Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Published Tuesday, December 13, 2016 with 14 comments

Youth Sports: Mental Training Before the Game

Game day. Kids have practiced well, know the game tactics, have the essential co-ordination and agility, at-least to the best of their capacity. But you are still anxious as to how will the team perform. Along with the physical training kids need mental preparation to overcome performance anxiety and outshine competition.
  • Visualize victory
    When you as the coach or parent are giving prep-talk, show the picture of victory. Do not talk about how bad it would hurt if they lost, rather tell them to visualize themselves as winning the game, with the trophy in hand. Visualization pumps up the body with positive energy and enthusiasm, that reflects in performance. Many top professional athletes use this technique for self-motivation, just before the game.

  • Put your mind in the game
    For most kids, playing is like reacting to the competition’s action. Teach kids to think while they are playing. They should be able to analyze their mistakes while they are playing such that they can make amends on the spot, they should be able to see the shortcomings of the competitor and take advantage on the spot and they should be able to make a game strategy for their own game on the field. If kids start putting their minds into the game and start playing proactive instead of reactive game, they will be able to take their game to the next level.

  • Play it in your mind
    As the kids wake up and start preparing for the game day, they need to play the game mentally. They should focus on how they’ll be facing the competition’s strong points, how they’ll overcome their weaknesses and build upon their strengths. Kids should imagine the action on field, this helps them be prepared for the field.

  • Know competition
    A day or two before the game the kids should be told to focus on the competition’s game. How do their star performers play, their typical winning shots, their shortcomings? This helps kids focus on the strategy. This also helps reduce anxiety.

Game is played mentally as much as it’s played physically on the field. Mental preparation helps players be ready for the challenges on the field. As a coach or parent, make sure you have a mental prep program that you rigorously follow with the players. This will not only boost confidence but will show in their performance.

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Published Tuesday, December 13, 2016 with 2 comments

The Secret of Healthy Children

Is there a child you know of who rarely falls sick, who has never missed a game practice or school on account of being unwell? Is there something that the healthy child’s parents know that you don’t? Perhaps the answer is no. Health is not just about good food, but it is the complete lifestyle. Here are some healthy habits that will make your life so much easier by helping your kids gain overall health and avoid illness.

  • Every morning, serve your child with a wholesome, hearty breakfast. Encourage your child to eat fruits, cereal, eggs, milk, juices, and these sort of things every morning. A good healthy breakfast is the primary key to a fit and fine body.

  • Keep the meal time fixed and try to adhere to the timing as much as you can. With kids being so busy, it becomes difficult at times to stick to timing but try and adjust some activity earlier or later. 

  • While you are going to follow a fixed time for food, set a time for sleep as well. While sleeping, body performs many important functions such as repackaging neurotransmitters and chemicals that cleanse and refresh the body and mind of disease-causing toxins. A good night’s sleep helps prevent obesity, diabetes, cold, learning and attention issues and helps kids perform better in school. 

  • Let your kids have their play time. This does not refer to youth sports games, but friendly games that children play for fun. This is a great stress buster for kids. Plus, the social interaction that kids get out of playing with friends is very healthy for their mind. Children learn to solve their problems, how to behave in public, how to deal with people and become independent and confident.

  • Restrict TV, videogames, tabs and computer time for your child. Children who have access to TV, computers etc. become loners, are exposed to several health problems like obesity, diabetes, hypertension etc.

  • ‘Sharing’ is a great habit to inculcate in kids. While you teach your child to share, you also need to tell your child about things she shouldn’t share like handkerchief, toothbrush, comb, under garments etc.

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Published Tuesday, December 13, 2016 with 6 comments

The Secret of Instilling Discipline in Your Child

Youth sports is more than just the game. The ancillary benefits attached to youth sports training are as important as learning the game skill if not more. Budding athletes learn life skills like discipline, teamwork, confidence, ability to control emotions and perform, aspiration, hard work and so much more.

Furthermore, parents need to need to inculcate certain method and finesse in their parenting style to ensure the skills learned in sports are put to good use and kids are being well nurtured to become confident and happy individuals. Here are a few essential things parents need to know to raise great children.

  • Children need love and acceptance to feel secure. Accept your child for the beautiful package she is, and she will learn to accept the skills and values you want to instill in her. Rejection will only instigate rejection. 

  • Children are learning to navigate in life and are bound to make mistakes. Some mistakes you might be willing to overlook, some you might accept and some you would definitely want to correct. You will have to make your choice. If you try and correct everything, it won’t work. Rather, it will bring out the rebel in her. Also, while you choose to be lenient with some mistakes, you need to be clear about what’s unacceptable. Not loud, just clear.

  • There’s a very fine line between disciplining your child and punishing her. Punishing would mean penalizing but discipline would mean telling the child where she was wrong, why is it not acceptable and how she can correct it. This might involve still punishing the child because going too soft on it will not tell the child the severity of the situation, but it always has to be accompanied by the talk or counselling, however you would want to put it.

  • Do not deprive your child but do set limits. Limits will ensure the child values and is thankful for what she gets. Children cannot distinguish between needs, wants and desires. For them everything they wish is an essential need. You need to explain the difference. Attach nonessential gifts to rewards for achievements. 

  • Set a good example for your kids. They are taking cues to their lives from your behavior and actions. If you want them to respect you, respect them. you want them to be honest, don’t cheat in front of them, even if it results a professional or personal loss. Control your anger and anxiety if you want them to learn to manage their emotions.

Setting in a good start will make them self-disciplined, responsible and happy individuals, the ultimate wish of a parent.

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