Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Published Wednesday, January 27, 2021 with 8 comments

Choosing The Right Diet Plan For Young Athletes


For all the knowledge and research that has gone into diet, it has created more confusion than clarity. Everyone has their own version of healthy diet, and interestingly no-one is really wrong. You have a diet related experience, you’ll find a research or study that proves it, or there’s a particular regime you feel comfortable with, look hard enough, you find research to support that too.   

 

As crazy as this sounds, there is a rather simple explanation to all this. There is no right or wrong diet plan, it’s what works for your body.

 

If you’ve been bothered about your young athlete’s diet and have been trying to read up, here is a brief description to some famous diet plans. You can choose what best works for your child.

 

Important: Before you make your choice and freeze on a diet plan, do consult the coach or a certified dietician. A nutrient rich, healthy diet plan is a must for young athletes as their body needs the nutrition to grow alongside that extra push for sports.

 

Keto Diet

The basic principal behind keto diet is that it restricts intake of carbohydrates and replaces them with fat. This way the body adapts to burning fat in the body for energy. This diet has gained popularity amongst people who are trying to lose weight, and has proven to give good results too, but this diet is not recommended for kids. Keto diet limits the intake of carbohydrates, and children require carbohydrates for adequate physical and mental development. Keto diet, for children, is only prescribed in case of terminal illnesses like cancer and epilepsy. If your child is putting on weight and you are bothered, then too keto diet is not recommended, since it may cause impaired growth. There are other healthy options for losing weight you should consider.

 

Intermittent Fasting

Another popular diet regime for losing weight. While this diet plan puts no restrictions on the kinds of food you can consume, it binds you in a time frame. In its most common form, the 16/8 schedule, people need to fast for 16 hours a day and eat only during the 8 hour window. This again is not recommended for kids. Although, there aren’t a lot of studies to prove why this diet does not work for kids, by simple logic it can be deduced that any diet plan that puts a restriction in any form, also restricts growth in one way or the other. And the risk is not worth the try.

 

Vegan Diet

Many people are shifting to plant based diet for ethical reasons. Some are also adopting it because this diet is high on fibre, and lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes and even some forms of cancer. This diet does not pose a threat to a child’s growth, but lack of nutrition does. If you decide to follow vegan diet for your child, be informed that you must take professional help to make a proper diet chart and adhere to it. If the child is missing on essential proteins and nutrients from meat, eggs and dairy, that nutrition should be taken care of by plant-based nutrition. You may need to include a lot of nuts and fruits. Infor the nutritionist if the child id allergic. This diet regime would need a lot of work in terms of preparing the right food, sticking to the nutrition requirements every single day.

 

Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean  diet is the closest to healthy eating, so say some experts. It consists of emphasis on whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes and cuts back on refined carbohydrates, sugary beverages, processed foods and saturated fats. That said, growing children, especially young athletes need sugar rush and for a reason. So eliminating breads, cakes, cookies and juices (containing sugar) may not be a great idea. Again, if you are willing to switch over to the Mediterranean diet, you should do it with a professional’s consultation.

 

The verdict: any one diet plan may not be the way to go for your child. Talk to the coach, other parents on the team, talk to a sports nutritionist and that is the diet plan you might want to stick to. Your investment in your child’s sports training, in terms of resources, money, time and effort is way too much. A imbalanced diet will eventually interfere with it. You wouldn’t want that, would you?

 

Hope this helped! Download InstaTeam now, and create a nutrition support group for sports parents.

 


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Sunday, 24 January 2021

Published Sunday, January 24, 2021 with 7 comments

How To Boost Productivity Amongst Volunteers

When it comes to volunteers, sports club managers expect efficiency and accountability, which is a fair ask provided they are given a conducive environment which helps them perform to their potential. Here’s how you can help boost your volunteers’ productivity.

 

Bring in Accountability

Volunteers can be overwhelmed with managing multiple things at the same time, which slows productivity and brings in scope for error. A good way to change this is by creating events on InstaTeam and marking due dates for each task. This will help bring in transparency in their job and make them accountable for the tasks assigned to them.

 

Use Recognition and Rewards

Most volunteers are not paid or very scarcely paid. Any recognition and reward for a job well done helps them keep motivated. You may even choose to incentivise them by announcing the reward before the work is completed. Rewards may not necessarily be financial, they can something that volunteers look forward to, like a recommendation letter. Including them in the planning process can be a huge incentive too.

 

Give Them The Right Tools

Manually struggling to do the task may get overwhelming. Use technology to sort out the basics and beyond. For instance, InstaTeam’s tickets feature for events allows selling event tickets at the venue without using a separate card reader, the app can accept payments from credit and debit cards. This makes selling tickets a whole lot easier and faster and helps boost productivity.

 

Eliminate Distractions

Social media and instant messaging apps can be a huge distraction for teens and young adults. Have a policy for social media usage. Team communication can be taken care of through InstaTeam.

 

Allow Them Reasonable Breaks

Overworking is not necessarily equal to enhanced productivity. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Let them take their steam off during reasonable breaks, and then they’ll be ready to perform.

 

 

 

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Thursday, 14 January 2021

Published Thursday, January 14, 2021 with 6 comments

Is Your Child Unwilling To Take Online Training For Sports and Fitness?



It’s been almost an year and the mask, social distancing and virtual life just doesn’t seem to end. Everybody’s sick of it, especially kids who are spending an insane amount of screen time. There’s online school, online homework submission, online study groups and then online training for their favourite sport. Unfair, but what is, is.

 

Online training is a great way to bring the team together, bond and do some physical training together. There are kids who do not get any other physical activity other than the online physical training. That said, it still is screen time. Other than ill effects on eyesight, increased screen time is also causing mental and emotional disturbances in children. There have been reported cases of children with sleep disturbances, behavioural problems, attention deficit,  and in some cases, even depression. So, if your child is not willing to participate in online training, we wouldn’t recommend insisting on it. Let the child decide for themselves. However, this virtual training abstinence should not come at the cost the child’s health, because physical activity is a must for growth and development.

 

Here are a few things you must ensure if the kid refuses to take virtual physical training:

 

·         Designate a fixed time during the day when the kid needs to go cycling around the neighbourhood with friends. Cycling helps maintain social distancing and is a great physical activity too. Plus, a little interaction with friends helps in mental and emotional upliftment.

·         If your child is missing the virtual training, ensure that they engage in some other physical activity during that time. If not physical activity, then something else perhaps like an indoor activity, study walking the dog, or playing in the backyard, but it should not be replaced by some other activity on the screen, like playing video games or watching something on Netflix.

·         Other than time for cycling, ensure your child gets some exercise time. Since kids are missing out on running, jumping etc. which they’d do while playing, they still need that kind of exercise for proper growth and healthy body.

·         Keep a check on the kid’s diet. A lot of kids are over eating, eating junk or just eating because there’s nothing better to do.

 

Hopefully, things will get back to normal soon. But before that happens, we need to take care and caution and make sure we engage in healthy habits. 

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Published Thursday, January 14, 2021 with 1 comment

Here’s How Youth Sports Club Administrators Can Save Time


Club administrators are usually swamped in work, especially during league season. With limited time in hand and a ton of things to handle, club administrators need to figure out the art of doing more in less time. Here are a few tips to help you save time:

 

Create separate teams for each task

 

As the club administrator you would be handling different tasks and functions such as PR and publicity, logistics and arrangements, equipment and gear etc. Juggling from one task to another can become a concern. To be on the top of your game, create separate teams on InstaTeam, one for each task/function. Exchange all communication on InstaTeam messages, this way there will be no communication error.

 

Manage schedules on InstaTeam calendar

 

As the club administrator, your calendar will have far more events and goals than the team’s calendar. Create separate calendar, with individual events, tasks and goals to be accomplished, for each team. For instance, the PR and Publicity team will have goals like social media publicity, daily updates, receiving promotional material, press releases etc. Scheduling goals, creating events and putting things on the team calendar takes very less time and puts a whole lot of work in place.

 

Create a team with the parents

 

One of the most important things to do during a busy season or at the time of league is to create a team with parents. Keep posting messages, over communicate and you will have brought down your workload by more than half. Most of parents’ questions will be answered and doubts settled. 


Delegate 


You have volunteers for a reason. Give them work, be clear about the outcome you need and the rules and guidelines to be followed, trust them with the responsibility. You do not need to micromanage.

 

Communicate, communicate, communicate

 

All management errors, administrative blunders and organizational fiascos are caused due to lack of communication or miscommunication, well almost all. Make sure all communication is in writing. Use simple clear language. Be as concise and to-the-point as possible.

 

 

 

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Monday, 11 January 2021

Published Monday, January 11, 2021 with 4 comments

How To Choose A Youth Sports Club For Your Child


 

As a parent you make all the decisions for your child, most of which affect your child’s upbringing, future and sometimes the while life. From school to nutrition, you do all you can to give your child the best. So, if it’s time to enrol your kid into sports, and you are not sure how to choose the best youth sports club for your kid, read on.

 

Here are a few important points you need to consider while looking for the best suited youth sports club.

 

What is the club’s track record?

 

This is perhaps the most fundamental of questions. You need to find out how many leagues has the club participated in and what has been their performance? How many times have they won championship and what is the percentage of their wins?

 

Is the club focused on wins?

 

Since the win-percentage is important, most clubs get too focused on it. The coaches are under pressure to win games, leagues, championships, and so much so that they pass on this pressure on to the kids. Some pressure is good because it prepares kids for life ahead, but too much pressure spoils the fun of learning. Youth sports is a great way to teach your child life skills that will help form your child’s personality. Things like discipline, perseverance, values, obedience, team work etc. are important life lessons, and wins should not come at the cost of these. It should be a fine balance between scores and skills, and not one weighing over the other.

 

How efficient and experienced are the coaches?

 

Your child’s sports future and safety both are at stake. Check if the coaches are professional and proficient in their game skills. Also, ensure all the coaches have their backgrounds checked.

 

What is the team size and the player-to-coach ratio?

 

Too big a crowd, and no one will get to learn; too small a team, and again there’s a dearth of skills and learning. Ideal team size will depend on the kind of sport you are enrolling your child in. Do your homework and find the number before you visit the club.

 

Are there any additional skills that will be imparted?

 

Although, this shouldn’t be the deal-breaker, but additional skills are always welcome. For instance some clubs have a yoga day once a week, or capoeira classes or some other skill.

 

Parents’ reviews

 

Do check with parents who already have their kids’ enrolled in the club. Ask as many as you can to get a fair picture.

 

 


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Published Monday, January 11, 2021 with 3 comments

Google Calendar Sync versus InstaTeam

 


The Google Calendar is a great tool to keep track of all the events and also get automatic reminders. However, when it comes to managing youth sports events, InstaTeam has an edge over Google Calendar.

 

 

 

Google Calendar

InstaTeam

Web-based

P

P

iPhone app

P

P

Android app

P

P

Event calendar

P

P

Automatic notifications

P

P

Chat

O

P

Allows use without creating account

O

P

Add event for the whole team in one go

O

P

Separate team calendar for individual teams

O

P

Role-Based Permissions

O

P

Security & Encryption

P

P

Attendance marking

O

P

Centrally manage all calendars for all team on one page

O

P

Track and update schedules anytime anywhere

P

P

Calendar Management

P

P

Calendar Sync with Google

----

P

Communication Management

O

P

Calendar auto-update in case of change in schedule

O

P

Event and league scheduling

O

P

 

 

 

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Monday, 4 January 2021

Published Monday, January 04, 2021 with 2 comments

Welcome 2021: New Year Resolutions of a Coach


This a guest post by Sean Wagner, a football coach in a youth sports club based in Colorado. Sean has been coaching kids for 12 years. Sean’s team is a proud member of InstaTeam.

 

My experience as a coach and a father of a five year old who already shows keen interest in sports, I have learned, rather the hard way, that coaching a tough job. You are working with small children, responsible for shaping their malleable minds, teaching traits that will become a part of their personality. This isn’t just a professional obligation, but it is also a moral responsibility, a responsibility that demands I invest myself in my job beyond game-skills and technique.

 

As a coach, I have always been busy coaching my teams, too busy to give this a thought. However, during pandemic I got the time to wrap my mind around my coaching technique. I got the opportunity to evaluate my coaching technique. Here’s my resolve for 2021 and beyond.

 

I will focus on coaching and not winning

I have understood that winning is an outcome, one of the many outcomes of good coaching. I will focus on coaching well which includes improving game technique, building an overall athletic personality, working on soft skills like discipline, endurance, team work, attitude, aptitude and humility.

 

I will let players try new things

As a coach I have done this all the time – I judge their skills and allocate positions they are good for. That is their position, the  position they play from, every time. This technique is good for the game, but perhaps not so good for the player. I will let kids play from new positions, learn new techniques and get new experiences. This will enrich them, both as people and players.

 

I will communicate more

With players telling them my expectations, game plan and my disappointments too. I will communicate more with parents and listen to their ideas and suggestions, while all of it may not be implementable, I know some of them really worked well in the past. Lastly, I will spend time with other coaches in the club and outside of it. It would be good to share experiences, it will help me learn new things.

 

No quick fixes

If a child is not playing well, I will not make them sit on the bench, but try and understand if there’s something bothering them on a deeper level. If two players fight, I will not make them end it with a handshake, but will help them work through it. There are a whole lot of problems/concerns that we face on a day-to-day basis. I will look into issues beneath the surface and work towards resolving them at the base level.

 

I am going to keep leaning and keep evolving

I have often told my teams – you can never learn enough. This time around I will apply this to myself as well. I will be open for learning from experiences, from my players and from other coaches. I will write down new experience/thing I learn so that I don’t forget and can refer to it in need. I will consciously allocate 2-3 hours every week for learning from experts like child psychologists, sports doctors, physiotherapists, school teachers etc.

 



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