Young team players huddled around their team coach.


I have been coaching youth sports for many years. I see it as a hobby of mine I get to enjoy with my child.  Not only do I get to teach young people to become better players, I too get better by being around them. There are many lessons I find helpful in coaching that equally apply in custody cases:


#1 - You must practice.  Just like athletes in sports, parenting takes practice.  You might read up on how-to books, go to a parenting class, or a therapist to help you become a better parent every day.  To get better outcomes for your custody case, you have to practice being a better parent to your child and the other parent.


#2 -  You must be organized.  During youth practices, if you are not organized, you will run out of time to practice the skills necessary to be successful in your sport.  Parenting is the same. If you are not organized when it comes to scheduling appointments, attending extracurricular activities, making on-time exchanges, and giving the other parenting adequate notice of proposed changes in the visitation schedule you will run out of time to properly care for them and it may cause problems in your custody case.


#3 - Focus on individual training - then bring the team together.  In sport, you have to start out with individual training that focuses on skills that when the team comes together, everyone is able to work towards a common goal.  The same applies to parenting: if you focus on making yourself a better parent through counseling, work, education, or other wellness activities, you will feel better about yourself when you have to selflessly give more of yourself to your family.


#4 -  Focusing on success means having fun.  Kids have heard all their lives, playing a sport is about having fun.  If a child is having fun playing a sport, then they will want to keep playing the sport over and over.  Another coach told me that by playing the sport correctly, the child will have fun because the outcome is positive that creates fun.  As parents, you must focus on good co-parenting and doing it correctly so your child’s outcomes with you and the other parent are positive.  That means, not talking negatively about the other parent in front of or with the child or getting her in the middle of your disputes.


#5 -  Have clear and concise communications with the players about their responsibilities on the team.  If players do not understand their responsibilities on the team, the team will fail. In your custody case, you will fail without clear and concise communications about your custodial responsibilities. You must ensure you have a clearly defined parenting plan outlining the regular time-sharing and holiday schedule.  Ensure clarity in the plan to avoid confusion, about custodial responsibility during each parent's period of responsibility. Include how you will communicate with the other parent in emergency and non-emergency situations.


At Genus Law Group, we know what is on the line. If you have questions about child custody or other family law matters, contact us today at (505)317-4455 for an initial consultation and answers you can trust.

Anthony Spratley
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Experienced Divorce, Child Custody, and Guardianship Lawyer Serving Albuquerque and Beyond
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