It’s back to school time! While many are getting ready to hit the books, athletes everywhere are also gearing up for the new sports season. Coming off summer break and getting back into training can be tough, both physically and mentally. However, this time of year is crucial for athletes to put in the hard work needed to make sure they have a successful season. It’s important for athletic trainers, sports medicine professionals and coaches to encourage their athletes to take care of themselves in order to be on top of their game. That why we came up with 5 tips to help your athletes have a successful sports season.
1. Goal Setting
Before any season starts, encourage your athletes to set goals. Have them create both long and short term goals. A long term goal can be winning the championship game at the end of the season, or making a state or national team. Short term goals are smaller goals that can be achieved throughout the season. For example, it can be as simple as showing up to practice on time or doing one more set than the week before. Having a goal can help keep athletes focus on their performance and give them something to work towards.
2. Keeping Athletes Healthy
In order for athletes to perform and achieve their goals they have to stay healthy. An athlete who is suffering from illness or who isn’t in top shape jeopardizes their chances of having a successful sports season. That’s why it’s crucial for athletes to eat right and get enough sleep.
Athletes burn a lot of calories during training which is why they need to eat more than the average person. On average an athlete should eat between 2,000 to 5,000 calories a day. These calories should come from foods that provide energy, such as carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. While it’s important to make sure they’re eating enough food, it’s also important to make sure they’re eating high-quality food. Encourage them to focus on fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. It’s okay to have a treat from time to time, just make sure they understand it’s “everything in moderation.”
Getting Enough Sleep:
While it’s important to make sure athletes eat right, sleeping also plays a big part in performance. Not getting enough sleep can decrease performance and can increase the risk of injuries. An athletes who gets less than eight hours of sleep a night can have a 1.7 times greater risk of getting hurt. Getting a good night's sleep can help athletes increase their efficiency, cut down the chances of getting sick, and increase their mental focus.
3. Seeking Help from Athletic Trainers or Other Sports Medicine Professionals
Another aspect that’s important for athletes to stay on top of their health is to make sure they take care of their injuries. A simple rolled ankle or shoulder pain can turn into a season ending injury if not taken care of. It’s important to encourage athletes to maintain good relations with their athletic trainers (ATs) and sports medicine team to ensure they get the treatment they need to stay in top shape. Even for athletes without any injuries, the sport medicine team can be useful to guide athletes on exercises or specific skills to prevent any injuries and strengthen any weaknesses. Continuously finding ways to improve fitness and prevent injuries will help athletes achieve their goals during the season.
Looking for a way to quickly and efficiently manage injuries and exercise regimes across multiple athlete profiles? Check out our Athlete Electronic Health Record System.
4. Having the Right Attitude
As you encourage your athletes to set goals and take care of themselves, it’s important you also encourage them to have the right attitude. The beginning of training season is mentally and physically challenging, but the ability to push through those moments is what makes or breaks an athlete’s success. Try to focus on the positives in those tough moments, and encourage them to be good teammates. By not fostering their bad attitude, you are showing them the proper way to act in order to keep your team performing well.
5. Staying on Top of Academics
As athletes focus on hitting the field and giving it their all, it’s important they stay on top of their school work. Poor grades can result in zero playing time for student-athletes. Encourage athletes to plan their week so they can properly manage their time. By blocking off known time (such as school, practice and events hours), they can figure out what free time they have to focus on their school work. Encourage them to seek help and use study hall hours to help them attack their workload. The more they stay on top of their school work the more they can focus on their sport and continue training towards their goals.
It’s important to continuously support your athletes, whether you're their athletic trainer, coach or other support member. By encouraging them to set goals, stay healthy, seek medical help, have a good attitude and do well in school, you will help them improve their performance. The better they perform, the more successful their sport season will be.
We here at Presagia Sports want to wish all athletes, teams, and support staff good luck this fall with both sports and academics!