Activity is something that I push on my kids every day. My kids are still a very young age, 2 and 3 but I know how very important it is to get outside and play. Even when the weather is not very kind. Most kids are very active and then kids that are in sports are extremely active. Brook de Lench, author of Home Team Advantage: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports, had lots of great advice on how to prepare kids for sports and how to help student athletes perform their best. Brook de Lench is a mom, a former athlete, a youth coach, and founder of the sports parenting resource MomsTeam.com. These are her tips on children and sports…
Tips for parents on how they can help their child perform at their best:
Ensure your athlete gets enough sleep. A tired athlete, especially one still playing fall sports, isn’t going to be able to perform at their best during tryouts. You can help by setting a consistent "lights-out" time for turning off the computer, cell phone, MP3, and TV, so your athlete gets the rest needed for peak performance.
Fuel Sports Nutrition gaps: Athletes typically have little time in the school day to eat before tryouts, so they start on an empty stomach or choose ineffective sources of fuel based on what’s readily available. Athletes need to be properly fueled before, during and after tryouts, especially multi-day tryouts, to get the most out of their bodies and perform at their best. Make sure your athlete has the right fuel when it’s needed by packing scientifically developed sports nutrition products like Gatorade’s G Series to provide the fuel, fluids and nutrients athletes before and during sports, and the fluid and protein they need to recover after a grueling day of tryouts.
Be pro-active about hydration: Even mild dehydration can keep an athlete from performing at his/her best during tryouts. Staying hydrated during the school day is particularly challenging because athletes often can’t or don’t remember to hydrate properly or regularly. Athletes need to be hydrated for sports, no matter the season or the weather. Water does not hydrate as effectively as a sport drink like Gatorade that is scientifically formulated with fluid, electrolytes and carbohydrates to rapidly replace what athletes lose in sweat and provide energy to keep them at the top of their game. Remember that thirst is not a good indicator of hydration, so encourage athletes to drink on a schedule.
Blow the Whistle at Bedtime. Studies show that students need nine hours of sleep but only get about seven. Set a consistent “lights out” time for turning off the computer, cell phone and television so young athletes get the rest they need. Consider docking texting and gaming devices away from their bedroom to reduce late-night distractions.
Fuel the Burn. Active young athletes need at least 3,000 calories per day for peak performance, so they need to eat very frequently. Help them maintain energy throughout the day by sending them off with healthy, high-carb, low-fat snacks such as energy bars, trail mix or dried fruit to munch at their desks (if it’s ok with the teacher). Students with early morning workouts should eat two breakfasts – one before the workout and one before school. So, send athletes to practice with a snack to help them recover and refuel.
Be Proactive About Hydration. Staying hydrated during the school day is challenging. In fact, studies show that many student athletes start their sports already dehydrated, making it difficult for them to catch up during activity. For safety and performance reasons athletes need to be hydrated no matter what the season, and water isn’t enough because it doesn’t hydrate as effectively as a sports drink like Gatorade that is scientifically formulated with fluid, electrolytes and carbohydrates to rapidly replace what athletes lose through sweat and provide energy to keep them at the top of their game.
Use Sports Sense to Power Schoolwork. Great athletes are disciplined, focused and dedicated. Help young athletes channel these qualities to manage their schoolwork as well. Encourage them to use free time at school to review notes or knock off smaller assignments. Also, coach them to tackle the tough stuff first. Young athletes will be tired after sports, so they should finish priority and difficult homework earlier in the day.
Don’t Forget the Fun. Youth sports may be increasingly competitive, but the top reason kids play sports is to enjoy the game. Look out for warning signs that students are struggling to enjoy the experience, and work with them to find a solution. Warning signs include: complaints of sickness at practice or game time; slow return to practice after injury; nervousness, anxiety or anger before, during or after the game; practices well but plays poorly.
Enter to Win:
A Gatorade Fuel Pack
The Gatorade Fuel Pack a 50.00 gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods and a 6-pack of Gatorade 02 Perform from the G Series.
I’d love to hear any tips you have about kids and sports and staying sane.
50.00 Dick’s Gift Card #Giveaway http://bit.ly/faw2d0
RT @MomStart: Gatorade Fuel Pack Tips to Prepare Kids for Sports and Improve Their Performance http://bit.ly/hUHsAa
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