My video post on Sunday on whether we ask too much from our kids received a huge response, so I must have struck a chord with many of you. Since it is not 5:30am, and I am not rushing out to coach I thought I would take more time to dive into the question of whether we do, indeed, ask too much of our kids?
The irony of my video post on Sunday is that my team persevered through another long day, making it to the semi final game (and losing in the last inning), while overcoming cold and wind (about 45 degrees) until about 7pm...and the 90 minute drive home.
I was remarkably proud of my girls and their enthusiasm despite the elements and long day. Of course it helps that we were winning all day! Several of the girls commented on how early they had fallen asleep Saturday night after our 4:30am wake up call. Some of them could be seen doing school homework during our only game break of the day.
This question of "whether we ask too much of our kids" is first and foremost an individual, kid specific, matter. Some kids would be happy playing 24 hours each day, while others complain loudly having to rise before 9am on a Saturday or Sunday.
Regardless of which category your athlete falls into here are a few things to consider along the way:
1. Is your athlete getting enough rest? Inadequate rest will lead to the inability to focus, less energy and moodiness; all of which will cause a diminished level of game performance. You and your athlete should plan ahead to be sure she gets to bed early the night before games, and has a pillow and blanket in the car to sleep to her games if necessary.
2. Is your athlete eating/drinking right? Late nights and early mornings on game day can cause meals to be quick and non-nutritious. Proper hydration the night before and during game days is essential to your athlete performing optimally, as dehydration can result in slower reaction time and reduced concentration levels. Lunch breaks on game days are frantic I know, but come prepared with fruit and LIGHT snacks. I cringe when I see players wolfing down nachos and chili cheese dogs within minutes of game time!