By: Jason, ATC
This year has been difficult for everyone to say the least. We are all ready to get our lives back to "normal" and start doing more of the things we love to do. These times have been very challenging especially to all the student athletes. From e-learning to cancellation of all sporting activities, student athletes have been affected both physically and mentally during these times.
While there are no team practices and no workout facilities open during this time, there are still steps that can be taken to ensure student athletes are taking care of themselves both mentally and physically this summer once E-learning is completed.
- One of the most important things you can do is to get into a routine and make yourself a schedule to follow. With your daily schedule, it starts with setting a consistent sleep schedule. Research shows that 13-17 year olds need 8-10 hours of sleep each night. So try to go to bed everynight at the same time and wake up at the same time everyday, ensuring you are following the 8-10 hours rules. Get enough sleep but not too much! (wink).
- Mark down your eating schedule for the day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Be sure to include healthy snacks between your meals. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is another great way to keep your mental and physical health in tip top shape.
- From there you can mark in times to do your household chores (you always need to help your Mom and Dad around the house, wink!). Mark in times during the day when you can workout, practice your sport specific skills, and a time to do something fun that you want to do. Screen time is ok as long as that isn't your main focus throughout the day.
- Next, write down a few goals you would like to achieve this summer. These goals can be personal goals, workout goals, or sport skills goals. Maybe you want to get stronger, fully recover from an injury, run faster, or have a better jump shot. The list is limitless but has to start with a conscious thought of what you want to accomplish.
- As for workouts, there are several things that can be done at home without the need for expensive equipment. Body weight circuits are a great way to gain strength, stability, and balance. This may include lunges, squats, step ups, pushups, pull ups, and crunches. Resistance bands and dumbbells can take any of these excercises to the next level. Walking or running around your neighborhood is another great way to stay in shape or work on specific goals. Jump rope, sprint work, and agility work can be done in your front or back yard. Taking time to stretch after your workouts is a great way to improve your flexibility and to keep your joints moving the way they should. Also, talk to your coaches. They may have specific workout routines for you to do at home or with a partner!
- With sport specific drills, again, the list is long with the activities you can do at your own home, regardless of what sport you play. For example, if you play basketball, you can work on ball handling, shooting form, footwork with shooting, and free throws just to name a few. Again, talk to your coaches, as they will have many fun activities you can do to improve your game.
Remember to include other fun things you like to do, such as playing X-box, fishing, talking on the phone with friends, or making Tic Tok videos. Whatever you like! This is your time! Your mental health depends on these fun things! Just don't make screen time your main focus for the day.
Having this down time is also a great time to recover from injuries you may currently have or haven't fully recovered from in the past. The therapists at Advanced Rehab can help. We can start with a free injury screen to determine what your problem is and let you know what needs to be done to fix it. If physical therapy is the best solution for you, we will work hard on decreasing your pain, improving your range of motion, and restoring your strength and function so you can return to what you love doing most.
These times are tough for everyone, but with enough patience, persistence, and perseverance, we will get through this together! This is a great time to get yourself on the right path!