As a parent of an active, athletic 9 year old girl my greatest desire for her athletically is to reach her highest potential. I always tell her she never wants to leave anything on the table. Always give your best so you will have no regrets.
Here are some of the ways I help her do her very best every time out.
- Treat every practice with respect and anticipation of what can come from a good workout every time you hit the practice area. If you practice well, improve on tough areas of the training you can’t help but be your best on competition day. Practice like you mean it.
- Talk about what is going right and what isn’t going as well with her sport this week. Sometimes kids (even adults) are going to be a bit off but that isn’t an excuse to lose focus of the goal of getting a good workout in. You only have so many opportunities to improve in a season and excel to your best effort. Use commuting time to you advantage.
- Teach them early the value of good well rounded nutrition. In our house we talk about food, nutrition and diet as it relates to competition, workouts and body size and strength DAILY…It’s never anything long and drawn out but just a little tid bit to think about or learn for the future. Our kids get thousands of negative food messages daily. We are the only ones that can give them proper ones on a regular basis that will be a lasting gift of health to them as they grow and mature. If the little bit they learned at school was enough we wouldn’t have the obesity problems in the elementary schools we have today.
- Following up on that thought…Role model the behavior you want in your girls. In this case I’m talking about food and exercise. You can’t tell Suzy to eat her spinach or drink her carrot juice and you don’t do it. If you haven’t first put some on your plate how you can expect her to believe this is the best choice for her and her sport endeavors. You don’t have to run miles or swim a thousand laps weekly to show them how much you care about them by doing some small portion of exercise daily. Sometimes I work out to the commercials while watching “The Biggest Loser” then she chimes in and wants competition…sit-ups push-ups before you know it you can have a pretty good workout and she see you are in the game of health with her. Step up to the plate, be the role model she needs most.
Get more great insight on injury prevention, nutrition, youth sports and of course track, at Dr. Lorraine Williams’ web site, TrackMom.com.