There are so many benefits for teens to participate in athletics. High school athletes who participate in sports are less likely to indulge in alcohol and drugs. They are also more likely to graduate. But from a performance perspective, there are a few things that every teen athlete should understand.
Focus on the Fundamentals
Everyone wants to be a winner when they compete in sports. However, according to Stack, focusing on fundamentals will benefit you much more in the long run. When you participate in high school sports, you should work to develop the skill set that will improve your performance in your sport of choice. For example, if you play basketball, you should work on things like ball handling, rebounding and shooting. In addition to sports-specific skills, you should also work to develop your physical abilities like strength, speed, endurance and coordination to your highest potential.
Always Use Safety Gear
While high school sports have proven to be beneficial to teens, there are always risks that come with participation. You should understand these risks and take precautions that will minimize them. According to Medic8, each sport has its essential safety gear that will keep you avoid injury while competing. These items include elbow and knee pads, helmets, goggles, and mouthguards. There are times when athletes choose not to wear needed safety equipment because it is uncomfortable or “uncool.” This is a mistake you should not make. Many injuries have been avoided by the proper use of safety equipment. According to Murfreesboro Family Dentistry, athletes who wear mouthguards during sports are at least 82 percent less likely to suffer foot and facial damage than those who do not. Proper mouth and headgear can protect your head from collisions with other players or the ball, falls and tackles.
Fuel Your Body with Proper Nutrition
Eating for teenage athletes should include more than scarfing down a high carb diet and drinking sports drinks. The nutritional needs you possess at this time are unlike those of other students and adults. Not only do you need to fuel the normal growth and muscle development of adolescence, but you also need more calories than less active people. The best way to make sure your diet meets your nutritional needs is to eat a variety of foods on a daily basis. Carbohydrates are important for fueling muscles but you will also need protein, minerals, vitamins, and fats to remain in peak athletic condition.
High school sports provide experiences that will benefit you for a lifetime and establish a habit of exercise and healthy living. The three tips above will help you maximize all your high school sports career has to offer you.