How To Prepare Youth Athletes for Success

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In the ever-growing competitiveness of youth sports, it can be difficult to know how to prepare your youth athlete for success. As a parent or coach, it is always important to remember youth sports should be fun. If your athlete is playing recreationally or on a competitive team, you can put your mind at ease by incorporating these three things into the training schedule.

Physical Preparation

The amount of physical activity youth athletes need depends on their age. In order to have fun and prevent injury, make sure they are doing what is appropriate for their age level. You wouldn’t start a six-year-old out training to compete. Rather they need to begin being physically active while learning the most basic skills. However, for those over the age of 12, you wouldn’t start with simply beginning to be physically active. you would ramp it up to match the age level and amout of training or skill the youth already has. It is always a good idea to get professional advice before starting an athlete on a training program. If your athletes strive to take their skills to the next level, you can consider enrolling them in a youth sports performance program.

Mental Preparation

Whether it’s for basketball, lacrosse, golf or dance, training and competing can be mentally exhausting. Being mentally tough isn’t always easy (especially if you are losing), so parents and coaches are vital in teaching mental fortitude. Help your youth athletes feel confident in knowing that if they give their best effort and have a positive attitude, the outcome doesn’t matter. Help them understand that success doesn’t always mean winning. Don’t forget to help them enjoy the journey.

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Although keeping athletes active year-round is important, it is also important to make sure they are getting enough rest. This includes getting a full night of sleep every night and having time away from sports. Too much of one thing can cause burnout. Consider having your athlete be involved in a variety of sports or activities so he or she can rotate seasonally to avoid burnout. If athletes are only interested in being involved in one activity, make sure they occasionally have an adequate amount of time off.

Athletes reach their highest potential when their parents and coaches continuously work together. Regardless of the end goals, finding the right balance of these three components will help direct your youth athlete down a path for success.

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