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How Consistency and Habits Shape Your Youth Athlete's Success

May 07, 20243 min read

In the dynamic world of youth sports, where growth and development are paramount, the power of habits and consistency stands as a game-changer. Let's dive into the playbook that will set your young athlete on the path to excellence.

Imagine this: every small effort, every little improvement your young athlete makes, is like depositing money into a high-interest account. Over time, these consistent deposits accumulate, growing exponentially. Just as compound interest multiplies your savings, consistent efforts multiply your athlete's skills and abilities.

Remember, progress doesn't always come in leaps and bounds. It's the daily 1% improvements that add up, transforming them into a stronger, faster and more skilful athlete. By emphasising the power of steady growth, you instil in them the resilience and dedication required to reach the pinnacle of their potential.

Systems Trump Goals

Setting goals is crucial, but they are merely the destination on the map. The real journey happens within the systems you establish. As a parent, you've head the adage 'you don't rise to the level of your goals: you fall to the level of your systems'.

This couldn't be truer in the context of youth sports.

Instead of solely focusing on winning the championship or scoring the most points, encourage your athlete to cultivate the habits and routines that lead to success. These systems are the building blocks that lay the foundation for goal achievement. When they prioritise consistent practice, proper nutrition, sufficient rest and mental conditioning, they'll naturally ascend to new heights.

Habit Stacking: The Ultimate Play

Introducing a new habit can be a challenge, but there's a clever strategy that can make it seamless: habit stacking. Think of it as attaching a new habit to an existing one, creating a chain reaction of positive actions. This technique is a game-changer when it comes to engraining new behaviours into your athlete's routine.

For instance, if your young athlete's current habit is closing their laptop after finishing homework, have them stack on a new habit: 'when I close my laptop I will do 10 push-ups'. This simple yet effective approach ensures that new habits piggyback on well-established ones, making it easier to maintain the consistency that fuels progress.

And let's not forget bedtime routines. 'When I get into bed at night, I will read 10 pages of my book'. This not only encourages intellectual growth but also helps establish a structured evening routine that enhances sleep quality - a critical factor for youth athletes' recovery and performance.

The Final Word

You play a pivotal role in nurturing your young athlete's growth, and fostering the power of habits and consistency can be your secret weapon. Just as an athlete hones their skills to perfection, you can refine your parenting techniques to guide them toward becoming their best selves.

Remember, it's the small, consistent steps that lead to the grand victories. As you watch your youth athlete grow into a resilient, disciplined, and accomplished individual, you'll know that the time invested in cultivating these habits was the ultimate winning play.

Learn more on strength and conditioning for youth athletes and increasing sports performance on our website and the Inner Athlete Podcast (available on Spotify and YouTube)

Matt Hucul
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Inner Athlete - Bayside's premium strength and conditioning coaching for youth athletes

#teenathletes #youthathletes #youngathletes #consistencyandhabits #habitsettingforteens

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