With childhood obesity on the rise throughout modern society it is likely you are going to have children of varying degrees of obesity in your team or squad.
Coaching kids sports requires you as coach to accept all and endeavour to install lifelong healthy habits in your athletes.
YES in most cases. If kids obesity is a cause of poor lifestyle then your job of sports coach is of huge importance. The kids may have no parental support in living a healthy lifestyle. They may have no adult positive role models. This is not their fault! The great thing is they have joined you to participate and enjoy kids sports.
If Mum and Dad, for whatever reason, don’t follow a healthy lifestyle then the child needs to be educated so they mature into an adult who values exercise, physical fitness and the benefits of participating in sports. Kids nutrition is taught in school. Back up the education by discussing the subject as part of your training sessions.
The sports coach MUST compile a list of foods they require their athletes to consume and distribute the list to athletes and parents. The coach should spend time discussing the types of foods beneficial to sports performance during training sessions. A subtle hint to the problem parents.
In extreme situations the coach could distribute a 7 day food diary. The athletes detail everything they consume for 7 days. As a group or individual the food diary contents are discussed and any areas of poor nutrition identified. The coach can make suggestions on how to improve the athletes diet.
Your goal as a coach for these overweight kids is to have them develop at deep passion for the sport. A passion so strong that they drag their unsupportive parents along with them to make physical activity part of daily life.
The child’s excitement may initiate the parents to start taking a more active interest in their kids activities, interests, etc. Who knows the kids sport may help mum and dad become motivated to increase their own activity levels and aid the decease in childhood obesity.I have successfully used Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating as a resource when I'm talking to athletes and parents about kids sports nutrition. The book is a no nonsense approach to what foods and liquids are required to maintain a healthy diet.
Sport coaches should develop skills and fitness slowly with the overweight kids. The obese children have lost confidence and generally lack motivation. The coach needs to exercise patience and over deliver encouragement to these vulnerable athletes.
Type 1 and 2 diabetes is bordering on being a major epicdemic. Regular exercise and a healthy diet significantly decrease the chance of contracting these diseases.
By you coaching kids sports successfully it may just be responsible for saving not only the child’s life but that of the parents too by developing positive attitudes to a healthy active lifestyle.
No pressure sports coaches, just have the kids enjoy your sports activities and rest will take care of itself. Do your bit to overcome childhood obesity.
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