I have prepared a short checklist to help you get a great start to summer youth sports.

There are a lot of things for parents to think about and prepare for as kids begin theirsummer sportsschedule, so this week I have prepared a short checklist to help you get a great start to summer youth sports:

•Travel.If your child is in a travel league, you will need to think about the impact this has onyourlife. Not only are there costs associated with travel, but you may need to get time off work, too.

•Costs.Going hand-in-hand with travel are the costs associated with being on the orad, including lodging and food.

•Missed opportunities.Some sports leagues are quite intense and leave little time for visiting out-of-town family or going on a family vacation.

•Physicals.While some sports leagues may not require physical examinations, it's never a bad thing to have your child checked out before the start of each sports season.

•Sports equipment. Need a new bat? how about a pair of cleats? These costs can add up quickly and can come as a surprise if you're not prepared.

Additional tips for younger athletes:

•Should your child compete in a travel league or recreational?For better or for worse, this decision needs to be made earlier than ever before.

•Sport sampling or sport specialization?Do you want your child to play different sports, or begin to specialize by playing just one sport?

Additional tips for older athletes:

•Sports camps and clinics.If your child is in high school and wants to play college sports one day, it's not a bad idea to have him or her participate in sports camps and clinics to help get noticed by college coaches.

•Sports highlight video.Since college coaches cannot always make it out to watch kids compete, it's never a bad idea to develop a highlight video of your child and have it ready to show college coaches who might be interested in recruiting your son or daughter.


Dr. Chris Stankovich is a graduate of The Ohio State University and the Founder of Advanced Human Performance Systems, an athletic counseling and human performance enhancement center.

For more information visit his website:www.drstankovich.com