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The Power of Parental Support in Helping Young Athletes Succeed

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The Power of Parental Support in Helping Young Athletes Succeed

As a parent of a youth athlete, it's important to be involved in your child's sport and strength training. Having an understanding of sleep, nutrition, training, time management and managing injuries will help your child be successful. It's not enough to just drop them off at practice and pick them up later. By being involved and knowledgeable, you can support your child's goals and ensure that they have a positive experience in their sport.

Sleep is essential for any athlete, and youth athletes are no exception. Lack of sleep can lead to decreased performance and increased risk of injury. Encourage your child to establish a regular sleep routine, which includes going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. As a parent, you can help by setting a consistent bedtime and creating a calm sleep environment.

Nutrition is also crucial for young athletes. Encourage your child to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Stay away from sugary and processed foods that can zap energy and cause sluggishness. Make sure your child stays hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during and after exercise.

Training is obviously important for any athlete, but it's important to find a balance between training and rest. Encourage your child to take rest days and to vary their workouts to avoid overuse injuries. Work with your child's coach to crate a training plan that includes both strength and conditioning exrcises.

Time management is also critical for youth athletes. Help your child establish a schedule that includes time for homework, practice and rest. Teach them how to prioritise their responsibilities and manage their time ffectively.

Managing injuries is also important for any athlete. As a parent, you can help by teaching your child how to properly warm up and cool down, encouraging them to report any pain or discomfort, and helping them find the right medical/allied health care when needed.

At Inner Athlete we have seen the most success with athletes that train alongside their parents. This gives a chance for the parent to see the care and time we take when working with their child but also the progress they are making. Sometimes the words and gym jargon can be arbitrary to a parent, but seeing your child get excited by getting stronger or learning a new skill is universal. The buy-in from the parent will help improve motivation for both parties and also create a positive relationship and association with exercise which will last a lifetime.

The Final Word

Being involved and understanding what is going on with your child's sport training and strength training can make a significant difference in their success as a youth athlete. By focusing on sleep, nutrition, training, time management and managing injuries, you can help your child reach their full potential while also enjoying the sport they love. Remember it's not just about winning, it's about having a positive experience and learning life lessons along the way.

For more information on strength and conditioning for youth athletes and increasing your sports performance, check out our website and podcast (also available on Spotify and YouTube).

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

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