School’s out, but that doesn’t mean your student athletes should stop training or practicing for the next season. Depending on the sport you coach, your summer may range from regular practices to no practices at all. However, regardless of how often you’re seeing and coaching your athletes, it’s important to set them up for success all summer long.
Some tips for leading your student athletes in the summer:
Help them set goals
It’s easy for summer to pass a student by. Don’t let them get to the beginning of the school year without anything to show for their summer. Help them set goals for themselves, whether it’s mastering a technique, picking up a new hobby, or training a certain amount of time per week.
Check in with them and ensure they don’t lose sight of their goals. If needed, help them reframe their goals throughout the summer in order to make them challenging but achievable.
Resting is just as important as training. While we don’t want our athletes to be lazy over the summer, we also don’t want them overworking themselves. Their muscles and minds require rest to avoid injury or burnout. Give them some tips and help them carve out time to rest and enjoy some time off.
Motivate them to work hard
Summer may mean more rest and more fun for students, but it doesn’t mean the work stops. Motivate them and set a good example so they work hard all summer long. Remind them that this will prevent them from needing to catch up once the season starts again.
Keep them safe as they train in the heat
Use the summer heat to your advantage by challenging your athletes as it can help improve endurance and even cardiovascular health. However, ensure they’re taking proper precautions so they’re not getting overheated or dehydrated.
Encourage other outdoor activities outside of their sport
Summer is the time to be active, to get outside, and to try new things. Encourage your athletes to hike, kayak, swim, bike, or just hang out outside. Use this time to get your team together off the field for some fun outdoor team bonding.
Make it fun
Summer should be fun! Make sure your athletes aren’t feeling too overworked and that they truly enjoy their summer, even with the added commitment of being on a team. Set up some time to hang out as a team outside of practices, give them a few breaks, and advise them on how to make the most of their summer.
The summer can be a great time for your athletes to improve themselves, as long as they’re smart about it. As their coach, make it your priority to guide them to discover how to do this.
But don’t stop there! Are you being just as intentional about your summer as well? Click here for some summer tips for coaches.