Q: We are trying to put a summer schedule together for our 10U player. Do you have any suggestions?
A: Summer is always a delicate time when it comes to our children. With school not in session, everything from what our kids eat to the way they spend their day changes.
As parents, we aren’t just thinking about how our own work schedule changes. Now, we’re asking questions about our kids. Should we sign them up for sports camps? Will they spend their free time playing video games or outside in the sun? Can we take time off as a family to go on vacation?
Now, what do you do if your child is also an athlete?
In today’s fast-paced environment, it can be tricky managing all the hours in a week. It is important to recognize that children at this age are still developing a passion to participate in any youth sport.
One of the biggest hurdles in youth sports today is being patient. As our kids show more and more interest in certain things, it’s only natural for us to want to try and have them more involved. Don’t get caught up in the idea that your child is going to be left behind. Every athlete is different, so be honest with yourself and know when to take a step back. A child’s activity time is important for developing a healthy sporty lifestyle.
Here are a few important things to consider when balancing your athlete’s summer schedule:
1. Promoting a healthy sleep and nutrition schedule will compliment your athlete’s development. Experts recommend that children need 8-11 hours of sleep per day. (do we have any kind of diet link?)
2. Limit screen time. In today’s tech-filled culture, some of our high-level players are not getting proper sleep or recovery time, which has had a negative effect on performance.
3. Building reliable support groups, such as family and friends, can have a positive effect on an athlete’s wellbeing.
4. Including a variety of activities, not necessarily in a structured environment, free play contributes to creative and dynamic thinking. Whatever your favorite sport is, it is healthy to have a break and reset your energy level.
5. If your child is planning on attending a sports camp, please realize the real value is in socializing, making new friends and having Fun!
6. Know that long-term athlete development is a marathon not a sprint. It can take years for athletes to obtain and master a high skill level.
These suggestions may help your child’s overall development in the end.
Balancing your child’s summer schedule and paying attention to detail can make all the difference when it comes to their development as an athlete – not to mention ensuring that they enjoy the summer like all kids should!
Come back energized, excited and ready to play next season!
The author, Guy "Goose" Gosselin, made his NHL debut with Winnipeg in 1988. He is a two-time United States Olympian and was inducted into the University of Minnesota Duluth Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.
Tag(s): Q&A Articles