Three Plays for a Healthy Team!

There are 3 simple things you can do during practices and games to keep youth athletes healthy and performing their best!

1) Boost active time by 10-15 minutes.
Keep all players moving by using small group activities or by playing small-sided games.
Try adapting well-known children’s games to your sport (e.g. Red Light, Green Light).
Teach players light-intensity movements that they can do while waiting to enter an activity.
Why it’s important:
Practice may last an hour, but studies show that children are typically moving for less than half the time. Keeping players moving for an additional 10-15 minutes improves fitness and keeps players engaged.

2) Make water the easy choice.
Remind players to bring 1-2 full water bottles to practices and games.
At the beginning of the season, let parents and players know that doctors recommend water, not sports drinks or other sugary drinks.
Consider a “water only” policy for your team.
Why it’s important:
Players who drink water and eat a healthy diet will perform their best. Sticking to water also helps players avoid the added sugar in beverages like sports drinks, which contain almost 9 teaspoons of sugar in a 20 oz bottle!

3) Make snacks fruits or vegetables.
If your team has a snack, ask parents to rotate bringing fruits or vegetables like sliced oranges, apples, or carrot sticks.
For tournaments, encourage players to pack a healthy lunch.
If players eat a healthy meal before practice, they probably don’t even need a snack!
Why it’s important:
Unhealthy treats can add up since children often have them outside of sports, too. Desserts, soda, and pizza are the top three sources of calories in a typical child’s diet. Have fruits or vegetables for snacks and save the treats for special occasions.


This post comes from our friends at ChildObesity180. For a printable PDF of the information, visit: http://www.healthykidshub.org/sites/default/files/documents/3PlaysHealthyTeam.pdf

 

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