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Three Important Strategies to Prepare Young Athletes for Sporting Success

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Three Important Strategies to Prepare Young Athletes for Sporting Success

As young athletes the world of sport and achieving success can be a daunting and challenging experience. We often see the genetically gifted or naturally talented athletes becoming professionals, and sometimes we don't acknowledge the hard work or simple daily habits that it takes to get there. The message of hard work and putting your head down and grinding are well intended in nature, however this can result in young athletes exhausting themselves through unguided work.

This is where incorporating these three strategies can really set up young athletes for long term success and give them an edge over their competitors.

#1 Using a training log

  • A training log is a tool to record and track your weekly, monthly or yearly training sessions. It ca be used to look back and observe the work and progress you've made over time. This can be done by keeping a diary, no notebook or can be tracked using apps such as MyFitnessPal, Strava and Sleep Cycle, for each aspect of your life. In a similar way to taking progress photos consistently, progress can sometimes be hard to see when it's only looked at compared to the end goal, rather than the steady progress towards the goal. Additionally, when you reach plateaus or sticking points you can go back and look at what was working in the past to make changes to your current program.

#2 Asking for feedback

  • Going up to your coach or trainer and asking for their opinion on your progress and weaknesses can be a valuable tool for young athletes. It teaches them that all criticism is not bad and is not a reflection on them personally but is an opportunity for self improvement. This is a common characteristic of successful people. Acknowledging that you can always be improving and never being satisfied in the level of your game, fitness or progress. Rather than guessing what you need to improve on or only focusing on the things you've already good at. It provides some room for improvement to add another tool to your toolbelt.

#3 Setting mini goals based on last game/training session

  • This gives you control of your progress. Without the short term goals, it becomes very easy to lose track of your progress and can become demoralising when you aren't seeing the growth you were expecting. That's where short term goals, set session to session, are such an important strategy. Achieving regular goals becomes addicting and getting these little wins repeatedly reinforces a young athlete that they are moving in the right direction, making training adherence a lot more likely. Additionally, it provides direction to your training and a purpose to each session, rather than simply "working on your game", each training session will have a targeted focus.

For guidance to help your young athlete have long term sporting success, contact us today.

Matt Hucul
Junior Strength Coach
Inner Athlete (AUS)

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