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Fitness Tips: Kids and Sports

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: back to school time. Parents are now gifted with a breath of fresh "the kids are out of the house" air. This also means late night practice pick-ups and early morning drop offs for the kiddos. It may also be your child’s first year at a school with sports programs, and they may have some interest in beginning a sport. But what one will be right for them?

How Do You Choose a Sport for Your Kids to Play?

One thing that I am appreciative of as a child athlete, was zero pressure from my parents for me to play a specific sport. They allowed me to play different sports, even the ones that did not match my body type at the time. Taking part in sports is more important than playing a specific sport. Pushing a child into a sport just because the parent may have played it will usually backfire.

Watching sports as a spectator in real life or on TV is a great way to learn what your child may like or dislike (this is also a great way for current athletes to practice). Pick up on hints about their preferences. Maybe you will overhear them chat about a certain player, or they will tell their friends about what they have experienced. They may even gravitate towards friends that are playing a specific sport.

Some children will lean towards playing a team sport, like football, baseball, soccer or basketball, where each player has a specific role on the team. Others will prefer to be on a team where only their skills matter, such as swimming, tennis or golf. Or they may simply enjoy individual sports like cycling and gymnastics.

After a choice (or multiple choices!) have been made for sports they enjoy, try them. While playing more than one sport during the season should be avoided, it is more than OK to play soccer in the spring, football or basketball in the fall and track volleyball in the winter. Throughout this time the child may begin to favor a specific sport and dedicate more time to that specific sport….cough, hopefully soccer, cough…

How Kids Should Train

When it comes to family fitness and training for a sport, it is very important not to overdo it and to stay hydrated! School sports programs will have training on set days, and sometimes two practices a day. This is where strength training and endurance will be exercised as well as learning set plays. However, school practices are not the only place to train and practice. It is important to stay active outside of these practices. And another important thing to do? Stretch.

  • Release and Relax: Myofascial release is deep-tissue work that neutralizes painful muscle knots and adds flexibility to your body. You can do this yourself by using a foam roller, lacrosse ball, softball, or a golf ball.
  • Get Jumping: To improve performance in your sport or in the gym, you have to do exercises that make your movements more explosive. Jumping components will transition over to live play and increase athleticism
  • H2Oh-Yes: Drinking water is critical for muscles to function well during exercise and sports. Fascia is aqueous and largely made of water. If an athlete lets themselves get dehydrated, it will have vast implications on their performance.

Looking to learn more about fitness and what to do for kids in sports? Book a Free Consultation with Lifescape Premier today!

healthy tips for kids, Fitness