Tips To Prepare For A Busy Season

As a parent, you know that days can get long with classwork and practices back to back. Preparation means more than packing their lunches or making sure they don’t forget their soccer cleats. Preparation begins a day, days or even weeks in advance.

For parents and athletes alike, there are no such things as a short day. A lot goes into each day and it takes more than a fully packed bag to get through it. Mental, physical and emotional preparations are all part of getting your head in the game and into your work!

Six Ways To Prepare Your Young Athlete

Set Your Goals

Get a head start. Visualize what the coming week may look like and begin to prepare for it. Visualizing cases and scenarios helps reduce stress about unexpected or forgotten events. Research shows that mental practices are almost as effective as physical practice, and that doing both is more effective than either method alone. Envisioning your goal can extend far beyond the racecourse to your everyday endeavors. We suggest that your athlete focus on three goals for the week.  Three things they can accomplish that would make the week a win.  This may take some of the pressure off to get everything done.  But at the very least it will help your athlete focus on goals that are truly important.

Take Care to Energize

Eat responsibly! This is an important concept for you and your athlete. Getting a balanced diet throughout the week prepares you for the demands of the day. Proper nutrition directly affects and benefits cognitive skills, quality and quantity of sleep, energy levels, and work/academic performance. Your athlete may be the one running the field, needing extra care of their diet, but you as a parent, you have to keep up as well.  If your young athlete sees you practicing self care, they are more likely to follow suit.

Don’t forget breakfast.  It is easy for a young athlete skip breakfast when they are running late.  Preparing for this eventuality can help.  Eating a balanced, nutritious breakfast is something you should do every day, but especially the morning of a big event for a boost in mind power and heightened alertness.  What can you put in the refrigerator or on the counter that can be grabbed as they are running out the door?

Take a Time Out

Removing distractions is a benefit to our students, but it can be for parents as well. Student athletes take on schoolwork and teamwork, a combination that makes for a sometimes overwhelming schedule. Getting downtime is as important as getting the work done. Rest and recovery is an essential part of any athletes training.  Again, this is a place you as a parent can mirror the behavior you want for your child.  Taking the time to rest and rejuvenate is important.  Show your young athlete the importance by scheduling downtime for yourself as well. Mental preparation, exercise and rest are just as important as the physical.

Dress to Impress

Whether its game day, school day or a meeting at the office, dress to impress. Dressing for success has actually shown to lead to higher self-confidence, self-assurance and attitude positivity. A soccer jersey or a tie are both feel good uniforms.  Helping your child find a style that works for them, that causes them to walk straighter and with more confidence can actually help them perform better on the field and in the classroom.  More importantly, it can give them the confidence to make it through

Don’t Get Blindsided

Prepare for anything! Always be prepared. When you visualize your week, imagine possible scenarios. Don’t get caught without an extra pair of goggles for the swim meet or your spreadsheet for the meeting. Preparing takes only a few minutes but saves a lot of time down the road. 

Pre Game Rituals

Get ready for the big days! If you know you or your athlete have a big day coming up, personalize your downtime to prepare. Listening to music, movie night or a walk in the park are ways professional athletes have admitted to spending their downtime getting ready for a game. Getting your mind off the big stuff may sometimes be the best way to

Get your head in the game!

Preparation extends beyond stretching and eating well the night before a big game. Preparation is mental and physical, preparing the mind to take on classwork and the social aspects of teamwork after school. Physical activity is a strain on the body and the mind and demands preparation on part of student and parent.

These preparation habits can benefit our athletes and those of us on the sidelines, too!