Sleep! When you are sleeping, your body uses that time to fix and repair itself. Athletes especially need to get enough sleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends children ages 6-12 years should regularly sleep 9-12 hours and teenagers aged 13-18 should sleep 8-10 hours.
Drink Water! Proper hydration is key. Cut out sugary drinks and stick to the H2O. It is recommended for young athletes to drink five to eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
Eat a Healthy Diet. Young Athletes need a well balanced diet to properly fuel their bodies. Eat “Full Foods” not “Buz foods”. Avoid high fat foods, fast food, and sugar loaded drinks and snacks, otherwise known as “Buz foods”. Buz foods give you temporary satisfaction, but are not great at properly fueling your body. Protein-rich foods, complex carbohydrates, fruits and veggies and fiber rich food are great things for athletes to load up on.
Learn from Loss! It is important for young athletes to learn how to learn from their losses. Being a good loser is important to the game and mindset of a player. Losing a game isn’t the end of the world. Athletes should not internalize or harbor negative thoughts due to a tough loss. Instead, we need to learn from losses and use them as motivators for the future.
Talk it out. An important thing to remember is you are a part of a team. There is no need to internalize things. Team members and coaches are there for a reason. Don’t be afraid to talk to coaches about what’s going on in your head. Young athletes need to be open and communicate with their team. Teamwork really does make the dream work.