With tryouts for fall sports kicking into high gear, this can be a stressful time of year for young athletes. Was your child on JV last season but wants to make varsity this year? CoachUp, a service that connects athletes with coaches for personalized training, has some advice that will help your child be successful as they strive to compete at the next level.
No Reserved Spots, Only Deserved Spots
First, it's critical for parents to understand and emphasize that earning a position on the team can only be achieved if the child puts forth their best effort.
At the same time, the young athlete needs to understand that they will not be evaluated on raw talent alone—no matter how great they may be at their sport. Coaches will be evaluating on play, attitude during practice and overall work ethic compared to teammates, who may have more experience than your child.
Parents should prepare their child for the possibility that they may not make the school sports team. It's not the desired outcome, but it can be the reality of the situation and it's critical as a parent to encourage your child to be realistic about their chances and to emphasize their pride and support regardless of the outcome.
It's also important for young athletes to find a balance between optimism and pessimism. If your child is being too optimistic, it will put extra pressure on them to make the team. If they are overly pessimistic, they will not be as confident at the tryouts and that will hinder their performance.
Nutrition is Key
Your child will feel more prepared for tryouts and will gain a competitive edge with good nutrition. Teach your child the basics of good sports nutrition and help them understand why maintaining a healthy diet is important to being successful on and off the field. Show them the importance of staying hydrated, as well as maintaining the frequency and timing of their meals and snacks.
This has major benefits as it will not only help them excel in their training, but in their mental clarity for school and overall life. Your child will feel more confident if they know they have taken the necessary steps to make sure they are properly hydrated and fueled to play their best during tryouts.
Benefits of Individualized Coaching
For young athletes who don't make the team this year, it may be a great time to explore the benefits that children can reap from training with a personal coach. Working with a coach one-on-one or in a small group is proven to help children gain confidence in their sport and master new techniques in the off-season—giving your child an edge on the competition by the time of next year's tryouts. Visit CoachUp's site to browse coaches near you!
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