Preparing Kids for Sports

A woodsman was once asked, “What would you do if you had just five minutes to chop down a tree?” He answered, “I would spend the first two and a half minutes sharpening my axe.”

Success is a result of preparation

In sports, as in life, preparation is everything. What you do before you take the field will make all the difference when the whistle blows. Nutrition, study, rest, practice – they are all secrets to success on the field.

So what should you be doing as a parent to help your child prepare for an upcoming sports season?

Before you try out for the team

One of the first things you can do is help your child get ready physically with pre-season workouts or conditioning classes. Walking into the first day of practice without even having run a lap around the block is asking for trouble. Out of shape may mean out of contention when it comes to making the team, not to mention the increased risk of injury.

Also, make sure you arrange a sports physical with a local physician or medical care provider. A thorough check up is essential before kicking off a new season, and usually required. In addition, the doctor can make sure any previous injuries have sufficiently healed.

But sports preparation is more than just physical. Your child’s best performance demands properly fitting and suitable equipment, as poor protection from improper or inadequate gear can easily result in an injury. For instance, has your child grown since last season?

Get to know the coach and demands of competing

You should also arrange a pre-season meeting with your child’s coach. If it’s the same staff, you have an opportunity to discuss any changes from last season and/or what they expect for the upcoming one. If it’s a new coach, you should get to know them, and take the opportunity to ask important questions, such as their concussion management policy.

Find a balance with sports and other commitments

And finally, make sure you talk with your child about balancing sports and other activities, such as schoolwork and home life. Sometimes the combination can get pretty overwhelming, so keep an eye on them to make sure they haven’t taken so much on that their grades start to suffer.

They probably won’t be the first to admit it, so it’s up to you as a parent to be there for them.

Convenient Sports Physicals

At AppleCare, we love sports as much as you do. But we also know that poor preparation can lead to poor performance. Schedule your child’s sports physical with us to make sure they’re ready to take on the demands of another season.