Hot Topics

There are a lot of resources available these days about athletics, and youth sports in particular. Below, we've highlighted categories that we think are the most pressing that we experience at Head-Royce. We hope you find these articles and links helpful and informative. This information should be helpful for parents and students of all ages.

Sports Specialization

The Benefits of Being a Multi-Sport Athlete by Dr. Dale Buchberger | Special to The Citizen

This article discusses a variety of benefits to being a multi-sport athlete including improved health and wellness, decreased injury rates, mastering alternative activities faster, improved leadership, and better performance in school. This article also answers the question: Why are kids specializing at a young age?

College Lacrosse Coaches Sound Off on Multi-Sport Participation by Paul Krome and Paul Ohanian | US Lacrosse

This article gives the perspective of college lacrosse coaches who are also parents of multi-sport athletes. As college coaches, they talk about why they prefer recruiting multi-sport athletes. As parents, they talk about why they encourage and sign up their kids for multiple sports.

Playing Multiple Sports Builds Better Athletes by Joe Frollo | USA Football

This article discusses how being a multi-sport athlete, as opposed to specializing in one sport, can result in greater skill and muscle development, an increase in overall athleticism, becoming a better teammate, burning out less, having a more competitive drive, and overall being more likely to succeed athletically at the high school or college level

The Benefits of Playing Multiple Sports: A Conversation with David Epstein by Jon Gomez | TrueSport University

This article highlights David Epstein’s research that found that although adult elite athletes (vs. sub-elite athletes) have accumulated more practice hours in their sport overall, prior to age 12, they actually practiced less in their eventual sport than those athletes who plateau at sub-elite levels. This article also discusses how being a multi-sport athlete allows the athlete the opportunity to find the right sport they can excel in. Burn out and cost factors to being a multi-sport athlete versus specializing in one sport are also discussed.

Psychological and Social Benefits of Playing True Sport by True Sport University

This article summarizes the benefits of playing a sport in general, paying particular attention to the psychological and social benefits. This article explains how participation in sport leads to improved academic performance, the development of social capital, and stronger social relationships. This article also has a section dedicated to the specific benefits for girls to participate in sport.

Sports Psychology

Self-Confidence by Competitive Advantage

This article gives helpful information on self-confidence. There is a section for athletes on how to grow self-confidence, with seven steps. There is also a section for parents on how to raise a self-confident child, and for coaches on building or busting a child’s self-confidence.

Relaxation Techniques by Brian MAC Sports Coach

This page gives a step-by step description of two simple relaxation techniques: “Getting Loose” for the physical body and “Breathing Easy” for the mind.

Developing Imagery Skills by Brian MAC Sports Coach

This article helps an athlete develop imagery skills to help them visualize success in their sport. The article walks the athlete through making a mental script that will help them with both their confidence and their performance in their sport.

Meditation for the Athlete: 8 Steps to Get You Started by Julie Rader | Breaking Muscle

Meditation has been proven to help many athletes including Kobe Bryant, Derek Jeter, Misty May and Kerry Walsh. Here is an eight-step guide to getting you started!

The Nine Mental Skills of Successful Athletes by Jack J. Lesyk, Ph.D. | Ohio Center for Sport Psychology

This article breaks down nine mental skills successful athletes possess and how to obtain each skill.

Sleep, Nutrition & Hydration

A Good Night’s Sleep for Student Athletes by The Foundation for Global Sports Development

This article explains how sleep is vital to a student-athlete’s wellbeing and also performance in their sport and in the classroom. This article examines the risks of insufficient sleep, benefits of good sleep, and gives specific steps a student-athlete can take to prioritize restful sleep.

The Secret to Teen Athletes’ Success Might Be their Sleep by Mary Jacobs | Dallas News

This article describes research on the many negative consequences of lacking sleep including: higher injury rates, worse balance, worse cognitive and fine motor skills, etc. There is a section on tips for teens to get better sleep, which includes suggestions such as avoiding electronics and bright lights before bedtime and keeping a regular sleeping schedule.

Sleep and Recovery: An Applicable Approach to a Lifestyle of Recovery and Rest for Athletes by Life of An Athlete

Everything you could possibly ask about sleep and recovery is answered in this 24-page manual. Topics include: sleep as a predictor of performance, the effects of sleep debt, hormones, sleep and recovery, “sleep is training too,” REM sleep, social drugs and sleep, sleep nutrition, performance in education and sleep, stimulants and disturbances to sleep, and creating your healthy sleep schedule and a positive sleep system.

Why Athletes Need Rest and Recovery After Exercise by Elizabeth Quinn | VeryWell

This article makes the case for how rest days are critical to sport performance. The article explains what happens in your body during recovery, the difference between short and long-term recovery, sleep deprivation, and the importance of balancing exercise with rest and recovery.

5 Nutritional Tips to Keep Student-Athletes Happy and Healthy by Catherine Northington | CheatSheet

This article gives five tips for student-athletes to follow in order to maintain a healthy diet and exercise plan. The tips include good snack choices before a workout and what to eat post-workout to help one’s body recover.

Myth Buster: Sports Drinks vs. Water by SF Gate

This article debunks the myth that sports drinks keep athletes better hydrated than water.

A 5-Step Plan to Reduce Youth Sports Injuries by Stack Coaches & Trainers

This article gives a five-step plan to reduce the risk of youth sport injuries. The plan walks through: avoiding specialization, taking breaks, being smart when training, improving flexibility and mobility, and setting aside time for recovery.

Time Management

7 Tips to Help Student-Athletes Improve their Game, Grades and Relationships by Kelly Clayton | USA Today College

Geared towards college athletes, but still very relevant to high school students, this article provides seven tips to help student-athletes improve their game, grades, and relationships. This article stresses building routine and structure in one's life and using the relationships around oneself for help.

How to Manage Your Time as a Student-Athlete by Rene Vital | College Express

A simple article that discusses the top 10 time management obstacles for a student-athlete, the rewards a student-athlete will receive if they become intentional about the structure of their day, and three tips to help student-athletes find this organization.

Keeping Up! Time Management Tips for Student-Athletes by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association

This article lays out eight helpful tips for student-athletes to use to manage their time. Tips range from planning ahead to monitoring distractions.

Strength Training

Strength Training: OK for Kids? by Mayo Clinic

This article addresses the question: Is it okay for young kids to strength train? This article walks the reader through proper strength training for young people, the benefits of proper training, when a young person should begin this training, and specifically what a strength program should look like for a young athlete.

Time Efficient Fitness for Young Athletes (Includes 3 Workouts) by Fred Fornicola | Breaking Muscle

This article provides information on what a good workout for a young person should include and how to make it time-efficient. As a starting point for the athlete, there are three sample workouts.

7 Reasons Youth Athletes Need to Strength Train by Cassie Dionne | Breaking Muscle

This article gives seven reasons young athletes should strength train, emphasizing injury prevention and improved athletic performance as top reasons.

Should Youth Athletes Strength Train? by Stack Coaches & Trainers

This article debunks the myth that strength training for a young athlete stunts their growth. It also discusses four major benefits for youth athletes to strength train.

Flexibility, Balance & Body Alignment

Stretching Improves Flexibility, Provides Foundation for Athletic Success by Dr. Keith J. Cronin | momsTEAM

This article discusses the importance of stretching for an athlete’s flexibility. Some topics include: why an athlete should stretch, how much they should stretch, and finding the right stretching program. There is a particularly helpful section on finding the balance between static stretching and dynamic stretching.

Flexibility Exercises for Young Athletes by Fitday

This is a short list of exercises that increase flexibility and are good for a young athlete to refer to.

10 Balance Exercises That Will Make Every Athlete Better by STACK

This is a list of ten exercises for improving balance. They each include a video demonstration, and written instructions. Many of these exercises utilize the BOSU ball.

Enhancing Sports Performance with Dynamic Balance Training by College Sports Scholarships

This article talks about improving balance in order to improve sports performance. This article gives good information on the importance of balance, how posture is the pinnacle of balance, and many exercises and drills that can improve balance through stabilization and control.

The Importance and Purpose of Flexibility Training by Human Kinetics Excerpts

This article discusses the purpose of flexibility training for athletes. It mentions frequency, intensity, duration, and techniques for flexibility training. This article also goes over the differences of static versus dynamic stretching with examples, advantages, and disadvantages for both.