7 Ways to Make the Most of a Youth Athlete's Offseason

Today, there is very seldom an offseason when it comes to youth sports.  When there is, it may be very short.  However, the offseason is important and can be a good break for your kids, youth athletes, and you, as sports parent.

Offseason, does that exist?

Almost every sport is going to some type of club, or year-round opportunity to play.  Much different than when we were playing as kids.  If you have a kid who plays multiple sports you may even have some overlap.  But occasionally you will reach that offseason. When you do, how will you handle the offseason?

Make the most of any offseason

Here are a few things you can do to make the most of your kids' offseason, while enjoying it as well.  You may not be able to do all of them, depending upon how long your offseason is, but I suggest implementing as many as you can into your offseason plan.

  1. Appreciate what you accomplished.  Look back at the season, the team, and individual accomplishments.  Whether your team won a championship or not, find some good areas to emphasize and target areas to improve upon.
  2. Rest.  If your kid plays year-round, or multiple sports, his/her offseason may be a week!  Whatever it is, make sure to plan some rest.  Nurse injuries and let their body heal during this time.
  3. Get away.  Avoid burn out and get away from the sport for a little while.  That may be difficult depending upon how much your kid loves their sport.  But encourage at least some time away by finding something else to occupy their mind, their body, and all that drive they have.
  4. Stay active, but do something different.  Don't allow them to sit and do nothing the entire offseason.  Find something to keep them active and developing more athletically even if it is not a sport they play.
  5. Play more than you train.  Offseason training is important to getting better for the next season, but find some fun ways to train.  Turn any workouts into social activities and make it fun.
  6. Set goals for next year.  What does our athlete want to accomplish next year?  Are they a backup and want to be a starter next year?  Did they struggle with the curve ball.  Do they want to qualify for nationals?  Determine that goal, and start planning to reach it.
  7. Develop a new skill.  In your review of last season you may have uncovered some areas that would help take their game up a notch.  Develop a new skill, a new move, or make a weak area stronger by working on it in the offseason.

Make the most of your kids' offseason.  Keep in mind they are kids, not professionals.  So, don't overdo it, but don't wast the time either.  Be intentional and help your youth athlete have a productive and enjoyable offseason. Questions: What do your kids and youth athletes do during the offseason? Jackie Bledsoe, Jr.  is a sports parent of three, and writes on sports parenting. He has played sports for over 30 years, including the collegiate level, and coached youth sports for the past eight years.   photo credit: TV19 - DD Meighen via photopin cc

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