Published on September 22, 2017 inParenting on LandOMoms.com
One-on-one lessons are becoming more and more popular in youth sports. It’s not uncommon for parents to enroll their children as young as 6 or 7 to help them gain a competitive advantage.
Classes often begin at $50 per 30 minutes depending on the sport, location and expertise of the instructor. And that’s often just not in the budget.
If your child isn’t getting private lessons, it can make them feel inadequate next to their improving peers.
Good news: It’s 2017, and because of the internet, you don’t need to stress about private instruction. There are so many great, free resources out there to help your kid, no matter what the sport is.
Here is a quick three-step guide to help keep your kid confident and competitive — without breaking the bank:
Start Watching Online Videos and Find a Trainer You Like
If your child is a baseball or softball player, you can find free, technical videos showing them how to improve their hitting, pitching or fielding. Same goes for all other sports like soccer, basketball, volleyball and many others.
Start by searching YouTube for what you need, like “soccer drills for kids” or “how to pitch faster.”
As a parent, you may have to invest some time on the front end to pre-screen these videos.
Once you do, share some with your child and see which ones they like. Many instructors have a series of videos, so once you find someone your child enjoys, hit subscribe and get them to watch then practice the technique.
For example, my boys enjoyed one basketball instructor we found online who focused on ball-handling skills. He was entertaining, creative and offered many kinds of challenges.
Parents Can Help Keep It Simple
It’s a good idea to watch the video with your kid.
Because if there is no one to supervise the technique, the child may be practicing something inaccurately and building bad habits. You, as the parent and observer, can prevent that.
The goal is to keep it simple. Take one thing from the video, one technique. And just work with your kid on that.
After the workout, have them compare their mechanics back to what was taught on the video, and help them assess. This empowers your child to take ownership.
Practice, Practice, Practice
An online video can teach your kid how to swing a golf club, shoot a jump shot, or throw a curveball. But after that, it’s all about repetition.
Free videos can teach your child any technique that a private instructor can, but the improvement happens during reps. And since you’re already watching along, you can be the positive encouragement your kid needs to learn and master technique during practice.
If you want your kids to keep pace with their rapidly improving peers, you must encourage them to practice the technique. That’s all that’s happening with a professional instructor, only the instructor is providing hands-on feedback.
Are private lessons worth it? If you find the right instructor, then probably. There’s no discounting the value of one-on-one time between your kid and a professional.
But lessons are pricey and often require time and travel expenses.
So if you can swing it, great. But you don’t have to, and because of everything that’s out there, you can trust your kiddos are getting the same kind of instruction the other parents are paying for.