NFL Publishes Resource Guide for Parents

The NFL has compiled a resource guide for parents through its playfootball.nfl.com website.

Resources for Parents

Parents play such an important role in setting kids up for success on and off the football field. From best practices on nutrition and staying hydrated, to tips to working with coaches, learn how to help your kids get the most out of their playing experience.

Building Kids Up
Instilling Confidence
Confidence and opportunity are two of the most important things that parents and coaches can give players. For some players, things come easy, and their personalities may exude confidence. Others struggle to believe in themselves or to give their best effort.

Confidence is something you can instill and improve by exhibiting great energy, providing positive feedback and showing your child you know how hard they are working.

As your child leaves for a game, choose what you say wisely – they will carry your words with them onto the field. Here are phrases that can help instill confidence:

Inspiring Mental Toughness
Athletes can practice and prepare to get their bodies in the best shape for a game, but getting prepared mentally is different. Fear of failure is real and affects how athletes of all ages perform.

Here are seven ways to help build mental toughness in your child:

What To Look For in a Coach
Your role as a parent is to support, encourage, volunteer, and guide your child through the ups and downs of being an athlete. While it’s the coach’s job to instruct, you must become comfortable with the process and be aware of what your child is doing.

Here are some questions to ask your child’s coach:

Equipment Checklist
Getting the right equipment can help set your kid up for success during practice and on gameday. Here are quick equipment checklists for all levels of youth football.

Hydration
Staying hydrated before, during and after play is key for a healthy child. Help make it a habit. Explore this section to learn the symptoms of dehydration and discover best practices for when and how to properly hydrate.

How to Beat the Heat
Kids take longer to cool down during activity than adults. That’s why hydration is important.

It’s not just about how your child hydrates during a game — hydrating before and after play is just as key. To properly hydrate, have your child drink 16–24 ounces of water before activity, then have them consume an electrolyte-packed sports drink or water every 15–20 minutes throughout play. A post-activity snack of chocolate milk can help replenish lost nutrients.

Symptoms of dehydration include feeling faint, intense thirst, headaches, nausea, and breathing faster and deeper than normal.

Symptoms of Dehydration and How to Treat Them

How to Stay Hydrated

Nutrition
Eating right is just as important to being successful on the field as practicing plays and running routes. Check out these quick, simple nutrition tips to help keep your kids healthy, energized and to set them up for success.

Fuel Up for Gameday
Help get your child ready for gameday with these simple nutrition tips:

Foods to Avoid
Eating right is key to a healthy child. These are a few types of food to leave on the sideline.

FATTY AND FRIED FOODS
Greasy foods, like hamburgers and french fries, are difficult to digest and will sit in your child’s stomach during play.

PROTEIN SHAKES AND BARS
While protein plays an important role in your child’s overall diet, they should not consume a large quantity right before a game.

ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
These will stress your child’s digestion and could lead to an upset stomach during a game.

Snacks on the Sideline
Keep a few snacks on the sideline for halftime and breaks in the play. Here are a few easy options to help kids refuel:

Bananas
Dried fruit
Fig bars
Fruit rope
Granola bars

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]