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Getting Started as the Parent of a New Player

Purchasing Resources -

Purchasing Resources for Your Player - Your son/daughter can be a good player by simply going to practice, taking notes, and calling it a day. However, to accelerate your child's growth in this game and allow them to fully reach their potential they must have outside resources at their fingertips to look things up or to read through when their list study becomes a bore (and it will at times.) The resources you seek depend of course on your child's subject area(s) that they will be focussing on. Once that has been determined, I recommend going to our Resources & Tools section to see what we suggest for each subject. When I coached, my team's progress was greatly accelerated by a computer program I wrote that allowed them to quiz themselves on lists, practice quick recall questions, and keep track of their stastics. Since leaving teaching, and thus coaching, I started this company primarily to help teams/players get better, and I think honestly believe the best resource I can offer is this computer program. Whether you decide to go that route or not, I commend you on taking the initiative to play an active role in promoting the academic team as an interest your child! I have noticed throughout the years that the parents that I see at events/practices/matches usually have kids that grow into very good players as they have the encouragement from their parents.

Encouraging Your Player - As I mention in the previous section, just being around the team from time to time is a great way to encourage your player. Many parents believe that encouragment is verbal, and while that is a part of it. Think about how proud they are when they play well with mom/dad watching. I can tell you that my highest scoring match as a player was the only regular season match my father (military man) was able to attend. I wanted more than anything to play well with him there and it brought me to the top of my game. Besides, it is nice to know your parents are genuinely interested in what you are doing that they are willing to take the time out of their busy schedule to come watch you play. Buying them resources shows encouragement. Of course, asking how their practice/match/tournament went or even better how they think it will go, shows encouragement. Lastly, taking part in the team, through helping with coaching, judging/moderating, or helping with fund raising, will turn the academic team experience into something you are doing together!

Helping the Team with Fundraising - Running an academic team and it's almost year-round schedule of matches and travelling to tournament is not cheap. Costs can add up quickly. You could write a check to the team and have a nice tax deduction. You could call that fund raising. However, not everybody has the extra money to do that, and while it is certainly a good gesture, time is much more valuable to a team's bottom line with that time is dedicated towards fund raising. You may be thinking to yourself "what do I know about fund raising?" Legitimite question. Some coaches are well versed in fund raising. Others are not. Either way check out our Fund Raising section as it offers quite a few tested methods to raise money for the team. I learned most of these methods from the parent on my team. If you put a lot into these, they will pay a lot out.

On a slightly different note within fundraising, I've never understood why the band and many sports have a booster group comprised of parents, and yet the academic team does not. It would be nice if fund raising was of minimum concern to a group of players so that they could focus on advancing themselves as a team. A well run boosters program would provide that. Please don't take any of this to mean that players on a team should have no responsibility in raising money for the group that they themselves belong to. On the contrary, I believe that fundraising can be a great opportunity for a team to bond and feel ownership to the events that they attend with the money they make. A booster group would lessen the burden on the individual members of the team and would be a great way for a parent to get involved.