Helping Your Athlete Be Their Best
While it may seem like only a few weeks since the beginning of the school year, with October upon us, we are in the full swing of schedules, including gymnastics, tumbling, cheer, and ninja classes at K2! We love the routine and the opportunity to see our extended family on a regular basis. Here are a few tips to help your little athlete have a successful class!
WHAT TO WEAR???
Determine a Uniform
Some of our groups have specific clothing they need for the gym each day, but other classes merely have suggestions. Once your coach has given you guidelines, set a specific “uniform” for your athlete to wear to class each week. Not only will having a uniform remove the guesswork each time you are getting ready for class, but it will also foster independence, in addition to mentally preparing your child for the expectations needing to be met. An added bonus is to place all uniform items together in a special cubby or drawer after washing for your athlete to find them with ease.
WHAT TIME TO BE THERE???
Arrive On Time
We know life circumstances are sometimes beyond your control, but arriving on time is important for our programs and for your child. Rushing around, watching the clock tick closer to start time, and seeing mom, dad, or other care provider stress about the time can have an impact of your child’s stress levels as well. Arriving on time helps them focus on the right anticipation, being excited for class, allows them to use the restroom, and gives ample time for stretching and warming up. All of these benefits will help them step out onto the mat with the confidence they need to work towards their next goal.
WHAT TO DRINK???
Water is very important for a growing child, especially during hot days or extra physical activity. There is no need for other type drinks before, during, or after their workout, so we recommend filling a large water bottle and encouraging them to guzzle through your time at K2. We do have water fountains, but a few sips here and there is not quite the amount your athlete should take in. In fact, according to The Washington Post, kids should be drinking 5-8, 8 oz glasses of water each day, with additional hydration starting for athletes at least an hour ahead of activity, with water added in every 20 minutes or so. Another important factor is for you to set an example, so grab your water bottle and stay hydrated as well!
WHAT TO EAT???
Your athletes are hungry, seemingly all the time, but when you think about it, it makes sense. Their minds and bodies are in overdrive learning in school and that translates into a lot of calories spent. We recommend healthy carbs to give kids the energy and fuel they need to workout with us in the gym. They need fuel for their activity. According to Jump in For Healthy Kids, a site devoted to nutrition for kids, a few quick and easy ideas are, “whole wheat crackers, plain popcorn, blueberries, raisins, peanut butter sandwich with banana, yogurt cups or tubes with fruit and/or granola, or grapes and cheese.” Each of these items have a good balance kids need without too much added sugar which may lead to an energy crash or an upset stomach.
Depending on the time of day your class lets out, you need to strongly consider having a post-activity snack ready for the ride home. This snack should be just as nourishing and balanced as the Pre-Activity Snack with an emphasis on rehydration and rebuilding your athlete. If you are headed home or out to have a balanced dinner, your athlete may not need this, but otherwise, consider these options from Jump In once again. After a workout or competition they recommend, “pre-cut orange slices, watermelon triangles, grapes, banana, applesauce packs, pretzels or whole grain crackers, graham crackers, cheese stick, or a homemade trail mix of whole grain cereal and dried fruit.” We especially love the homemade trail mix option, because most of our own kiddos love to pack their own special bags of mix.
We care about your athletes and cannot wait to watch them grow over the months and years to come. For questions about classes or to see one of our programs up close, contact us today. In the mean time, Have Fun, Be Kind, and Do Your Best!