There are a lot of moving parts to preparing an athlete to compete at the highest level possible. Strength and conditioning work is essential for stamina and power; stretching for flexibility and range of motion, sport specific drills to develop agility and athleticism. These are the components that have a direct observable relationship with the cause and effect of performance. Nutrition however, pays a more inconspicuous role. When a coach notices steady improvements in strength, speed and overall effectiveness in an athlete, it is easy to attribute success to the training program and the effort of the athlete. The fact that the athlete ate the right type of food to properly fuel herself beforehand is not directly observable and so goes unnoticed. Conversely, when an athlete lacks energy or enthusiasm from one practice to the next, or feels fatigued earlier than usual, it is not always readily apparent how much of a factor the athlete’s nutrition was in setting himself up for a lackluster performance. Helping your son or daughter to properly fuel before and during their training can make a real difference.
You have invested a lot of money, time, and more importantly, love and emotional support in your son or daughter to help them get better at a sport they love to play and that you love to watch them play. Be sure to give them the performance fuel that will enable their best efforts. The nutrition choices of your son or daughter have a profound direct affect on his or her performance. Nutrition affects everything from short-term explosive energy and long-term stamina during training and competition, to recovery afterward. Nutrition can be the difference in an athlete’s ability to focus at the end of a grueling game when every motion counts. Nutrition can make the difference in being able to push hard until the clock runs out or having to take a seat on the bench because of muscle cramping. The real key is in learning to make make the right nutrition choices that will fuel performance, not inhibit it.
Your children are worth every penny you put into them. You want them to have the best experience possible in their sports. Look to their nutrition as a at least one area where you can have direct input and a significant positive impact on that experience.