We're all excited about tomorrow's season opener, and I wanted to make a few suggestions to our youth athletes on how to prepare for tomorrow's class to get the most of out it and the whole season. Here are some easy tips for youth athletes:
1. Get a good night's sleep
Lay down your glowing screens and rest. Kids and teenagers should be getting about nine hours of sleep each night.
2. Eat right: Breakfast & Lunch
Eat a balanced breakfast when you wake up, for example: fortified cereal & milk or yogurt with fresh fruit and toast. (It's always healthier to eat fruit in it's original form than as juice.) Have a light lunch around 11:30am or noon, so you'll feel digested before class starts at 1pm. Lunch should consist of carbohydrates, so you have the energy to run around. Think: half a bagel with cream cheese, small amount of rice and beans, or a turkey sandwich.
3. Drink water
It's important to stay hydrated before, during and after exercise. How do you tell if you're hydrated? The pee test. Yup, that's right! If the color of your pee is pale yellow then you're hydrated. If it's dark yellow or smelly, you need more water.
4. Stay positive and focus on progress
It'll be exciting to be back on the courts, if you haven't been all winter. But whenever an athlete takes a break from a sport, he/she won't start back up again at their peak performance. The season opener isn't about being your very best on day 1, it's about preparing to do the work all season long to be your best on day 99. Stay positive and focus on your progress.
5. Practice they way you want to play
The way you practice will translate into your performance during games and tournaments. Commit yourself to long term results. Each class is structured to build upon the last class, so that you have all the fundamentals to play some really great tennis. Commit yourself to practicing the fundamentals, no matter how simple it may seem, and to coming to class each week. You get what you put into practice.
6. Develop a ritual.
It's the start of the season, so now is a great time to develop healthy, happy habits. When we start every class with a quick jog and stretching, that's a positive habit. When we end every class with a team cheer, that's a positive habit. Think of some habits you can do on your own before, during or after class to improve your class experience. Positive habits help keep you relaxed and calm because they make you feel comfortable in your surroundings.
Do your best. We can't wait to see you in class tomorrow! What time? 1pm! What time? 1 pm!