days per week. Karate here is offered 5 days, as well as a lot of gymnastics programs. I think two 60-90min practices per week is not a lot and that is what is offered with soccer here. I think working on individual skills that aren't focused on in regular practice would be good for them. I don't care if they become superstars.


I guess it just takes so much for us to commit to this (5 kids in sports this Fall = 7 days per week!), I really don't see them committing enough. Zero outside practice is not committed, imo.

Edited by MyCalling
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