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Sharing helpful information, special offers and fun ideas with the i9 Sports family
February 04, 2020
Valentine's Day Printables
Knock Valentine's Day out of the park this year with our FREE printable Valentine's Day cards! Your kids will love addressing them to their friends and sharing their love of sports.


Click here for Attachment
January 31, 2020
Why We Play Coed
A common element in i9 Sports leagues across the country is boys and girls playing on the same teams in all sports, especially in the Pee Wee and Junior divisions. 
 
“While some of our Senior leagues might offer a boys or girls-only league for a more competitive offering, we recommend kids play coed sports under the age of 10,” said Alli Wentzell, Manager of Sports Programming and Education at i9 Sports. 
 
The i9 Sports philosophy is very closely aligned with Stage 1 of the American Development Model which emphasizes discovery of key concepts and motor skills of sports in order to learn how the sport is played for young athletes ages 0-12.
 
“I think people often assume that boys and girls want different things from playing sports but in reality, they actually just want to play hard, have fun and make friends,” said Wentzell. 
 
A recent study conducted by Amanda J. Visek, Ph.D., an associate professor of exercise and nutrition sciences at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health helped to dispel the myths that girls only care about social aspects and boys just want competition. 
 
"Our data indicate girls and boys are more similar than different when it comes to what makes playing sports fun," said Visek. "What counts most for girls and boys are things like 'trying your best,' 'working hard,' 'staying active,' and 'playing well together as a team.' These findings are the same for athletes at younger and older ages and across recreational and more competitive levels of play."
 
Coed leagues also allows i9 Sports to offer more opportunities for athletes to learn and discover new sports. For example, it can be difficult to form a full league of girls-only flag football teams or boys-only volleyball teams. 
 
“It creates a better social environment for the players when boys and girls can play together,” said Wentzell. “Coed leagues allow brothers and sisters, classmates and friends to play on the same teams.” 
 
Playing together at a young age helps boys and girls learn the best from each other on the field. 
 
“Boys usually play more focused on their individuality while girls can be more team-oriented,” said Wentzell. “Playing together can broaden their skills and help them progress.” 
 
Not only is coed play beneficial for young athletes, but our coed offering is often mentioned by parents as one of their favorite parts about i9 Sports! 
 
 “My main reason [for playing at i9 Sports] is that they are coed. My daughter is able to play a sport that she’s always wanted to and do so with supportive coaches and players,” A parent from Georgia commented in a recent review.
 
Another parent from North Carolina said “We love the fact that the teams are coed. Although we do not have daughters, we love that our son is learning that girls have a competitive edge also!” 
 
There are many benefits of coed youth sports leagues including more diversity, more opportunities and a better social environment for children. At i9 Sports, we value our customers and at the end of the day, all we want is for our i9 Sports athletes to have fun, learn the importance of sportsmanship, and make life long memories.
December 30, 2019
6 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Youth Sports Program for Your Kid

The number one reason kids play sports is to have fun and the program you choose is an important factor in their overall sports experience. When selecting a sports program for your child, avoid these common mistakes and make sure you know exactly what kind of program you are signing up for.

1. Picking the Sport
Parents often assume their child will want to play the same sport they enjoyed most growing up. Don’t assume. Ask your child what s/he is interested in playing and keep an open mind. Your child may not love the first sport s/he tries, so continue to try multiple sports. 

2. Choosing a program that DOESN’T provide age-appropriate instruction
Beware of two issues: 1) a program that expects kids to play like adults, or 2) a program that teaches all kids, regardless of age, the same. A 4-year-old, 8-year-old and 14-year-old all have dramatically different abilities, needs, and learning styles. Ask to see the league’s practice plans and instruction curriculum by age group to ensure your child will get the age-appropriate instruction s/he needs.
 
3. Joining a league that over-values the win/loss record
Everyone likes to win. But if a league places a higher value on competition and the final score than on how the game is played, will your child be given full opportunity to develop her skills…or will s/he spend the season on the sideline watching only the best players getting better? If you want your child to have fun and develop, find out what the league values most.

4. Pushing your child to specialize too soon
Research shows that specializing in a sport at a young age leads to higher risk of injury and emotional burnout. Just as you encourage your kids to eat a balanced diet, encourage your kids to play multiple sports throughout the year so they develop different muscle groups and new skills.


5. Assuming this is YOUR child’s golden ticket to a college scholarship and a lucrative pro career
NCAA statistics show only 2% of all kids who play sports in high school will get any college athletic scholarship, and only .1% will go on to play professionally. That means for 98% of kids, youth sports should simply be a way to develop a love of the game and have fun with friends. If you’re convinced your child falls in the 2%, make sure it’s your child’s dream to pursue, not yours.


6. Not understanding what you're signing up for
Youth leagues can differ dramatically in expense and time commitment. Make sure to find out what your total participation cost will be including; uniform and equipment fees, coaching fees, fundraising obligations, tournament fees, and travel fees. Ask how many practices are scheduled during the week and whether travel to other locations is required for gameplay and tournaments. Will you and your child have a life beyond the league?
 
At i9 Sports we provide a fun experience in which kids develop athletic skills, learn good sportsmanship, and increase their self-confidence. Find out about how we differ from other leagues here!

 

December 03, 2019
New Year's Eve Printable!
This holiday season we hope that you are able to slow down and focus on spending time with the ones who matter most! We've created this fun printout that can be done by the entire family. This printout is not only the perfect opportunity to reflect and learn what your child enjoyed throughout 2019, but to get excited for the year ahead!


Click here for to download!
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