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5 Practical Self-Care Tips For Youth Athletes

By TrueSport, 08/09/19, 9:15AM CDT

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Help your young athletes develop a stronger mindset to deal with the stresses of sport and daily life by introducing self-care strategies and encouraging them to practice them daily.

From dealing with pressure on social media, to balancing academics, sports, and extracurricular activities, teenagers are under more stress than ever.

Amy Saltzman, MD, author of A Still Quiet Place for Athletes, believes that athletes who practice mindfulness develop a more balanced approach to self-care, which ultimately helps them achieve peak performance in sport and in life.

According to Saltzman, “Being mindful means simply being aware of what is happening here and now with kindness and curiosity, so that we can choose our behaviors.” She adds that young athletes who “bring kind and curious attention to all aspects of their health and well-being have an advantage in learning what works best for them during training, competition, and in life.”

Saltzman, a long-time athlete herself, explains that “in the long run, it’s up to young athletes to learn from coachesparentsnutritionists, athletic trainers, sport-specific articles and books, and most importantly their own bodies, and develop and refine the self-care routines that create the opportunity to perform at their best.”

With that in mind, Saltzman shares five scientifically proven self-care habits athletes can practice to improve their physical health and maximize their ability to compete at their best.

PRIORITIZE REST

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, getting extra sleep over an extended period of time improves athletic performance, mood, and alertness.