Little competitive athletes train up to 20 hours a week to achieve their goal. In order to achieve this, in addition to a high level of motivation, a lot of self-discipline and good organization are necessary. At school, people listen attentively and work hard to save time at home. The weekend is also tightly planned, with long distances being covered for away competitions and games. Family and friends are often neglected in this tight schedule.
INFLUENCE ON THE CHILD’S HEALTH
The intensive training in childhood has an impact on the body of competitive athletes: In competitive sports, joints and tendons are heavily stressed. Since the children are still in the growth phase, it is important that sufficient breaks are planned in between to relax. Diet also plays an important role, as some sports involve paying attention to weight. Parents must make sure that their child eats enough and has a balanced diet. High-performance sport also has an impact on the growth process of children: The growth phase occurs between one and two years later in children who participate in competitive sport. The course of puberty is also often delayed by a relative lack of estrogen. This leads to a lower bone density in the children, thereby increasing the risk of fractures and other injuries. In order to keep the potential for injuries and damage to children during sport as low as possible, a lot has been done in recent years to protect children. For example, the age limit for participation in international competitions has been raised, and trainers are also better trained. You will receive more extensive training and more training. In addition, more emphasis is placed on interdisciplinary support from the various sports doctors, physiotherapists, nutritionists and, of course, the trainers. In order to be able to contain risks in good time, regular examinations of weight and growth as well as assessments of potential overtraining must take place, in order to be able to react immediately to possible negative developments. In order to keep the strain on the body and injuries during sport as low as possible, it is important that the training is designed according to age and the training plan is individually adapted to the children. The right protective equipment is also essential in some sports in order to avoid negative long-term effects. If this is observed, nothing stands in the way of the positive development in the areas of endurance, strength, coordination, speed and flexibility through high-performance sport. The reduction of the fat percentage, the increase in muscle mass and the improvement of the heart and lung function are also positive effects on the body. Since the coordinative properties are also improved, the frequency of accidents is reduced.
INFLUENCE ON THE CHILD’S PSYCHE
Great nervousness and excitement, expectations of the spectators and teammates as well as high performance demands of the coach – before a game or a competition the children are under enormous pressure. This affects the psyche of young competitive athletes. It is therefore important that they can count on the support of their parents and other family members. If things don’t go as desired in training or competitions, or if the pressure of competition becomes too great, it is important that you get support from them. Of course, the parents can motivate or remind them to practice, but they should take care not to put too much pressure on. The most important thing is that the children and young people keep enjoying their sport. You should be happy to go into training on your own and not just because the ambitious parents want to fulfill a dream for themselves. Parents should also always make sure that the children do not neglect school so that they definitely have a plan B for the future.
Competitive sport can have a positive effect on the psyche of children and adolescents: They develop better and learn to act responsibly at a young age. At a sports boarding school, children learn at an early age to be independent and to organize their everyday lives. In addition, success contributes to the athletes’ high self-esteem. In addition, the athlete’s positive role in society has an impact on children’s self-confidence and psyche. Adequate social behavior is also promoted by competitive sport: the athletes learn social skills – such as being able to work in a team or coping with defeats – from which they benefit outside of sport.