If your child is a student-athlete, you’ve probably been asking their trainer or coach how you can help to improve their performance. Most times, you are not looking for any particular sports training or drill that will make them improve in certain areas. This approach may be helpful, but it will be more appropriate to focus your energy on practical ways you could help your student-athlete every day.
Your ability to help at critical moments, in a way that no trainer could, will be extremely useful in developing habits that greatly support your child’s development.
Below are some powerful but overlooked methods that you can use to help your student-athlete to fly higher.
1. Invest In Reusable Water Bottles
Athletes need to stay hydrated. That is the easiest and simplest way to remain energetic and sharp. It also affects performance positively. However, many athletes still forget to arrive at the training venue with a means of hydration and start dehydrating when training commences, which affects their performance negatively.
Therefore, parents need to invest in reusable water bottles for their kids. You can get bottles with large capacities like 32 oz and above so your child can take them everywhere. Such bottles provide constant access to supply all through the day, making it possible for your child to be well-hydrated.
This simple act goes a long way to inform your child that their success in athletics is beyond practice. It teaches them to develop healthy habits as well as a discipline that will help them feel well and perform effectively every day.
2. Invest in Sleep!
Everyone needs good sleep. It is a necessary aspect of human existence. Sleep helps to improve critical reasoning skills, concentration, learning, and memory. It also enhances performance pointers like reaction time, endurance, strength, power, and speed. Additionally, sleep lowers the risk of sustaining musculoskeletal injury.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers need 8 to 10 sleep hours each night. Unfortunately, almost 73% of teenagers fall behind this recommendation. The statistics show that most teenagers have poor sleep quality.
Fortunately, good sleep affects us positively, so parents can invest in high-quality bedding, mattress, and pillows for their children. You can go further and purchase a white noise producer and blackout shade to create an environment that promotes restful sleep.
3. Switch One Item in the Food Pack with a Nutrient-Packed One
You are responsible for what your child eats every day. Therefore, you have the power to provide good food, which is the fuel that keeps your child going on the field. Most adolescent athletes consume processed foods that are not ideal.
These foods have minute nutrient density and zero calories. They fail to provide the needed energy, leaving the athlete ill-equipped for the energy requirements of training as well as competitions. Hence, parents need to investigate what their children eat during lunch. Your kids need healthy school lunches.
You can substitute food items to enable your child to gain better nutrition. For instance, chips for almonds, cookies for an apple, crackers for carrots. This will ensure that your student-athlete consumes more healthy foods.
4. Prepare for the Post-Game Moments
Oftentimes, parents go through unfamiliar neighbuorhoods and at inconvenient periods after games to get back home. In such situations, it is easy and quite understandable to opt for fast-food options to feed your hungry athlete. The minutes after games are critical moments to replenish all lost nutrients as well as jumpstart recovery. But if you opt for fast-food options, you won’t achieve anything.
Most supermarkets that sell at night, pharmacies, and convenience stores have nutritious options that you can consider. So instead of picking a bottle of soda, fries, and burger by the roadside, you can get a bar of granola, chocolate milk, and banana at any convenience store. Both options come at almost the same cost.
When next there is a competition, take time to prepare for your child. You can make a nutritious snack paired with fruits and chocolate milk. With most competitions happening multiple times in a week, recovery is essential, and junk food will do no good.
5. Keep Phones Away During Homework Periods
Although most homework requires technology to complete, student-athletes don’t need their phones to complete the assignment. Teenagers find smartphones to be irresistible and this could be a huge distraction for them. They can access their social circle and entire life from one device and even do more. But it makes them drift away from their tasks.
When student-athletes have unrestricted access to smartphones during homework, here’s the result:
- Decline in productivity
- Time for task completion becomes prolonged
- Improperly completed task
For student-athletes with limited time, keeping smartphones during homework could be destructive because they end up using their personal time. The hours they spend doing the homework may encroach into their sleeping time. Therefore, parents should talk with their children and establish boundaries concerning homework.
You can designate some free hours for smartphones every night. A good way to begin is ensuring that all phones are turned off and left on the countertop for 1 or 2 hours at night until they complete their assignments. When you set a productive environment for your children, it results in enhanced learning and focus, properly completed assignments, and healthy habits for success in academics.
In addition, when athletes spend less time completing their academic assignments, they will have enough time to sleep. They will also be able to engage in leisure activities that help to reduce stress. This will greatly contribute to ensuring that the athlete is physically and mentally refreshed every day. You can check out Correct My Play to get more useful tips that will help your child make the A-list.
There are many ways parents can help improve the performance of student-athletes. These methods do not involve rigorous training or pep talks which coaches are already offering. In fact, they are unconventional methods. We shared some of them in this article and you can take advantage of them to boost your child’s performance, both academically and sports-wise.