Being an athlete can be difficult on your mind and body. At CAL Sports, I care about your child’s wellbeing. To help your athlete stay healthy and happy, I recommend 4 main Good Health Essentials for your athlete: 1) Nutrition; 2) Hydration; 3) Sleep; and 4) Time-Management.
To be able to train all the time, your body needs to have the proper nutrition. This comprises both type and amount of food. Healthy food choices are important to meet the body’s macronutrient needs (protein, carbohydrates, and fats). Athletes need protein to build muscle, carbohydrates for energy, and fat for reserves. Athletes have many micronutrient needs (vitamins and minerals). Athletes should eat fresh fruits and vegetables to gain the necessary vitamins and minerals that assist with many body functions including development of stronger bones and muscles.
AVOID: Teach your athlete to avoid unhealthy food choices that include: fast foods; food that contains trans fats; ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup; and foods high in sugar.
Not only is eating the proper food important, but so is drinking the right amount of water. I recommend providing your athlete with water to keep hydrated throughout a sports practice. Many popular sports drinks that have electrolytes contain mostly sugar. Check nutrition labels for sugar amounts. Water is the best choice for your athlete when they are engaged in a practice or competition for less than 4 hours in length. It is imperative to keep drinking water and stay hydrated as you practice.
LACK OF HYDRATION: If your athlete doesn’t have adequate hydration, it can reduce the ability to create urine, limits the ability to sweat, and increases body’s core temperature.
The proper amount of sleep can be beneficial to your athletes for both sports and school. The recommended amount of sleep for children is 8 to 10 hours per night. Sleeping for an adequate amount of time each night keeps your body and mind healthy and alert. It also allows your body and brain to replenish for the next day. With adequate sleep, your athlete will be more focused, which could help improve school and sports performance.
LACK OF SLEEP: If your athlete does not achieve the proper amount of sleep, it can affect their ability to concentrate. This may lead to being unfocused during school and sports, which can result in a reduction in their grades and incurring sport-related injuries.
Another tip that could be useful is using time-management skills. Having a pre-planned schedule can lead to your day being less stressful. Assist your athlete to prepare daily and weekly schedules. Encourage them to set cell phone alarms to help with punctuality. Teach your athlete to plan ahead for daily appointments by making lists of items they need to bring to each activity on their schedule. Discuss ways to help your athlete reduce screen-time on video games and social media.
LACK OF TIME-MANAGEMENT: If your athlete does not have good time-management skills, they are more likely to forget important items they need to bring to practice and may not arrive at the start of practice to adequately warm-up their muscles.
I hope these suggestions and tips help you and your athlete stay healthy!