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AVOID these 3 fatal mistakes that blunt your kids sporting fitness and talent

AVOID these 3 fatal mistakes that blunt your kids sporting fitness and talent
Published: 18/07/2019

An expert Exercise Scientist reveals the must knows for parents!

You know the story where the champion who comes from a small rural town overcomes many obstacles to achieve their goal. This doesn't happen for all kids who have dreams of achieving sporting greatness but it can for yours if you ensure they avoid these 3 fatal mistakes.

1. Pushing them too hard

Yes, to get better you must have a cause that results in adaptation. Whatever sport it is, to get better practice and training is a requirement. Going hard and doing lots is THE BIGGEST mistake I see from coaches of kids and teens. Parents usually trust the coach to know best but sometimes they don't. As a parent you need to listen really closely and watch your kids for these signs and symptoms of overtraining:

  1. Being sore for more than 2 days after training
  2. Unusually tired, feeling lethargic
  3. Drop-in performance
  4. Loss of enthusiasm for the sport
  5. Decreased appetite
  6. Increased incidence of injuries

You can help treat this and avoid it with:

  1. Rest and recovery. Rest days are when our bodies do their thing. This means they get stronger, grow bigger, get faster, establish more stamina, etc. when you give them time to relax.
  2. Hydrate. Don't go for Powerade and other sugary electrolyte drinks before knowing your kids are consuming enough water. DO NOT go overboard here, drinking too much water can cause serious issues.
  3. Get a massage. For those competing and training at high levels with lots of gameplay or training volume, this will help immensely!
  4. Start Cross-Training - Quite often athletes overwork specific muscle groups that they use repetitively in their sport. Cross-Training gives them the opportunity to develop these muscles in other movements while also improving their overall fitness when giving those muscles a break.

2. Skipping the basics

Everyone does this, even the champions. The difference is the champions make sure they go back and work on the basics. The basics in any sport are different when it comes to skills but in terms of physical performance, a child must develop or be at extreme risk of injury or hitting a plateau they never manage to break. Signs to look for if the basics need to be worked on:

  1. The athlete can not balance well in a single leg jump and land test. Balancing well looks like landing without wobbling or the foot moving again.
  2. The athlete can not hold a plank hold for 30 seconds.
  3. The athlete can not get their hip crease below their knees whilst keeping their heels on the ground in a squat.

These are just some things to look for. It all depends on what the chosen sport is. One of the biggest basics to skip is what I will go into in point 3.

3. Avoiding learning the game

Having a real understanding of why a certain movement creates a certain result gives your athlete a massive advantage. I'm talking about understanding the most simple parts of the sport they choose. The athlete that goes out to compete with their own plan, knows how to adjust and when to expend a lot of energy ultimately wins. The athlete who just goes out to play in response to what is in front of them gets lucky. An athlete who truly understands their sport has learned from their failures, reflected on them and created strategies/ practices to avoid them happening again.

The athlete that learns to make the most of their strengths, shield their weaknesses and do the same for their teammates in a team sport wins.

I am astounded as to how much kids perform basic movements terribly. This has driven me to write this free resource. I want to offer you something of even greater value. I will happily meet with you and discuss pain points your athlete is having, complete a test and give you a plan that they can work on. It's free because I want your child to succeed, enjoy themselves and be injury-free for as long as possible.

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