The academic year and #fall sports season are upon us. You may now find yourself rushing around the house in the morning getting kids to school and then taxiing them from one sporting event to another. This article is focused on a single day and weekly training schedule.
Let's revisit an exercise suggested in the last article where I asked you to take out a sheet of paper and begin mapping the entire sports year.
Here, I want you to show the typical weekly calendar for your young athlete. Perhaps it starts at 6 a.m. with a weight lifting session with little time to eat breakfast before the school day (8 a.m. to 3 p.m.). After school (3:30 to 5:30 p.m.), there is a sports practice that may include intense conditioning.
Then we are in the car through the drive-thru on the way to a private lesson or training session or another club team practice (6:30-7:30 p.m.) which may include another strength and conditioning component.
And then, one to two hours of homework (8-10 p.m.) before bedtime (11 p.m.). Indeed, the daily and weekly schedules of young athletes and the resultant physical, psychological, and social demands placed upon them can be alarming. Below are some key points to manage and monitor the daily and weekly demands of the young athlete.
In the case of multiple teams, #communication with and between sports coaches is important to ensure the health of the young athlete.
Remember that "more is not always better". The process of training and adaption actually encompasses a balance of acute training #fatigue and recovery - the latter is too often ignored. Just as you have a training plan, you should have a recovery plan.
Nutrition and sleep are the cornerstones of recovery.
The backbone of #nutrition is eating the right amounts and the right types of food at the right times. A well-balanced and nutritious breakfast is key along with following a "grazing pattern" that includes several quality nutrient-dense meals and snacks as well as #hydrating throughout the day. Eating every few hours including before and after workouts (Power Hour) will help your body maintain energy balance.
Both quantity and quality of sleep are important. Make sure to have a bedtime routine in a comfortable, relaxing room. Goal: 8-10 hours per night. Those involved in heavy training should aim for 9-10 hours per night. Power naps are also recommended to help facilitate recovery.
Time management and planning are vital! Plan (and pack) snacks and meals, plan recovery, plan social time with friends, and time to just be alone. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Remember long-term development - avoid burnout and overuse injury!
And finally, let's not forget that these young people are in the business of growing up. Parents (and coaches) should help develop a strong support system to ensure a balanced lifestyle including proper nutrition, adequate sleep, academic development, #psychological well-being, and opportunities for socialization. The entire sports process should be pleasurable and fulfilling for the young #athlete.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Joe Eisenmann, Ph.D. is a professor of pediatric exercise medicine within the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Director of Spartan Performance. To learn more about Spartan Performance visit snapp.msu.edu