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Best Ways Parents Can Support Their Student-Athlete

Written by Our Friends
Person Wearing Academic Dress

Being a parent brings its fair share of responsibilities, from fulfilling all the needs of your children to being a supportive pillar. If your kid has recently joined sports at school and you are looking for ways to be supportive, attending games is not the only way to go about it.

Encourage Healthy Food Choices

First and foremost developing healthy eating habits in your children is an essential responsibility for good parenting in general. Being a college student-athlete enhances the significance of this practice. As you know, the body needs food to refuel the energy levels and perform functions. While engaging in sports, your child is burning many calories relatively faster. Please do your part and encourage their consumption of foods that are packed with proteins, healthy fats and whole grains. You can preplan their meals to make this process easier.  Besides, providing them with the needed calories, also ensure that they consume a variety of nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates as well as vitamins and minerals like iron and calcium. You can incorporate calcium in their meals in the form of milk, yoghurt, cheese, green veggies depending on your child’s preference. Iron plays a vital role by helping oxygen to be carried to all the organs in the body. Salmon, eggs and dried-fruits are a few ideal sources of iron. Also, remember that water is the best type of fluid you can give your little champ. Including fresh juices is an excellent way to encourage healthy eating habits but skip out on artificially engineered drinks.

Rest Days 

Now that we are on the topic of relaxing and resting, you should not underestimate its significance for your child athlete. In order to avoid burn out and reach a peak in their athletic performance, it is crucial to take breaks in between. HR Glen Wallace from pandascholar.com/ advises to find out more on strategic ways to utilize these breaks. Bodies require recovery time, and it plays a central role in your child’s health and social wellbeing. Are you wondering what would be the right time to return them to their respective sports? Well, there is no right answer. It will depend on factors like the nature of the sports, the individual player, and any possible injury. In general, your child is ready to bounce back if the rules given below apply:

  • Starting with pain-free activities
  • Gradual progressing to explosive skills
  • Beginning with only a limited number of repetitions
  • Reducing the risk of reinjury  by maintaining strength and flexibility through rehab exercises

When to Seek Immediate Medical Care

Ice Pack On Person's Foot

This is a crucial part of being athletes support. The possible injury types during sports can be divided into two; acute and chronic. An acute injury is caused by falling or collision and usually is a result of a one-time event. It can take the form of ankle sprains, concussions or ACL tears. A chronic injury is due to overuse and occurs over time. It initiates with a pain which progresses over time and becomes permanent with the repetition of a specific movement, for example, fractures and tendinitis. With that said, you should know the correct time to seek medical care. Take your child to see a doctor in certain instances like visible deformity, numbness, immediate swelling, and being unable to place a wight on an injured part of the body. In contrast, if your child has an acute injury, carry out the RICE protocol at home. It includes resting, icing, compressing and finally elevation. 

Let the Coaches do their job

A common mistake that most parents make is getting closely involved with every athletic activity of their children. Even though your support does play a crucial part in their success stories, but it does not mean you deny them the space they require. The chances are that you lack the expertise in this area, and that is why you should let a coach help your child out. They would be experienced and trained for this and will assist in the best way possible. What you can do to ease the process for you kid is by reducing their academic burden. You can hire someone to write a paper for them while they polish their skills to perfection. It is time for you to sit back and relax now. Let the professionals handle the rest.

Four Boys Running in Track

Be Involved

Remember when you were told to give your child space while practising? That still holds. Nevertheless, that does not encourage you to skip your responsibilities as a parent. You can show support by helping them learn how to be a good student-athlete. If they ask you to accompany them in the park for practice, make sure to be there for them. Ask your child how has the practice been. If you manage to find time for showing up at their gaming events, that would be the icing on the cake. In general, you need to show your child that they are essential in your life and that you are a proud parent, no matter what.  Keep encouraging by telling them they did a great job after a game. 

Focus on Character Building

You should not only be emphasizing on the skill development of your child. Look at the bigger picture; it is their character building that requires your complete attention. Children have the needs and dreams of their own. Trying to live through them vicariously is like cutting their wings and expecting them to fly. Leave it to their coaches for teaching and managing the technical aspects of the game. You should be helping them learn essential life lessons through this experience. To learn different ways you can help them out. Try to prepare them for adult life, explain that always need to have a backup, write together a resume, and discuss the future position, to get inspired check out resumes online.  Tell your child that losing is not the end of the world and that it is a learning opportunity. Give them examples from your time and motivate them for never giving up. These are the golden years of their lives which you can easily shape with your input. Set good examples of parenting and take this opportunity to teach them the importance of team playing and practice. They should learn how to take a win and a loss gracefully because this is what life is really about!

With all of this said, it is equally important to remember that your child is a student first. Engaging in sports is fun but that in no way provides them with the excuse to ignore their studies. Help them manage their time effectively and witness your star shine bright in all aspects of life.

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