9 Ways Teens Can Prepare for Their Sports Seasons

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Ways Teens Can Prepare for Their Sports Seasons

Participating in team sports can be a lot of fun. They help maintain a fitness level, facilitate meeting new people, teach teens how to work together, and develop camaraderie. It’s also a great way to introduce something new, but preparing for sports and developing skills to succeed requires dedication, practice, and hard work. 

To be successful in sports, it is important to have a well-balanced lifestyle. You need to exercise, eat healthily, and get enough sleep. It is also essential to have a sound support system. Teens should start preparing for their sports seasons by getting enough sleep and exercising regularly. They should also ensure they eat healthily and get enough weight training to build muscle mass.

Here are nine ways for teens to prepare for their upcoming sports seasons:

1. Get Physically Fit

Many injuries sustained by youth athletes playing organized team sports can be minimized or avoided altogether with proper conditioning. As children progress into their teens and high school years, coaches and parents alike must know about workout programs that help prevent injuries.

It’s important to note that being fit for one sport might not carry over to being ready for another. In a perfect world, high school athletes will be involved in a fitness regimen all year, but the reality is that many athletes are not working out as much during their downtime as in the past. This leads to being less prepared when their sports season is upon them.

2. Seasons of Training

Athletes must understand that there are four different training periods or seasons for the first three months. After the regular season, athletes should take a mental and physical break. This is to avoid potential burnout and increase the risk of injury. 

In the next three months, ramp up the workouts to 3-to-5 times per week, focusing on endurance, strength, and flexibility gains. The common belief by fitness experts is that this combination effectively lowers injury risk during competition.

During the preseason period, which is about 4-to-8 weeks before the start of the season, athletes should get to peak conditions to be ready for the grind of the season. Conditioning during this period is essential to ensure athletes get the most out of their abilities and decrease the risk of injury.

Workouts during this period should focus on sport-specific drills to improve flexibility and agility. Proper stretching and overall conditioning are essential to lower the risk of nagging muscle pulls, sprains, and tendonitis. Once the season begins, athletes should train most days of the week, with two of those days focusing on strength training.

3. Keys To Proper Conditioning

Make sure to warm up the muscles with a light jog to increase the blood flow to the muscles. Afterward, stretch all the muscle groups needed for your activity. Then stretch again to cool down. Coaches must vary practices and workouts to keep athletes engaged and get the most out of each workout.

Vary the intensities of workouts. If the workouts are the same, the muscles will adapt, and no gains will be made. Work harder than usual to add stress to the body, which helps build strength and endurance. Maintain consistency with workouts, and be sure to increase the intensity of a workout gradually over time.

Failure to do either or both and minimal gains in physical fitness will occur. Note that every athlete requires a different level of attention, so while it’s important to push athletes at this age, coaches must know when to give them rest. Generally, at least one or two days off during a week is sufficient.

Coaches are responsible for a safe training environment and teaching proper techniques to get maximum results and prevent injury. Coaches must know that many athletes don’t train much during the offseason. If they are pushed too hard too soon, injuries, sometimes serious, can lead to sitting out an entire season. 

4. Set Realistic Goals

It’s good and encourages athletes to have goals coming into a season. However, make sure those goals are realistic based on where you were last season. For example, suppose you were a freshman last season and were good enough to make the varsity basketball team. However, you never played a game.

The goal for the sophomore season should not be to be an All-State player; that is exceptionally lofty and not likely attainable. Instead, focus on improving your skill to the point of getting regular playing time, even as a bench player. 

The goal for the junior season should be to become a starter and then aim for the lofty All-Star status as a senior. If you surpass your original goals, excellent, but don’t make them so high that you get discouraged if you don’t attain them.

5. Examine Your Equipment

If you are playing a sport for the first time, be sure to ask your coach what the school or team provides and what you must provide. You can purchase top-notch equipment at a sporting goods store or use those from friends or family to save money. If you played last year, be sure your equipment is still in good condition and fits properly. If not, you need to replace the necessary items before practice sessions begin.

Some people might think that this is unnecessary, but it is vital. If you don’t have the right gear, you will not be able to play your sport properly, and you will get hurt more often than if you had all the right equipment on. Good cleats are critical because they provide traction on the field and prevent slipping. A lousy pair could lead to a catastrophic injury that could end their season.

6. Eat Healthily, Sleep, and Keep Hydrated

Teenagers often overlook eating healthy, getting proper sleep, and staying hydrated. Maintaining adequate nutrition during the off-season helps keep bones and muscles growing and gain strength. Good hydration will help athletes avoid heat-related issues and cramping when the season begins.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), teenagers should get about 8 to 10 hours of steady sleep per night. The risk of injuries and poor mental and physical health increases in teens who don’t get proper sleep each night.

So having your teen prepare for the season by eating healthy and getting good sleep will put them in a position to succeed while promoting good habits.

7. Plan For Having a Balance

Maintaining a balance between school, friends, and sports is important. It’s important to keep a balance as focusing on just one area could have a negative effect somewhere else in their lives. So always check in on them to ensure they’re performing to the best of their abilities in the classroom, as education always comes first.

Also, check on your teen and make sure everything is going well with their mental health, as this is a time when a lot is going on in their life. Some people might think it’s impossible to do all three simultaneously, but there are ways to make it work.

For example, you can have a set time each day when you study for an hour and then go out with your friends for an hour. This way, you’re not neglecting any of your responsibilities, and you’re still able to have fun! 

8. Participate in a Sports Camps

Sports camps are excellent ways for young athletes to prepare for a new season. It will help new players acquire the skills needed to make the team and help experienced players hone the skills they already have. Coaches, collegiate players, and other sports professionals are generally the camps’ instructors.

The setup for the camps is usually drill-heavy, with scrimmage games to conclude the daily activities. While drills are often tedious, they are essential to help build skills. Scrimmages are more fun and help get the feeling of playing a game.

Camps are held during the summer months and over the weekends the rest of the year. This can really help your teen prepare for his or her/sports seasons by staying in game shape.Get the Right Gear

9. Get a Physical Examination

A sports physical examination is required before allowing you to try out for a sport. Often, the school will conduct physical examinations in the school with their doctors. If not, you can get one from your family physician with results sent to the school. Be sure to set up an appointment with your doctor in advance.

It’s best to see an eye doctor make sure your vision is good and if you already wear glasses, make sure the prescription is correct and proper protective glasses, such as sports goggles, are purchased.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many ways to prepare for your upcoming sports season. By focusing on your goals, physical fitness, and nutrition and furthering your training with outside activities, you’ll give yourself the best chance for success. Although it may seem like a lot of work, remember that all these things will help you perform at your highest level and enjoy your sport even more.

The key is getting started early and giving yourself plenty of time to prepare for game day. Good luck!