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Raising Champions: Fitness and Student Athletes

Super-athletes, such as Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Venus Williams, Tom Brady, and Mia Hamm, are role models in many ways for our young athletes. Many parents believe that if their child trains hard enough, and plays long enough in their selected sport, they can be the next "great," and that no other effort or consideration is needed.

That said, a large part of being great certainly is plenty of practice in a child's chosen sport; however, it is not the only factor that needs to be considered. While part of becoming a successful athlete is practicing the various mechanics, and playing the sport as much as possible, I try to help parents understand why it is also important for athletes to be well-rounded and active participants in taking care of their most important athletic resource - their body.

The latest Gear isn't the Answer

The most expensive bat, newest set of tech-savvy golf clubs, or the latest racquet, is going to be completely useless if an athlete hasn't invested in their long-term health, wellness and fitness. While perhaps there are some advantages to swinging a certain bat or club, at the end of the day it's the athlete who swings it who determines performance results.

In the long run, if a wide array of factors aren't considered - such as off-the-field exercises, nutrition, and wellness - your athlete is going to become unable to compete with those who are well-rounded, and who have been for years. A large part of being a sports great is learning the proper way to take care of your body, and to do it as early in life as possible. The effects of poor nutrition and no fitness training off the field, results in higher injury rate, more serious injuries, and slow recovery periods.

Making a Change Now is the Best Course of Action

One of the best ways for parents to help their children with their sports endeavors is by providing them with a lifetime of health and fitness. Keep in mind that I don't recommend that youth athletes participate in activities such as weight lifting, as I have discovered that this can be detrimental to their growing bodies. Better options include functional movement training, and can help all athletes in all sports, become better, stronger, and have a better chance of becoming a sports superstar.

If you are a parent who really wants to help your student athlete have the opportunity to earn a college scholarship and go on to be an amazing golfer, tennis player, baseball player or something else, I recommend that you begin focusing on their lifetime fitness now - they need more than the once/week for 30 minutes typically included in team fees. Trust me, the extra time spent will pay off, and help you both in the long run!

About SwingFitt

For all your performance enhancing fitness needs, contact SwingFitt. Fitness training for baseball, softball, golf, football, tennis, lacrosse, and more, SwingFitt specializes in functional movement and sport-specific performance enhancing fitness.

Sources:

http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/identifying-understanding-and-training-youth-athletes

https://activeforlife.com/what-elite-athletes-have-in-common/

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