In today’s world, young athletes, hockey players especially, have a lot of stress and pressure. Sure, they’re having fun playing the sport of their choice. But, they’re also having to balance games and practices with doing homework and making good grades, as well as any chores or responsibilities at home.
All of that balancing can take a toll on a player’s mental state and health. This, in turn, can make the player less focused and successful on the ice. To avoid these issues, it’s important for all players to learn how to practice self-care, ideally with the encouragement, support, and guidance of the adults in their lives.
Encourage Regular Rest
It is extremely important that all people, but especially young athletes, get adequate sleep. Youth athletes are growing, and they’re also being tough on their bodies in the process. Thus, they need plenty of sleep to grow and repair their bodies.
Furthermore, adequate sleep encourages better athletic performance, improved mood and positivity, and increased focus.
Discussing the importance of sleep and setting and sticking to regular bedtimes can help the athlete in your life to get the rest he needs.
Advocate for Water Consumption
Being dehydrated isn’t good for anyone. Athletes, in particular, need to stay hydrated since the physical activity they engage in can lead to excessive sweating, which dehydrates them further.
Provide bottled water or a reusable water bottle to the athlete in your life and encourage them to drink it throughout the day. Also, don’t keep sugary sodas or juice around since these lack in nutritional value and can actually make dehydration worse.
One final tip is to help the athlete in your life to learn to minimize stress.
You might, for example, come up with a study schedule that helps your athlete to get his schoolwork done while still meeting athletic responsibilities.
Or, you could help by teaching your athlete to always be prepared for game day by packing a bag with a healthy lunch, uniforms and equipment, and any other necessities the night before.
When you determine what is stressing out your athlete and then come up with a plan to target it, you’re not only reducing stress for the athlete. You’re also teaching positive life skills that will benefit this young person for years to come.
Self-care, in and of itself, is a positive and important life skill. The more you teach your athlete to value self-care, the happier, more productive, and more successful he’s likely to be.