What Youth Sport Parents Need to Know About Muscle Cramps

From our friends at TrueSport.org:

Does your young athlete struggle with muscle cramps during exercise? New science says there’s more to cramps than dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Read this article for an up-to-date guide to the causes and best practices for preventing and treating muscle cramps.

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Ask the Expert: How to Talk to a Youth Athlete When Their Role Model Falls from Grace

From our friends at TrueSport:

Did your kid’s sports hero just get arrested or get caught cheating? Sports Psychologist Dr. Roberta Kraus, Ph.D. has advice for parents facing tough conversations after a young athlete’s hero and role model falls from grace. 

Warning Signs Your Teen Athlete is Abusing Steroids

The abuse of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs is rising among teenage athletes. However, it can be easy to miss the signs a teen is abusing steroids. Read this article for a guide to what parents and coaches should look for, and what you can do to get the athlete the help they need. Courtesy of our friends at TrueSport.

Thriving or Surviving: Signs Your Kid is Stretched Too Thin!

More great stuff from our friends at TrueSport:

There’s a limit to how much any of us – adults or kids – can pile into our schedules. Unfortunately, young athletes have neither the experience to know where their limits are, nor the autonomy to make appropriate changes. Read this article for tips and strategies to help your young athlete adapt and thrive with a challenging schedule! 

Six Things Parents Should Say to Their Player

By Bruce Brownlee

A lot of soccer parents with good intentions give a 30 minute lecture, covering all the players supposed deficiencies and giving playing advice, in the car on the way to each match. The kids arrive far off their optimal mental state, and dreading the critique they are likely to hear, whether they want it or not, on the way home. Kids who are massaged in this way tend not to play badly, they just tend to not play, possibly to avoid making mistakes.

The easiest way to detect this problem is just to ask the player if it is a problem. Kids are more than willing to share this grief. The easiest way to correct this problem is to speak to the parents, as a group, about your expectations, and to cover this as a routine problem. Many of the parents will recognize themselves if you can present this problem with humor and illustrate the importance of the kids having fun and arriving in a good state of mind.

For best results, parents should memorize and use the following.

Before the Match
1. I love you
2. Good luck
3. Have fun

After the Match
1. I love you
2. It was great to see you play
3. What would you like to eat?

Bruce Brownlee coached boys soccer from 1978 to 1988 in Marietta, Georgia.  Coached girls teams from 1988 to 2003 for Tophat Soccer Club in Atlanta and AFC Lightning Soccer Club in Fayetteville, Georgia.  Served as a staff ODP recruiter and coach in 2002-2003.  Returned in 2010-2011 to help coach his granddaughter’s U11 team.  Won 4 state cup championships at Tophat.  Proud of his four children who played top-level club soccer and amateur and college soccer later. His site Soccer Coaching Notes.com is a terrific resource for club and amateur soccer coaches.

How Youth Sports Parents Encourage Doping – Without Even Knowing It!

More good stuff from our friends at TrueSport:

You may be totally opposed to doping, but the actions and attitudes of a parent can sometimes have an unexpected effect on a young athlete’s belief system!

Read this article to learn how parents inadvertently push their kids toward taking performance enhancing drugs, without even knowing it!

Tips for Fueling Vegetarian Teen Athletes

If you have kids who are vegetarian, or if you’d even just like to cut down on the amount of meat they (and you) are eating, here is some good information from our friends at TrueSport: Regardless of whether your athlete participates in an endurance, strength, or even combat sport, he or she can absolutely perform at their best while consuming a vegetarian diet. Figuring out what exactly to feed a plant-based athlete isn’t always easy in the beginning, but following these tips will help them cover all their nutritional bases, so they can play at their best on the field. Read article