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Supporting Future All-Stars: 5 Winning Tips for Youth Sports Parents

(Family Features) Some of the fondest childhood memories for many people include practicing sports, game days and teammates turned friends. Parents hoping to provide their children with similar experiences can look to organized youth sports as a perfect outlet for expending some energy all while learning valuable life lessons like teamwork, goal-setting, humbly celebrating victories and bouncing back from defeat.

In fact, sports can provide a multitude of benefits for young athletes. From improving physical health to gaining valuable social and leadership skills, team-oriented activities give kids a way to explore their own interests and have a little fun.

Put your future all-stars on a path to success with these tips for youth sports parents.

Encourage Kids to Try Multiple Sports
If your little ones are first-time athletes, signing up for multiple sports exposes them to a variety of options. They can navigate their own interests and discover their unique talents through each sport’s different challenges. For example, some require more endurance, like soccer and basketball, while others call on coordination and balance, such as dance or baseball. Once they’ve experienced a few activities, allowing them to choose which sports to continue participating in provides a sense of independence.

Outfit Athletes with the Proper Gear
Each sport and activity comes with equipment requirements, ranging from simple (a ball and a net) to complex (helmets, pads, bases and more). Proper footwear is a must, whether it’s cleats for outdoor events or shoes with ankle support for a sport like basketball. Remember, safety comes first, which is why your children may need helmets, shin guards, knee pads or other protective equipment. Be sure to talk to coaches or league coordinators about what equipment is provided and what you may need to purchase (or borrow).

Familiarize Yourself with the Sports
While you don’t need to be a hall of fame coach to enjoy your kids’ events, understanding the rules and regulations can help you be a more informed parent. Plus, it shows your little athletes you’re taking an interest in their activities when you can discuss the game together. If you’re able, one of the best ways to learn is to attend a local professional, semi-professional, college or even high school game with your children so everyone can get in on the fun together.

Make Postgame Cleanup a Breeze
Many people don’t know sweat can lead to bacteria, which secrete acids with a distinct, stinky odor. Just think about all the bacteria living in a gym bag after your children’s big games. Behind a team of bacteria-fighting scientists, Lysol Labs is hitting the road to visit youth sporting events across the country on a mission to educate parents and their young athletes that bacteria can be the source of their stinky clothes.

“A single stinky sock can contain more than 8 million bacteria,” said Callum Couser, Reckitt Research and Development Operations Manager, Hygiene. “This program was created to show parents the number of bacteria in their kids’ clothes and how to eliminate 99.9% of the odor-causing bacteria on stinky clothes during the summer sports season.”

You can strike out stink with a laundry additive like Lysol Laundry Sanitizer, which kills 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria on laundry when used as directed and helps simplify your postgame routine. Available in 41-ounce and 90-ounce containers in a variety of scents and formats, it contains 0% bleach and even works in cold water. Find more information at Lysol.com.

Be Supportive and Make It Fun
It’s exciting to watch children excel on the field, but not all kids are destined for the big leagues. For most youth athletes, more important than the advancement of on-field skills are the growth in areas like taking direction, following rules, developing work ethic and learning to socialize. You can make it a positive experience for your children by supporting their endeavors regardless of skill level. Remember to acknowledge their effort, encourage fun with teammates and friends, celebrate successes and let them learn from their mistakes.

The ‘Strike Out Stink’ Routine: A Parent’s Guide to the Perfect Postgame Victory

The fun of a baseball, softball or soccer game in the summer sun usually involves getting dirty and working up a sweat. The stinky gear is a sure sign of youthful exuberance, but also means postgame laundry for parents.

Along with its mobile science center teaching parents how to eliminate stink, Lysol Labs teamed up with mother of two Jordana Brewster, who shared her top tips for keeping laundry sanitized.

“The ‘Strike Out Stink Routine’ can help parents keep their laundry smelling fresh all summer long,” Brewster said. “I know from firsthand experience that odor-causing bacteria plays hardball, but it’s officially met its match. There are just four steps to this routine, and they couldn’t be easier to follow.”

  1. Warm Up
    When the game ends, parents spring into action. Get your athletes and their stinky gear home.
  2. The Unbagging
    If the odor is enough to make parents break into their own sweat, it’s game on.
  3. Sanitize  
    Let your MVP play. An option like Lysol Laundry Sanitizer strikes out stubborn bacterial odor on socks, uniforms and gym bags.
  4. Cool Down
    When stink is defeated, parents can cool down and plan for the next game.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

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