Pre-Season Training Guide for School Sports
With the new season on the horizon, it is time to start the preparations. Whether you are a coach preparing the team, or a parent of an active child, we’ve done the homework for you and prepared the ultimate pre-season guide. Listed below are the tips that will help you get ready for the new season.
Your child’s body is constantly growing and evolving. It’s never too early to incorporate exercise into your child’s regime. Start by helping your child increase stamina by including endurance-based exercise, such as jump rope or running. Seen as a chore, running may not be welcomed with open arms! Which is why it helps to be creative, make it fun, and rewarding.
One idea is to make a game out of it. Run with them and incorporate light-hearted races. Entice them by offering a fresh fruit smoothie post-run. Avoid “bribing” your kids with foods such as chocolate, lollies, or ice cream. Instead, reward them with fruit and healthy nutrients to help them grow and develop a strong and healthy body, and provide them with all the energy and vitamins their body needs.
Strength and Muscle Development
Stamina and strength go hand to hand. While helping your children develop stamina, you should also prepare different exercises that will help strengthen their body. There are many different exercises you can involve:
- Indoor rock climbing
- Bike riding
Teens / High-Level Youth Athletes
- Squats / Squat Jumps
- Push Ups
- Lunges / Jump Lunges
- Swiss Ball Crunches
- Hip Raises
The goal of the exercise should be to help your child increase its body strength. Start every exercise with a good warm up, lasting at least 15-20 minutes. This is the most important part of the training and choosing to skip it can result in injury. Support your child in strength exercises and look out for good form. Provide guidance on the importance of proper execution… and explain that there are no shortcuts! They may hate you now, but after they are done with their teenage years, they will be grateful forever.
Post-Workout Rest and Recovery
Physical activity puts a lot of stress on the body. Rest and recovery after a training session is a necessity. Post-workout rest is essential for developing a strong body and muscle recovery. If your child seems particularly tired, ensure they get good sleep and rest. This will speed up the healing process of the muscles and allow him/her to re-energise.
In addition to rest, provide nutrient-rich, wholesome food to help replenish their energy sources and help him/her recover faster. Eating a combination of protein and carbohydrates after a workout will provide your child’s body with much-needed nutrients.
A training session is not complete without the right equipment. Help prepare your child by providing him with all of the training essentials, such as:
- A training bag – a basic yet irreplaceable part of the equipment.
- Training uniform
- A water bottle
- A sports towel
- Cold compression pack, such as BodyICE Recovery Small Universal. It’s the perfect size for kids, and provides effective management of inflammation, injury, and sore joints or muscles.
- Nutrition snacks
Having the right training gear will definitely help your child get the best training results. Pair it with the right diet and a proper training routine, and you will have a winning combination.
Training Starts in the Kitchen
Now, we’re not saying deprive your kids of fun foods. Treats such as pizza night and popcorn during a movie are fun events for the whole family to look forward to! At the same time, balance is key. Ensuring that your active child gets proper nourishment is pivotal to their wellbeing. Children who eat nutritious, well-balanced meals will get the nutrients needed to perform well in sports. If you want them to be ready for the new season, it’s important that their diet is rich with a variety of foods across different food groups, including carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, vitamins and nutrients from fruit and vegetables, and calcium.
As mentioned previously, wholesome food greatly impacts how effectively your child recovers from their training sessions. On top of this, diet plays a big role in mood. Maintaining balance in mood and a sense of happiness can be safeguarded by getting adequate amounts of complex carbohydrates, essential fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, and water.
Finally, the best thing a parent can offer their child is unconditional support. Provide encouragement through the ups and the downs and show your interest in their sporting journey. It is not always going to be easy, especially after a first defeat or a rough game. There’ll probably be days where your child wants to back out and quit. Remind them of what it is they love about the game and do your best to remove pressure and stress. Each time your child overcomes the hurdles, recognize that as a major success. After all, life’s full of moments of overcoming defeat! Sport provides a phenomenal avenue to building resilience, strength, humility, and pride. Now, go enjoy the season.