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Encourage Your Young Athlete To Prepare For The Unexpected

04/08/2014, 3:30pm EDT
By USAHockey.com

In sports, there is one given – expect the unexpected.

As fans, this excitement of not knowing what will happen next is a big reason why we attend, watch and talk about sporting events. For athletes, the unexpected, while thrilling, demands proper preparation to be successful.

From in-season practices to offseason cross-training, preparation helps our young athletes build a rock-solid foundation for game-day success. It’s what they do to get ready for competition that often makes the difference when the unexpected happens.

But how can you help your young athletes prepare for the unexpected? How can you convince them of the power of preparation?

Liberty Mutual Insurance, in partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance, offers the following helpful tips and tactics for preparing for the unexpected. And we invite you and your young athlete to learn more at the Liberty Mutual Insurance Responsible Sports website.  

  • Envision only success.  Encourage them to visualize a stress-free, successful performance – no matter what scenario unfolds. By “practicing” visualization, meditation and other mental training techniques, they’ll give their minds a powerful pre-game “workout.”
  • All-out effort.  There are many parts of the game they can’t control, but they can control their effort and attitude.  Remind them that win or lose, what is more important is whether t they gave 100% effort!
  • Keep at it. Tell them the mind is a muscle. Like any muscle, it has to be exercised to grow strong. And like any other part of their game, the more they work their mind, the stronger it gets, making it easier for them to adjust and adapt on the fly.
  • Switch it up.  Just like your children can “cross-train” by playing multiple sports, they can vary and “change up” their practice routine. They can try practicing with different equipment, or work on using their “off hand”. They can also prepare for different roles, such as a reserve player training to take on a starter’s responsibilities.
  • Situational learning. Encourage your kids to practice in different, even difficult, conditions and situations. Practicing in different conditions will help them adapt to a tough game day environment, challenge their normal routine, and demand game-like focus. Activities like simulating crowd noise with a sound system will force them to focus and “zone in” on performing their best.

With these simple tips from Liberty Mutual Insurance, we hope that your child can always stay prepared for the unexpected.

At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of responsibility shown by people every day. We created Responsible Sports, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display responsibility. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the field. Join the Responsible Sports movement!

©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Positive Coaching Alliance. All rights reserved. This material may not be distributed without express written permission. Any reproduction in whole or part by and individuals or organizations will be held liable for copyright infringement to the full extent of the law.9

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