Help kids get ready for fall sports sea­son

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - YOU AT YOUR BEST - METRO CRE­ATIVE SER­VICES

Sum­mer is a sea­son of re­lax­ation, es­pe­cially for school-aged chil­dren who are not yet old enough to work. Such young­sters no doubt en­joy the chance to spend sum­mer days loung­ing pool­side or at the beach, all with­out a care in the world or any home­work to com­plete. Though sum­mer is syn­ony­mous with R&R, par­ents of young ath­letes who hope to com­pete in scholas­tic ath­let­ics when the school year be­gins in au­tumn may need to take steps to en­sure their kids aren’t at risk of in­jury once the cur­tain comes up on fall sports sea­son.

Ex­am­ine and re­place equip­ment if nec­es­sary

The right equip­ment can pro­tect kids from in­jury and help them re­al­ize their full ath­letic po­ten­tial. But dam­aged or out­dated equip­ment can in­crease kids’ risk of in­jury. Ex­am­ine kids’ equip­ment long be­fore fall sports sea­son be­gins so you have time to bar­gain hunt should any­thing need to be re­placed.

Sched­ule a phys­i­cal for your child

Many school dis­tricts man­date that ath­letes re­ceive and pass phys­i­cals be­fore they can com­pete. Speak with the ath­letic di­rec­tor at your child’s school to learn the guide­lines that gov­ern ath­letic phys­i­cals. The phys­i­cal will need to be con­ducted by a pre­de­ter­mined date, but you may also need the phys­i­cal to be con­ducted af­ter a cer­tain date for it to be con­sid­ered valid. Speak with your child’s physi­cian if any prob­lems are found dur­ing the phys­i­cal.

Let kids heal

Kids’ sched­ules are busier than ever be­fore, and many young­sters play sev­eral sports dur­ing the school year. Sum­mer va­ca­tion may be the only ex­tended pe­riod all year that young­sters’ bodies get to heal. While it’s im­por­tant that kids stay phys­i­cally ac­tive through­out the sum­mer, make sure they don’t overdo it, as you should em­pha­size the im­por­tance of rest.

Grad­u­ally get back in the swing of things

While rest gives kids’ bodies a chance to heal and de­velop, it’s im­por­tant that young ath­letes stay in shape over the sum­mer. As the fall sports sea­son draws near, help kids grad­u­ally get back in the swing of things. Tryouts tend to be phys­i­cally de­mand­ing, so kids who have not lifted a nger all sum­mer may be at risk of in­jury or miss­ing the cut. et kids ease back into reg­u­lar ex­er­cise to make sure they are not start­ing from scratch come their rst try­out.

Speak with coaches

Coaches can be great as­sets to par­ents who want to make sure their young­sters en­joy the sum­mer with­out sacri cing their chances of mak­ing the team in the fall. Speak with kids’ coaches to de­ter­mine if there is any area your son or daugh­ter can work on over the sum­mer to im­prove his or her chances of mak­ing the team. Make sure kids are the ones lead­ing the charge to im­prove their games; oth­er­wise, they may feel pres­sured into do­ing so and that can take away the fun of play­ing sports.

Scholas­tic ath­letes should take ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­nity to re­lax and re­cover that sum­mer presents. But ath­letes who hope to com­pete in the fall can still work with their par­ents to en­sure they’re ready once the school year and sports sea­son be­gins.

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