Summer “Off-Season?” Best practices for supporting your child’s development this Summer
By the time most of you are reading this article your son or daughter’s spring season will have concluded. So, what is next? Whether your child had their best season ever or found themselves still searching for their ‘best self”, what can families being doing to support their growth and development and prepare them for the next season. Here are some quick tips to help guide these efforts.
- Mental and Physical Rest and Recovery – after a long season and the stress of tryouts, every player deserves a little R&R! Be sure your athlete has a chance to disconnect for a week or two (longer if possible) from the rigors of the sport. This includes high-level competition and formal coaching. It does not mean kids have to be laying on the couch for weeks. See #2
- Engage in Alternative Activities – athletes of all ages benefit from cross-sport performance, doing something that stimulates different muscles, utilizes different movement patterns, and requires different decision making. Swimming, tennis, pickleball, basketball, and biking are all great ways to provide foundation fitness and reduce sport burnout (mental and physical.) Balance activities that can provide aerobic benefits with those that highlight agility and quickness.
- Creative Individual Technical Improvements – the season focus is on the team, the summer focus is on the player. Spend time (3-4x per week, 20-30 minutes per session) working on ball control and manipulation…dribbling, passing, receiving, shooting. Can be done on your own or with some friends. Be creative in how this is accomplished. Here are some suggestions:
- TECHNE – each KHSC player will have access to their account ALL summer. There are great, daily programs for players to follow.
- Soccer Horseshoes – easy activity to work on passing and receiving. Horseshoe-YouTube
- Soccer Marbles – another passing and shooting activity for 2-3 players that can be done anywhere- USYS Soccer Marbles-YouTube
- Total Soccer Show Podcast-10 Best Backyard Soccer Games
- Participate in a CAMP– these can provide a new and unique experience, offering structured training and playing opportunities, as well as potentially providing opportunities to meet new players as well! Kings Hammer offers a variety of camp opportunities throughout the Summer. For details and to register click on the link-Kings Hammer SC Camps
- Watch Soccer–MLS and NWSL seasons continue throughout the summer. In addition, Kings Hammer FC’s USL men’s and women’s will be playing. Whether live or on tv, players should find time to watch 3-5 games this summer. Analyze formations, determine styles (short/long passing, building out short v long, combining centrally or wide, pick the players in your position and take notes on things you can/should do.