With the school year starting keep a balance in mind

Sept. 14, 2010, 12 a.m. (ET)

Balance is critical to a youth athlete’s success. And we don’t mean just the kind of balance that keeps you upright during competition!

We mean balance between sports, school, family, friends and other activities. Fortunately, balance away from sports actually will improve balance (and other aspects of performance) during competition.

Why? Because a well-rounded life away from sports frees a youth athlete’s mind when it is time to perform. Which scenario do you think leads to better performance?

  • An athlete arrives at a competition physically tired from training, mentally distracted by loose ends in other areas of his/her life and emotionally drained from a singular focus on sport.
  • An athlete hits the field well-rested, mentally comfortable that other aspects of life are in order, and emotionally committed to the moment of competition, already gratified and enriched from interests outside of sports.

We think Responsible Coaches and Sports Parents would agree that the second scenario leads to greater success. But these scenarios only consider how life-balance affects an athlete’s competitive ability, and Responsible Coaches and Sports Parents understand there is more at stake for youth athletes than just competitive results.

See how you can help create a balance >>

In an effort to benefit millions of youth athletes, parents and coaches, this article is among a series created exclusively for partners in the Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports ProgramTM (ResponsibleSports.com) powered by Positive Coaching Alliance (http://www.positivecoach.org).