Eating Healthy

Working out is only one part of proper weight and strength gain. Eating the right foods in the correct amounts is just as important.

Consume protein first. Protein is the only nutrient that contains nitrogen, one of the building blocks of amino acids, which help repair muscle tissue. Protein also helps regulate blood sugar levels. Having maximum protein available in your system helps with recovery, and while carbohydrates are the fuel to heavy workouts, carbs tend to fill up bellies quickly.

Eat smaller and more frequently. Eating smaller meals every two to three hours allows the body to have nutrients ready throughout the day. Big meals have a tendency to overwhelm the digestive system, allowing extra calories to be stored as fat.

Don’t limit what you eat. Willpower is important but saying, “I’ll never eat such-and-such again” tends to lead to cravings, regret and negativity. Moderation is the key. As long as you are eating nutritiously, give yourself a little treat once in a while.

Build Your Child's Confidence

Stay Hydrated 

One key to a good football and cheer practice is proper hydration.

Throughout training – including before, during and after – participants and coaches both must focus on maintaining adequate hydration levels. Drinking plenty of fluids and staying well-hydrated benefits onfield performance while reducing the risk of heat stress or illness.

Drinking liquids is a necessity. Participants and coaches should keep water and sports beverages available during drills and training sequences.

Dehydration signs and symptoms include: feeling fatigued, lack of energy, muscle cramps, headaches, dizziness and thirst.

The best preparation for workouts is coming into practice well-hydrated and well rested.

Show respect. Treat your children the way you want to be treated. Model respect. 

Avoid comparisons. Parents often make the mistake of comparing siblings or athletes. In an effort to motivate, they are actually killing motivation by making athletes feel badly. Not only that, they are encouraging intra-squad and sibling rivalries.

Challenge, not threaten. If you really want kids to stretch themselves, you have to challenge them. As you encourage them to go for it and tell them you believe in them, it nurtures their self-esteem. Threats, on the other hand, crush self-esteem and pave the way for unhealthy relationships between you and your child.

Learn from mistakes. Mistakes are opportunities for athletes to grow. Your child should never be embarrassed because he made a competitive error. Give him permission to fail. This kind of environment encourages him to take risks. If you jump down your child’s throat whenever he messes up, you teach him to be paranoid about his mistakes, and that diminishes self-esteem.

Specific praise. Kids need positive reinforcement. They should be praised for good effort first, and then performance. Be specific with your praise: You’re a good team player. You really hustled! That was a great play! However, don’t go overboard. Too much of a good thing loses its power. Make sure your positive feedback is sincere and meaningful.

Don’t label a child. Just because an athlete is small doesn’t mean he can’t play the sport. Some of the most aggressive players I’ve seen play were small. And just because someone is heavier doesn’t mean he can’t move fast. I’ve seen bigger athletes that can move very quickly. For many kids, body image is a major contributor to a low self-esteem. Help them accept themselves by not putting a label on them that refuses to even give them a chance. Instead of focusing on body type, focus on skills, athleticism and hustle.

Recognize the process. Low self-esteem is learned. Simply telling a kid to “get over it” will not do the trick. Good self-esteem grows through personal experiences and positive feedback from parents, coaches, and peers.