Image by Keith Johnston from Pixabay


 August 26th, 2019

It is that time of year again. Sports are back in full swing for our Teenagers. Whether it is school based or club based, the athletes preparation for sport is critical to an improved outcome. Here are some simple tips to pass along to them to improve outcomes.

1) Drink adequate amounts of water many hours before sports activity. At least 2 to 3, 12 ounce glasses of clean water 2+ hours before activity. When you are thirsty, you are already mildly to moderately dehydrated.

2) Stretch, Stretch and then stretch some more. This is likely the number one way to avoid injury in sport. Yoga is an excellent activity to become flexible. When your teens are relaxing at home, have them stretch all major muscle groups. Flexibility is king in keeping a player on the court or field.

3) Eat a Whole Foods well balanced diet. Load it with macro and micronutrients that are necessary for functional activity. Lots of magnesium, potassium and vitamin D are lovely for health in sport. See these past newsletters for details on all macros.


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4) Get adequate sleep every night. On average adults need 7 to 9 hours per night. Growing teenagers need 1 to 2 hours extra. Having the same wake up time every day is also beneficial. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation adversely affects a person's sport function and acuity. Therefore, every teenager that stays up late on the phone or playing video games will have reduced quality of sport activity.


5) Work on mental fortitude by discussing the difference between hard work and random failures as you progress towards success against the unfortunate mentality of "if I show up and don't push myself it is safe". Team sports are useful for learning leadership skills and collective negotiating to achieve a winning mentality and goal. The psychology of sport is often as important as the physicality.


6) Build in recovery days for sore muscles. Consider getting a massage to keep muscles functional. If you have a quality chiropractor on speed dial, utilize them for a little prevention and physiologic balance.


7) Be mentally prepared for the event. Work on focusing rituals that are randomly messed with to allow you to learn resilience in a transition moment. Never expect that the event will go according to plan. Good article in Psychology Today for your teens to read.


8) Visualize winning and performing at your best. Positive mindsets help lead to flow states that allow you to transcend into exceptional unconscious action or muscle memory.


9) Calm the mind before the event begins. Consider guided meditation, music relaxation or better yet Heart Math to get you into a full chill mode.


10) Have fun. Sport is all about fun. If you cannot enjoy it, there is a fundamental problem.


Dr. M


Psychology Today Article
Heart Math Website