Whether you are the young athlete or the one feeding and driving that young athlete all around the tri-state area to games, HackensackUMC wants help you find out what it takes to perform you at optimal levels.
The nature of youth sports has changed. It’s not just casual fun anymore. The stakes are high. College scholarships, state titles, and sibling bragging rights are all up for grabs.
Don’t worry. It’s not that complicated at all and for the complicated stuff we have Physicians, professionals, and numerous resources to help you navigate the competitive world of youth athletics.
Keep your young athlete in the game and off of the sidelines with this GamePlan.
1. Take a time-out: With school work, hand held distractions, and scheduling chaos, the young athlete has off of the field challenges that didn’t exist years ago. Before you set foot of the practice field, prioritize a workable schedule. Communicate with coaches and teachers alike to make sure all interested parties understand their role and set aside some time for your young athlete to just be young. This open approach will keep young athletes from burn out, stress, and becoming overwhelmed.
2. Fuel for performance: Young Athletes, specifically, need as many as 5000 calories daily! Whole grains, Lean Protein, fruits, and vegetables are the way to go before and after the game.
3. Hydrate with Water: A sports drink is ok every once in a while, but with high levels of sugar and calories, water is definitely the preferred beverage of choice. With endless health benefits, including boosting energy levels and flushing toxins out of the body, this one is a no brainer.
4. Positive Support: If you are a gymnast, special teams, or a midfielder there’s a coach for that. Most coaches and trainers have done what your young athlete is striving to perfect. Utilize the technical, physical, and even psychological input that coaches give. They will make sure your young athlete has good form to avoid injury. The will also encourage sportsmanship to keep things positive in a sometimes challenging athletic climate.
5. Keep your equipment in good order: Young athletes grow, participate, and perform at a rapid pace. Make sure their equipment is sized properly, in workable condition, and sport specific.
6. Take care of your teammates: The ebbs and flows in sports are undeniable. Young athletes put an immense amount of pressure on themselves to perform and they don’t need any more help. Give them the positive support they need after a loss and right amount of accolade after a win. Keep things balanced in the middle. Make a healthy mental approach a priority. If you or your young athlete requires a professional’s help there are many qualified sports psychologists available to speak with.
7. The best offense is a good defense: The bumps and bruises are expected in the daily life of a young athlete. Make sure everything else is operating smoothly by seeing your physician and adhering to any more extensive testing required by their sports’ governing body. Cardiac testing including stress tests are becoming more common for collegiate athletes.