Fostering Youth Athletes in Your College

Developing and fostering youth athletes can be difficult. In this modern era, there are so many distractions and unhealthy competition that it is easy to drive an athlete to burnout. 

Whether you are fighting external pressures, technological distractions, or just physical development issues, the key to fostering youth athletes at your college is to have the end goal in mind at all times. When the goal is clear, you can follow these tips to foster youth athletes in your college. 

Hard is not always good

Many coaches believe that if you push an athlete to breaking point during training sessions, you are making gains. This is very far from the truth and can do more harm than good. Hard work is essential, but what is more important is technique. 

Youth athletes are still developing and their strength and stamina will naturally increase as they mature. The technique does not come naturally and it becomes increasingly difficult to break bad habits the further the athletes go. 

The mental effect of over-training is also very real and can discourage an athlete from trying to improve. The key is to keep it versatile and focus on technique while gradually increasing the training intensity. The athlete should never reach a point of breakdown while they are still in their developing years. 

Manage time well

Most coaches only focus on a single season and train hard to get results in a single season. However, the one thing that a youth athlete has is time. Fostering youth athletes in college should progress over several years with certain milestones set across the entire college career instead of driving your athletes to compete in every game or event. 

Have them sit by the scorers tables once in a while so that they can observe and learn from the mistakes of others. Sideline Interactive has some amazing boards that can display stats and generate revenue at the same time. Have your athlete man the table and help them see the game from a different perspective. 

Add some variety to the regime

Regardless of the discipline of your athlete, you need to build some variety into his or her training routine. Repetition has its merit in the short term and you will see some gains in a skill when a limited array of exercises are repeated. However, the return on investment will be marginal in the long run compared to a diverse training routine. 

Youth athletes get bogged quickly and will lose the intensity with which they started if there is no variety. It also encourages holistic development when the whole body is trained through several exercises and sporting disciplines. 

Make it fun

The athletes will have plenty of time to compete and push themselves during competitions. Although they need discipline during training sessions, you should also make it fun for them. 

Depending on the sporting code of the athlete, you could incorporate casual games into training to make it more fun. Your athletes’ lives are hectic as it is and the court or field might be the only place where they can just be themselves and enjoy the talents that they have. 

Use tech to your advantage

Teenagers are addicted to their phones and as a coach, you need to get them as far away from their phones as possible. On the other hand, their phones can become great motivators when used as a reward. 

When you take away their tech toys, kids become apprehensive, but when there is a promise of a return to their devices based on performance, they quickly jump at the opportunity to regain their devices.    

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