Children have become more and more interested in sports over the years. As a matter of fact, children are participating in these sports more than ever before. The good news is the numbers are expected to increase. The best part about it is that both boys and girls are taking part in a wide variety of organized sports.

Although the numbers for participation has increased, the amount of preparation and conditioning has not. Children and teens are not preparing themselves correctly and sufficiently to take on a sport or athletic activity. This is a strong concern considering most of these young athletes like myself, are multi-sport athletes.

I feel that the preparation for youth sports is poor for a few reasons. A lot of coaches are parents that volunteer and although they are well meaning, they don’t have the background in sports training to properly assist a young athlete. A second reason is that these athletes only have typically two weeks of training before a sport season begins. The Maine Principals Association sets specific dates when a sport can start. Some kids are out of shape when it comes time for their sport to begin. Two weeks is not enough time to develop a team, get in physical shape and learn skills and plays.

Preparation for youth sports should include a good conditioning program. Stretching, strength training, elasticity exercises, endurance training, and nutrition are all components of good conditioning.

Athletes need to prepare themselves physically and mentally. Physically, they need the right nutrition, amount of hydration, and conditioning. Balanced nutrition consists of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals, even fats. A balance nutritious diet is key for a young athlete and it really affects their performance.

Young athletes also need the proper of hydration to keep them in tiptop shape.I know it gives me so much energy during the day!

Conditioning: Probably the most important of the three. Youth athletes need both what is called aerobic and anaerobic conditioning. Aerobic conditioning is any low-intensity activity, Young athletes should workout in 20-60 minute aerobic time periods. Anaerobic or physical activity, is exercising when your heart rate has reached about 85- 100% of your maximum heart rate. A few popular forms of conditioning would be, running, swimming, rowing, elliptical machines, etc.

Not only does a youth athlete need to be physically prepared, but mentally prepared. Mentally preparing yourself is a lot easier than physically preparing yourself. The purpose of mental preparation is to get you focused and ready for your sport. Some ways that really help are listening to your favorite songs, or getting away from all the hype and only focusing on the game.

All of this can really improve the way you or your child performs in sports. It can also really help in preventing injury.

I recently became a member of the Central Maine Conditioning Clinic in Auburn; it was there that I met John Floyd. I began going to the clinic weekly for sessions and John became my personal trainer. He taught me so much about proper conditioning of my body and he set up a great workout program for me. I feel the results have been amazing! He also taught me a lot about injury prevention and injury treatment. he gave me stretching exercises, should i become injured. I highly recommend any serious athlete or coach learning about Central maine Conditioning Clinic in Auburn and learning about what they can offer you.

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