fit steps up to bat with baseball! The National Youth Sports Health and Safety Institute (NYSHSI) and Sanford fit have joined together to promote the importance of making healthy choices as well as proper body mechanics for young athletes. Follow along with our fitSports video series for coaches and parents which provide wellness tips and interactive drills for skill development and motivation!

How many times have you watched your young athlete and thought “How are they still going?” or “Will they ever get tired?” Often, it can seem as though children have an endless supply of energy! Although it is great for young athletes to stay active, as their coaches and caregivers, you can help them balance activity with rest and recovery. Recharging the body and brain provides health benefits and can help in avoiding both injury and burnout. 

fit recently sat down with Dusty Coleman, a former Major League Baseball Player and 12-year professional, to learn more about how he makes recovery a priority.

With long seasons and back-to-back games, how do you maintain your motivation and positive mindset throughout a jam-packed schedule?
Staying positive throughout the course of a long baseball season is difficult. Especially with baseball already being a game of learning to overcome challenges.  For me it was about sticking to my routine of sleep and early baseball workouts. The day to day performance will vary but routines helped me to feel more confident each day. Practicing positive self-talk was important to me as well.

fit defines recharge as “to sleep or relax to get energy”. In what ways do you relax during the season to preserve and boost your energy? 
Recharge to me was making sure I made sleep a priority. Getting to bed as soon as possible after games and not over sleeping in the morning. I would also do some meditation, focusing on my breathing to help stay in the moment and relax.

Mental and physical fatigue can quickly set in and greatly affect the body and brain. What signs do you look for to know you’re needing to recharge?
Signs of fatigue mentally and physically can include stiff muscles or a sore neck and back. When that happened I would use: foam rollers, lacrosse balls, and stay consistent with my pre-workout/game-warmups and post-workout stretching

Competition often leads to some stress. What strategies have you learned to cope with sports-induced stress?
For me as a man of faith, making sure I prayed and read my Bible was a priority. This practice helped me to realize my self-worth didn’t rely solely on my performance. Spending time with my family and friends also helped me to keep my stress levels down.

What tips would you provide coaches and caregivers who strive to instill healthy recovery strategies in young athletes? 
For coaches, I think it is crucial to stress the importance of taking the time to do proper warm-ups. Teach them about how sleep and rest can impact their recovery and ability to perform more consistently. Nutrition should be addressed as well. Our bodies are like our vehicles. They need proper fuel, and if you want to perform like a sport car you should probably use premium fuel!

Looking for ways you can educate young athletes about recharging? Check out The Art of Recharging, then use the Recharge Your Energy printable to brainstorm and plan relaxation.  

In this edition of the Sanford fitSports video, we’ll see how adequate recovery, proper mechanics, and body movements are influential when catching in baseball. Think fit, be fit!
For additional information concerning Power Academies please visit Sanford SPORTS.