When in training, young athletes should focus on three major factors that affect sport performance: hydration, nutrition, and rest. With practice for many fall sports beginning in the summer, hydration takes on even greater importance. Drink water before, during and after activity to decrease the risk of heat-related illness. Athletes who want to compete at a competitive level need proper nutrition and plenty of rest. At the high school and college level, too many young athletes try to run their bodies on unhealthy food choices and too little sleep making them more prone to injury and limiting their ability to perform.
Even when conscious of proper conditioning and safe training, most competitive athletes will experience an injury at some point. Recognizing the signs of an injury and listening to one’s body will help limit damage and hasten recover. Pain is the body’s way of signaling that something is wrong, but many athletes ignore their pain attributing it as a normal part of sports participation. When athletes dismiss injuries, not only does it threaten ending their season but also future ones.
For more information on sport safety, read this press release.