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6 Keys for Improving the Health and Performance of Youth in School Sports


Coaches, teachers, parents and healthcare providers play a critical role in in the development of active and healthy lifestyles of teens.  These lifestyles, in turn, enhance youth performance and success in sports, school, career and life. 


What are the building blocks of an active, healthy and high-performance youth lifestyle?  They consist of key behaviors that need to be increased, some that must be avoided, and effective communication strategies adults should use to help youth achieve positive growth in their lives. 


The key behaviors that need to be increased for youth to live a fit, healthy and successful life are: 1) participating in regular physical activity and sports, 2) eating healthy foods, 3) getting adequate sleep, and 4) controlling stress.


It is not enough, however, to just increase these four health, fitness and performance-enhancing habits.  Teens also need to avoid risky behaviors that sabotage their wellness and fitness goals, especially harmful substance use including alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other illicit drug consumption.


The good news is there are proven, effective communication strategies coaches, teachers, parents and health professionals can use to motivate and empower teens to live highly active, productive, healthy, and happy lives. 


Below I’ll discuss the 6 keys for improving the health and performance of youth who do (and those who don’t) participate in school sports.


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