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Off Season Training

The Season’s Over, Now What? How to Keep Up Training

For the past few months your after-school life has revolved around practice, practice and more practice. You’re on top of your game, feeling great and certainly getting in the activity you need to be healthy. Suddenly the season is over, there are no more sports and you’re not sure what to do. You could go into a post-season slump, letting go and relaxing. Or, you could keep training – on your own schedule.

It’s tempting to spend your after-school (and weekend) time watching TV, playing video games or just hanging out with friends. That’s okay. You’ve spent the last few months working hard, and you deserve some relaxation. That said, trading training for 12 hours a day of computer game play isn’t healthy. If you want to stay in shape and keep your body ready for the next sports season (which will also help you to stay physically fit and healthy), ditch the idea of totally trading exercise for everything that’s less active.

What can you do after the season is over to continue training?

  • Talk to your coach before the season ends. He or she may have ideas for training activities or be able to set up a post-sports schedule for you to follow.
  • Walk instead of ride. Mom could give you a ride to school – or, you could get in some added exercise by walking.
  • Stick to a schedule. Whether your coach gave you a post-season schedule or you’ve created your own routine, don’t start skipping out on your plan. Arrange other activities around your schedule, making your workout just as important as it was during the sports season.
  • Try another sport. You don’t have to go all in and join a second varsity team. An intermural activity or neighborhood league can keep you active, help you learn new skills and make training more manageable.
  • Find a buddy. During the season you had teammates by your side. This meant having friends nearby and a support system. If that seemed to make training easier (or, at least more fun), keep it up after the season’s over. Talk to a teammate or a friend who’s interested in exercising, and ask them to workout with you. The two of you can hang out and motivate each other to keep going.
  • Ask your family to help. Mom and dad are there for you. Talk to your family if you need some spurring on when it comes to getting out there and training. Maybe invite them to join, having a weekly family soccer game can be very fun and healthy for everyone.
  • Keep a log. During the season you had a schedule and knew exactly when practice was. You had a set number of hours over the course of the week – on specific days, at specific times. Now that you’re on your own, it’s easy to forget how much you’ve done and when. Keep a journal or add a note on your smart phone every time that you train. This helps you to see how much you’re doing (or not doing).

You’ve spent the past season working hard. You’re at the top of your game and are looking forward to next year’s games, meets or matches. Even though you can take training down a notch, relax a bit and have some fun, getting physical activity during your down time is still a must-do. Taking some time off from organized athletic activities doesn’t always mean that you slump into a couch potato. Stay busy, stay active and workout with a friend. Make your post-season plan enjoyable, getting in your training while still staying social.

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Life’s A Balancing Act For Student Athletes

 

Life’s a balancing act and right now school’s your job. That said, it may seem like your team sport is also a full-time commitment, and it kind of is. Finding time to do both often requires careful scheduling. How can you keep your grades on course, while still sticking to a training schedule, making it to practice and playing games?

Set Your Priorities

You’ve got a major Spanish final coming up. You’re not exactly confident about it. But you also have soccer practice. Chances are that you need some extra study time right now – making that Spanish final a priority.

This doesn’t mean that you ditch your sport. Instead, talk to your coach and explain what’s going on. Ask if you can miss one practice or leave early in order to hit the library. Coaches often are very understanding about this and know that right now you are a student-athlete and need to succeed in order to become an athletic-student. Besides, if you get a good grade your teacher is more likely to let you leave class a bit early for a game and will have acknowledge your dedication to both sports and academics.

Stick to a Schedule

Before the season starts, set up a school work schedule. Figure out how much time you need for each subject. Add these blocks of time around your practices and games. Put your schedule on your phone or write it on a calendar so you can look at every day.

Avoid Late Nights

The schedule’s set. Great! But, it seems to include a lot of late-night study sessions. You aren’t as likely to learn what you need to know (at least, not to your fullest potential) if your studying time happens when you’re overly tired. If you can squeeze in some after-school study time before going to your 7 pm game, do it. Waiting until you get home at 10 may mean that you have to stay up until midnight just to finish your homework.

Make the Most of Weekends

Unless you have a full weekend tournament, Saturday and Sunday give you plenty of time to hit the books. Yes, you want time to relax and spend with your friends. But, you also need to study. Make school work a priority and put it at the beginning of your weekend days. Then, you can get together with friends later on in the evening! If you try to have scheduled weekends you will soon realize that waking up at 9am, instead of noon like most of your friends gives you three hours of very productive time!

Study in School

You could spend your 15 minutes of homeroom, the 45 minutes of study hall or your free period texting friends. Or, you could take advantage of this in-school time to do tomorrow’s homework or study for a test.

Put Together a Team Study Group

Sometimes studying is easier with a buddy. If you have teammates in your classes, set up a study group and make plans to meet before or after practices. Not only can you help each other with your school work, but you’re also getting the chance to be social.

Combining school and sports takes time management skills and dedication. You only have 24 hours in a day, and almost half that time is spent sleeping! Create a manageable schedule that you can realistically follow, making it perfectly possible to get your homework done and be your best on the field too! It may be hard at first but it is definitely possible.

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What To Do When You Don’t Get Along With A Teammate

Your teammates are your support on the field and your relationship with them is important for the whole team. So what can you do if you don’t get on with a teammate?

Your teammates are your people. Or, at least, they should be. Together you can battle your way to victory, critique the team’s performance and celebrate when you win. You must work together to achieve success on the pitch, you’re far more likely to succeed when you work together like a well-oiled machine.

Unfortunately, life isn’t always that simple. In fact, sometimes it can be downright complicated. You might be on the same sports team as someone, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be friends for life. There may even be players you simply can’t get along with or who don’t seem able to get along with you. It’s not ideal, but it’s real life. As teammates, however, you’re going to have to find a way to get along for the good of the team. Here are some things to try when you can’t seem to get along with a teammate:

  1. Be civil

If another player gets on your nerves, you need to learn to rise above it. Arguing isn’t going to help and it’s certainly not going to be good for the team. By creating a huge fallout, you may even end up isolating yourself from other players on the team. Instead, prove to everyone that you can be the bigger person. Be civil, try to get along and simply don’t cause a fuss. Instead focus on the team and how you can work together to win this season.

  1. Talk to the coach

If another player is deliberately trying to provoke you and you feel unable to ignore it, it might be time to talk to coach. If the player’s behavior is out of line or if you simply feel unable to handle the situation yourself, speak to your coach about the issues. It may seem out of their jurisdiction, but handling team relationships is an important aspect of coach’s role. They may be able to offer advice or help you think of ways to handle the situation.

  1. Be honest

If you feel able to, discuss the issues with the player involved. Explain why you think something is wrong, how you’re worried it could negatively impact the team and what you think can be done about it. If they are a team player, they’ll probably agree that the team should come before any personal issues the two of you might be having.

The most important thing is that all of this is handled off the field. Your personal issues shouldn’t impact the game so make sure you aren’t dealing with your frustrations on the pitch. Make sure you have this player’s back on the field, even if they don’t have yours when the match it over.

Have you had an issue with a teammate and, if so, how did you deal with it?

 

 

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5 Reasons You Should Send Your Kid To Sports Camp This Summer

 

If you’re currently wondering what sort of extra curricular activities your child might enjoy this summer, you might be wondering whether sports camp is a good fit, here we’ll give you some reasons why day sports camps are the way to go!

Summer camp is a great way for your child to spend the summer. At a day camp, your child will get to enjoy all of the benefits of day long activities without having to spend weeks away from home.

Fitness

Obesity is an epidemic and it’s affecting more everyday. Childhood is an important time to set the foundations for a healthy life. Encourage good habits in your child and you can pave the way for a healthy future. Playing team sports is a great way to develop exercise habits that could last a lifetime. Sports camp could be just the ticket to showing your child just how rewarding and fun playing sports can be.

Confidence

Attending sports camp, learning from the best and developing friendships with teammates will all help your child to feel be more confident. While confidence may come naturally to some kids, for others it can be more of a challenge. If you want your child to realize their full potential, you need to give them the opportunity to shine. Sports camp will provide ample opportunity for your child to challenge themselves, make a valuable contribution to the game and, hopefully, win a game or two.

Friendship

Sports camp will be filled with kids just like yours. Kids who come together for one amazing summer, to train together, play together and win together. Nothing cements a friendship quite like the glory of winning a game. Through team building exercises and competitive games, your child will get to know the other kids at camp. Some of these friendships may last a lifetime.

School

Attending sports camp might just give your kid the edge they need to try out for a team in the new academic year. After a summer spent scoring points on the field, they’ll be more confident than ever before. Far from feeling like an outsider on the pitch, they’ll know they’re home. If your child has always wanted to be the star player, sports camp is the perfect place for them to hone their abilities.

Home

Unlike many summer camps, with a day camp you don’t have to send your child away for weeks on end. Instead, you can expect your child home for dinner every night after camp. That means you’ll get to hear all the latest gossip from the locker rooms, see the pride on your kid’s face when they tell you they scored the winning goal and, most importantly of all, you don’t have to miss out on seeing your child this summer.

 

 

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5 Ways To Bond With Your Team

To improve your performance on the field, it’s important to strengthen the bonds off the field. Here are just a few ideas of ways you can bond with your team mates.

Your teammates are important people in your life right now. They share in the celebrations after a winning match and are there to offer words of encouragement after a difficult game. They know exactly what you’re going through because they’re right there with you. They’re an important part of your life and the better you know each other, the better able you are to support each other. Here are five easy ways to bond with your teammates:

  1. Camp Out

There is no better place to bond than under the night sky. Get your teammates away from technology, away from their homework and away from the stresses of everyday life and create a space for some old school quality bonding. Camping is fun, even if you’re the sort of player who hates camping, it’s hard to deny the charm of spending some time outdoors. The change of scenery, open air and close proximity to nature are guaranteed to see you all having fun.

  1. Party Time

Life on the field can be pretty stressful. The adrenalin is pumping, you have your eye on the ball and your mind is 100% in the game. It’s exhilarating, exhausting and all-consuming all at the same time. And you’ll be more than ready to blow off steam after the game. A team party could be exactly what the doctor ordered. It’ll give you all a chance to relax together instead of running wild on the court.

  1. Team Improvement

Since you’re all on the team, it’s safe to assume you all love the team. What better way to bond than improving the team? This doesn’t mean working on your pitching skills or trying out new formations, far from it. This is about taking the time to invest in the little things that matter. The new uniforms, the changing rooms and the bleachers. These things won’t make or break your time, but you’ll all benefit from improving them. Brainstorm ways you can make improvements and then organize fundraisers to save up.

  1. Volunteer

You know what feels amazing? Giving back. Volunteering is a great way to motivate your team. Not only will it provide you all with another shared goal, but it will allow you to spend more time together away from the field. There are many different ways you can volunteer; you’re bound to find something that gets everyone fired up. You could use your sports skills to organize a sports day for kids from a disadvantaged area or spend the day preparing a new habitat at a wildlife reserve. Find a cause you all believe in and then call some charitable organizations to see how you could help.

  1. Debrief

You don’t need to spend money on extra curricular activities, team bonding can be as simple as a decent chat after each match. Encourage your team to talk through the game, what went well and what could be improved. Doing this regularly will help to open up communication, build confidence and encourage trust between members. It doesn’t have to take long, even just a ten-minute team chat at the end of the game could help to strengthen the bond. That said, there’s no reason why you can’t have the meeting over burgers and shakes at your local diner.

 

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Sensible Eating For The Teen Athlete

Most teen athletes will agree it is important to include a vigorous physical training regimen as part of their efforts to reach premiere levels of athletic performance. Weightlifting and cardiovascular conditioning are a mere afterthought to the dedicated athletic teenager. An area often times ignored, but equally vital to the overall well-being of young sports performers as those methods of physical conditioning just mentioned, is the importance of following a proper nutrition regimen.

U.S. dietary guidelines suggest a daily intake of 2,400 calories for teen girls 14-18 years of age. For boys of the same age group, a daily intake of approximately 3,000 calories is recommended. Interestingly both of these figures are about 500 calories above the recommended rate for adult men and women. Add the additional calorie burning by the average teen athlete during training, practices and games and the importance of sensible eating increases.

Nutrition needs to start at zero, literally. Zero is the number of calories in water and water is a great starting point when discussing sensible eating. A teen’s body is made up of 60 percent water. Muscle is actually 70 percent water and having a two percent water loss will affect an athlete’s performance. Not properly hydrating the body can have serious consequences. Dietary experts have a simple water-intake formula. Teens weighing over 100 pounds should be drinking 50 percent of their body weight ‘in ounces.’ (150 lb weight = 75 oz. of water, e.g.) Young athletes can start off on the right foot nutritionally by drinking 12 ounces of water upon waking up, and then continue the practice of hydrating throughout the day.

When it comes to actual food, a diet for a teen should include:

  • 45-65 percent carbohydrates (oatmeal, whole grain rice/pasta, yogurt)
  • 25-35 percent fats (fish oils, nuts, avocados)
  • ½ a gram per pound proteins, 150 lb. teen = 75 grams, e.g. (eggs, seafood, poultry)

Carbohydrates efficiently fuel production of body energy which is integral in an athlete’s performance in the areas of endurance and power. Some fats are actually good for the body. Omega-3 and monosaturated fats assist in moving substances in and out of body cells. These fats also help brain and nervous system health. Proteins make red blood cells (brings oxygen to muscle) and white blood cells (fights infections). Proteins also make hormones which assist in repairing muscles after workouts/games. Vitamins and minerals should be available for the body through healthy choices in fruits and vegetables, and a daily multi-vitamin will help teen athletes as well.

The importance of breakfast is widely known, but for teen athletes it can be difficult due to early morning practices. Even a healthy breakfast, if eaten less than 45 minutes prior to a game or workout, can cause athletes problems. Simplify it by eating something light like a whole wheat bagel (minus the cream cheese) or a banana. Be sure to have a healthy snack available after the morning session – like chocolate milk. Recent studies have concluded chocolate milk to be as good as sports drinks in the replacement of electrolytes and carbohydrates after a workout or game.

Figuring out a set of eating habits can be challenging, specially as a teenager but it is all about balance, and listening to your own body. If you drink enough water, maintain a healthy carbs, fats and protein ratio and don’t forget about breakfast you are on the right track.

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5 Reasons Why Girls Love Sports

Gender stereotyping is bad for boys, bad for girls and definitely bad for sports. When we underestimate the strength, determination and capability of girls, we starve the world of future sports stars.

Aren’t we a little tired of hearing that sports aren’t for girls? Girls should be busy dreaming of becoming princesses, perfecting their nail varnish and fancying boy bands. Girls are much too ladylike to want to spend time fighting over a ball, getting muddy and leading their team to victory. Come on, this is very old school thinking.

Girls love sports just as much as boys do. There’s nothing inherently male about loving sports. Girls are more than capable of dominating on the field. Those old-fashioned stereotypes are not only holding girls back, they’re holding female sports back. It’s 2016 and it’s definitely time to embrace sports-loving girls and encourage the next generation of inspirational sports stars. Here are five reasons why girls love sports:

  1. Because they’re strong

Think girls only care about being skinny? You’re wrong. Look at inspiring women like Serena Williams who aren’t afraid to build muscle, show off their strength and look powerful. Strong is the new skinny. Team sports offer girls the opportunity to improve their fitness, grow strong and discover just how incredible their bodies are. Girls learn more about body confidence through sports than they do through teen magazines and advertising campaigns.

  1. It releases adrenalin

Exercise makes anyone feel good. It releases feel good hormones that improve your mood, reduce stress and can even fight depression. Spending time exercising can improve sleep, improve fitness and generally increase happiness. Getting involved in team sports is a great way to put exercise firmly on the agenda. Playing sports with your friends doesn’t feel like a chore, instead it’s something you can look forward to each and every time.

  1. It’s competitive

Competition is a healthy part of growing up and team sports are a great place to let that competitive streak out. Competition encourages us to strive to improve ourselves, to work harder and to dream bigger. These are all valuable lessons for young female athletes. Team sports provide a safe and appropriate place for girls to embrace their competitive nature and strive for improvement.

  1. Friends for a life-time

The friends you make through team sports will be friends who stay with you for life. These girls who have your back, cheer your victories and help you score the winning goals will grow into the women who support you through life’s ups and downs.

  1. It boosts confidence

Want to feel good about yourself? Join a team of like-minded individuals all aiming for the same goal. Want to love your body? Push it to its limits. Want to feel good about yourself? Do something you haven’t done before. Team sports force girls to learn new skills, get out of their comfort zone and take calculated risks.

College Preparation Advice From Our Very Own Academic Camp Director, Daniel Riseman

 

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In an interview with MomZette, Daniel Riseman, founder of Riseman Educational Consulting in Irvington, New York, has been counseling students and working with families for 15 years on every aspect of the college admissions process, including tutoring students for SAT and ACT tests, selecting schools and majors, and writing essays. He offers the following insights for students immersed in the interviewing process.

Do not come in with a script.

“No one is interested in hearing a well-prepared monologue,” said Riseman. “While careful preparation is essential, do not force statistics or facts into the conversation at every opportunity. Interviewers remember organic discussions. Serving as your own PR agent can backfire.”

Be an active listener

“Interviewers tend to enjoy talking about their time in college, so let them. Ask about their favorite professor or memory from college. Active listeners make interviewers feel good about themselves, which usually results in a positive review. By focusing more on what the interviewer says, you will calm your nerves. Connect and enjoy the experience.”

Be present

“Some of my students take improv classes months prior to their college interviews,” said Riseman. “This is not intended to make them funnier. Rather, such training allows them to learn to be in the moment more effectively. Interviewers can sense preoccupation. Instead, embrace the moment.”

Keep expectations realistic

“Interviewers have minimal power. Even the perfect interview does not guarantee an acceptance letter. Conversely, a bad interview does not mean an automatic rejection. Most colleges actually put little weight on the interview. A student’s GPA and test scores are much more important.”

Allow the interviewer to picture you at the university

“Use details from campus visits or your knowledge of the school to place yourself at the university during the conversation. Include courses you plan on taking and activities you would love to take part in. Try to connect such imagery to the interviewer’s flashbacks of his or her time at the college.”

Do not be afraid of silence

“You do not have to fill in pauses with prattle. Comfortable silence can build intimacy.”

Be yourself

“You’re the one the interviewer wants to learn about. Do not try to be a character from your favorite film or TV show. Allow yourself to be ‘you.’ This will calm your nerves.”

For the full article visit http://www.lifezette.com/momzette/surprising-advice-for-a-successful-college-interview/

Why Free Play is Important and How to Encourage it

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So much of our time now is already accounted for; a busy schedule of school, clubs, homework and sleeping doesn’t really leave time for much else. Free play should be a daily part of your child’s life.

You know that moment at the end of the day, once the dishes are all tidied away and all the work is done, where you finally sit down and do whatever you want? That’s your free time. As a parent, you probably spend it trying not to fall asleep because you’re so exhausted after a busy day, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless.

Kids need free time as well, time to go crazy, let their hair down and do whatever it is they think is fun. This is especially true after a long day of school. School is pretty structured, and the short breaks often aren’t really long enough for much free play. There’s barely time for a quick snack and then it’s back to the classroom again.

Sports clubs, music lessons and drama groups are great for your child and are no doubt providing heaps of benefits. But they too are structured. If you’re constantly ferrying your child between activities, then chances are your child’s “free time” is in the backseat of your car. It’s important to make sure they get to enjoy some free play too.

Free play is whatever your child wants it to be. It could mean running around the garden at full speed, playing an imagination game with friends, or climbing trees at the local park. Your child should be free to choose the activity. Here are three ways to encourage free play:

#1: Make sure there is free time available

It’s not easy to plot in free time, especially when your child is in school. Between eating, learning, extracurricular activities and homework, there aren’t many minutes left in the day. But free play really does need to be a family priority, so make sure you schedule some in. It could be a trip to the park straight after school, or having a friend over for dinner. Even just 45 minutes of free play a day could help your child to release some energy, use that imagination and unwind.

#2: Limit screen time

The few minutes we do have free each day tend to be spent staring at the television or playing games on a phone or tablet. While this might be an easy way of relaxing, it’s probably not offering many other benefits. Try to get out of the habit of turning the TV on as soon as you arrive home. Instead think of other things you can do around the home. Remember when you were young, how you’d spend hours building dens or riding your bike? That’s sort of what you want to recreate with free play, the freedom you had when you were young.

#3: Set up a playdate

When kids get together, free play is bound to happen. Two imaginations are better than one, so invite some friends over to join in. Let your child pick who they invite, after all, it’s their play date. Leave them to it so they can enjoy each other’s company and have some fun.

5 Tips to Encourage Your Sport Loving Kids to Focus on School

Having a kid who loves sports is great, but what if it comes at the expense of their study? All parents want their kid to have a plan b, just in case that dream of being a professional athlete doesn’t work out as planned.

Everyone has a passion in life, and if your kid’s is sports, you may be struggling to keep them focused on school too. If your kid loves running across the field, tackling members on the other team and scoring those winning points, it’s no wonder the quiet environment of the classroom doesn’t appeal. Your child might dream of being a professional sports player, and though you want to support and encourage them, you know that millions of other kids out there share the same dream.

 

So how can you encourage your child to focus on school and get good grades? It’s a question parents have been trying to answer for generations. If your child has a lot of extracurricular activities, it can be hard to find the time to do homework. So how can you make it a priority and get your kid excited about school?

 

#1: Show an interest

If sport is your kid’s passion, there’s a chance it’s yours too. If you know your kid loves talking about it, then you will too. You’ll get just as excited listening to the blow by blow account of each game. But do you show the same enthusiasm for school work? If you want your kid to be interested in school, then you need to be interested too. Ask them what they’re learning about, help with homework, or share some interesting thing you learned while you were still in school. Try to make school yet another thing you can bond over.

 

#2: Make time for it

One thing’s for certain, schools are setting too much homework these day. Some kids have hours to complete each evening. This is on top of sports clubs, drama groups, music lessons and socializing. Oh, and that little thing called family time. It’s a juggling act, and it’s all too easy to drop a few balls. Make sure you don’t let your child fall behind on their homework. Make sure there is time each day for them to focus on school work, but don’t let it come at the expense of that much-needed family time.

 

#3: Create a homework space

You know yourself just how important a work environment can be. If it’s cluttered, disorganized or filled with distractions, you may not work as effectively as you would otherwise. The same is true for your child. Make sure they have an organized and quiet space to do their homework. Somewhere free from distractions.

 

#4: Encourage Free Time

Kids benefit from structure, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Children need time to get messy, play and run around free from the rules of sports. Children can end up feeling burnt out after too much time spent in structured activities and groups, so make sure you prioritize free play at home too. It also helps to spread homework throughout the week, so you avoid having homework for four hours on a given night.

 

5: Even pros need a good business mind

Professional sports players don’t have careers that will last them a lifetime. The career span of a professional player is short. Some go on to be coaches, allowing them to continue making money whilst doing something they love. Others go on to become entrepreneurs. Some manage their money wisely whilst they’re getting the big bucks and manage to support themselves that way. It’s all too easy to be knocked out of your dream job because of injury, so it’s important to have a plan b. After all, how will your child manage his millions properly if he didn’t pay attention in math class?