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Athletes….they aren’t machines (although sometimes we treat them like they are) THEY ARE PEOPLE! And sometimes, they just need a break.
If you’ve never heard of overtraining syndrome, it’s when the body really starts to shut down when there have been too many energy and physical requirements put on it. Maybe they’re doing extra work and really pushing it, or trying to progress, but it’s our job as parents to look at that and figure out when it’s time to pull back and take a little break and start recovering better.
If your athlete is following the athletic pyramid in the proper order (-Nutrition and Hydration-Rest and Recovery-Proper Movement-Strength-Skills), then you can look at the following clues to tell if your athlete needs a break:
Are you looking to make your athlete’s school day the best possible experience ever?
I bet you didn’t even think about this, but it absolutely starts with nutrition and feeding them the right things, so let’s make sure they are eating what their body needs for success!
It’s definitely going to take some time to get your athlete on track, and it might mean you have to make slow changes over time, but you can do it!
At the Sports Performance Academy, we always look at making sure we have the best macronutrients that we can afford. Here’s what each macronutrient does, and how it best fuels your athlete’s body:
Do you have an athlete that is experiencing heel pain? How about knee pain? Or what about hip pain, lower back pain, upper back pain, shoulder pain, elbow pain or wrist pain?
Unless there was a serious injury that undoubtedly created this pain, these are all types of overuse injuries. These are SO common in sports, so what’s the reason?
WHY is this happening?
Let’s take a look at our “athletic pyramid” to get some answers…
Have you ever had your athlete get in the car after practice and say, "Mom, I'm craving a hamburger!"
I have! That just happened to me 2 days ago after a hard run. I was craving chocolate and it was almost all I could think about.
These cravings are really important for our athletes because it's their brain telling them something their body needs. Maybe it's the muscles saying they need more of something, or maybe it's an essential mineral they're lacking.
Young athletes are still very in tune with what their bodies need and it's important that we not ignore these cravings. Cravings can give us great insight into what our athletes need.
Here's what is most important though... Just because your athlete is craving something, doesn't mean we need to end up in a drive through getting less than quality food.
If they're craving a hamburger, make a delicious one at home with grass fed beef. If they're craving a taco, make them a chicken or fish taco at home. If they want...
Have you ever been told that back pain is normal? That everyone has it, and it’s just something you have to learn to deal with? Well it’s NOT TRUE! Back pain is not normal, and just because it may be common, does not mean you should listen to the crowd that told you it is. It could be an indicator of a very serious injury that should not be ignored!
If your athlete is having any of the following symptoms, IT’S TIME TO BE SEEN!
Why Is Recovery So Important?
When we don’t get recovery right, our athletes have a big decrease in energy. I see it in the gym and get emails all the time about overuse injuries (heel pain, knee pain, wrist pain, elbow pain, lower back pain, etc.) which are all due to not recovering properly.
When we see recovery become a priority, all sorts of great things that happen!
1. Cells are able to store energy, which will give them lots of energy for the next practice
2. Their body will have the ability to adapt to training and go even above where they were at the start of training
3. Less anxiety, more mentally strong when they are getting fully recovered between practices
The biggest part of recovery (and the base of the Athletic Pyramid) is Nutrition and Hydration, eating the right foods at the right times, and hydrating.
The next step up on the pyramid and The BIGGEST Takeawayfrom this video: SLEEP
If under the age of 12, they NEED 10-12 hours of sleep EACH NIGHT
This video came up from our Nutrition = Performance Seminar when a young athlete went to her coach after the seminar and asked, "Coach, how do I eat this much food?!?"
That's a great question and one that I never thought of for a young athlete. We definitely don't want your athlete getting overwhelmed and we want to give you as parents great strategies to help your athletes eat the best food.
So how do we get great food into our athlete's diet? We've identified 3 points and here they are:
We also want to make sure we add all of these ideas into our Road Map to Success. The Road Map makes sure we eat throughout the day, and when you implement the Road Map, the rest of this will be easy!
If you're just starting this whole road to amazing nutrition, your athlete might not yet be convinced that this is the best way forward for them, so it's always best to encourage...
Each and every time we do a Nutrition = Performance Seminar with our athletes, Dr. Josh spends time answering all of their questions.
This is amazing because you get to learn exactly what your athlete is thinking about nutrition, but also about performance as a whole.
The great thing is they are a little different each time.
We wanted to share this with you so you can get some great information in a bit of a different setting....live!
Here are some of the questions:
- Health benefits to vegan vs. vegetarian diets
- How much water do we need each day?
- Why do we need to sleep?
- What do you eat every day?
- Can we have ice cream every day?
- Can we still eat junk food?
- and a few more!
Here's the best part about nutrition: When we eat the right food at the right time, we see our athletes be able to do amazing things both in the gym (or on the field, court, or diamond) and in life!
If you don't know...
What a big question, and there is so much noise about protein out there.
So how much protein does my young athlete need? Here's the breakdown:
As parents, we're bombarded with messages about how much protein athletes need to build muscle, perform at a high level, and if you take in 2 tons per day, your athlete will be a super hero!
Here's the deal...it doesn't work that way.
Protein, out of all the macronutrients of Protein, Carbs, and Fats, is the smallest amount we need by percentage.
Really? You bet! So let's get into some of the specifics of protein for your young athlete.
Our athletes don't need a ton of protein and in fact here's the exact range:
0.8-1.2 g/kg of bodyweight
Now you might be thinking, Dr. Josh, I do not calculate my athletes weight...
In our gyms and sports organizations, we all want to see our athletes perform at the highest levels they can. Athletes train hard. Coaches dedicate their lives to their athletes. Parents pay copious amounts of money and time towards their child's dreams.
But in gymnastics, we still have a 77% major injury rate for our athletes.
How is this even possible?
It's because we haven't developed athletes with a solid foundation. As a sport, gymnastics has put SKILLS as the most important part of the equation.
We also have to combine this with rest and recovery to solidify the solid foundation. Nutrition, Hydration, Rest and Recovery form this amazing base that our athletes can then rely on when times get hard.
As coaches and parents, you have to make the difficult decisions to make the base the most important part of your...
"This is a must watch training if you want your athlete to succeed in sport and life."
~Dr. Joshua Eldridge
Also, enjoy a downloadable copy of the Road Map to Success as our FREE gift!
"The absolute best nutrition workshop for your family and athlete. Don't miss this opportunity!" ~ Dr. Joshua Eldridge
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