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Help Student Athletes Perform Their Best -- And Win a Gatorade Sports Hydration Pack (GIVEAWAY)

Posted Nov 11 2010 12:30pm
I’m always really diligent about making sure that my son Caleb is properly hydrated when he plays sports. We learned this the hard way when he was at a very hot baseball practice and started feeling woozy and vomiting. We knew he hadn’t had enough to drink before starting to play in the hot sun. As parents, we want to be sure that our children are able to perform their best when they’re playing sports. To help, sports parenting expert Brooke de Lench -- a mom, former athlete, youth coach, author and founder of the sports parenting resource -- recommends the following game plan
Blow the Whistle at Bedtime. Studies show that students need nine hours of sleep but only get about seven. Set a consistent “lights out” time for turning off the computer, cell phone and television so young athletes get the rest they need. Consider docking texting and gaming devices away from their bedroom to reduce late-night distractions.

Fuel the Burn. Active young athletes need at least 3,000 calories per day for peak performance, so they need to eat very frequently. Help them maintain energy throughout the day by sending them off with healthy, high-carb, low-fat snacks such as energy bars, trail mix or dried fruit to munch at their desks (if it’s okay with the teacher). Students with early morning workouts should eat two breakfasts -- one before the workout and one before school. So, send athletes to practice with a snack to help them recover and refuel.

Be Proactive About Hydration. Staying hydrated during the school day is challenging. In fact, studies show that many student athletes start their sports already dehydrated, making it difficult for them to catch up during activity. For safety and performance reasons, athletes need to be hydrated no matter what the season, and water isn’t enough because it doesn’t hydrate as effectively as a sports drink like Gatorade that is scientifically formulated with fluid, electrolytes and carbohydrates to rapidly replace what athletes lose through sweat and provide energy to keep them at the top of their game.

Use Sports Sense to Power Schoolwork. Great athletes are disciplined, focused and dedicated. Help young athletes channel these qualities to manage their schoolwork as well. Encourage them to use free time at school to review notes or knock off smaller assignments. Also, coach them to tackle the tough stuff first. Young athletes will be tired after sports, so they should finish priority and difficult homework earlier in the day.

Don’t Forget the Fun. Youth sports may be increasingly competitive, but the top reason kids play sports is to enjoy the game. Look out for warning signs that students are struggling to enjoy the experience, and work with them to find a solution. Warning signs include: complaints of sickness at practice or game time; slow return to practice after injury; nervousness, anxiety or anger before, during or after the game; practices well but plays poorly.

[Brooke de Lench is the author of Home Team Advantage: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports .]


To help parents in making sure their children are game-ready, Gatorade has generously offered to send a Gatorade Sports Hydration Pack to one lucky reader! The Gatorade Sports Hydration Pack includes a gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods and a 6-pack of Gatorade 02 Perform from the G Series! To enter, leave a comment on this post describing an issue you’ve encountered or dealt with as a sports parent. This is mandatory to enter the giveaway.

You can earn optional additional entries by… (leave a separate comment for each)

- Following Gatorade ( @Gatorade ) and Susan Heim on Parenting ( @ParentingAuthor ) on Twitter and tweeting about this giveaway. You may tweet 3 times a day. (Please space them at least an hour apart.) Leave a separate comment with the URL of each tweet. (1 entry per tweet)

- Liking Gatorade on Facebook . (1 entry)

- Liking Susan Heim on Parenting on Facebook . (1 entry)

- Subscribing to Susan Heim on Parenting via email, RSS and/or Kindle (see sign-up options on left sidebar). Leave a comment for each subscription method. (1 entry for each subscription method for up to 3 entries)

- Following Susan Heim on Parenting through Google Friend Connect. Click on the “Follow” button on the left sidebar. Leave a comment. (1 entry)

- Putting a button for Susan Heim on Parenting on your blog (the code is in the upper right-hand column of this site) and/or a text link on your blog roll. Post a comment with your blog’s URL. (1 entry for button; 1 entry for text link)

- Posting this giveaway on your blog with a link to this page. Leave a comment with a direct link to the post. (3 entries; leave a separate comment for each)

One winner will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Monday, November 29, 2010, at 11:59 PM EST. Please leave an email address on one of your comments if it’s not available on your Blogger profile. Winners must respond within 72 hours or another winner will be drawn. Contest is open to US residents only.

DISCLOSURE: As a thank-you for posting this valuable information, I will receive a Gatorade Sports Hydration Pack. No financial compensation was provided.
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