This summer, amidst all of the chaos of COVID-19, we were unable to start with a contract we were looking forward to with a group in Calgary called SDR Academy. They are a brand new facility that had planned to open around the same time most of us were laid off or sent home to work. All of a sudden, we were changing the plans for our in-person coaching delivery that we had been prepping for, and brainstorming ways to reach out and train the kids via distance.
Thanks to programs like WebEx, Zoom, Skype, and Google Meets, this transition to online training was very smooth, and made high level coaching accessible to many more kids immediately. Parents no longer needed the time to drive their kids to and from training, they just needed a computer to stream our coaching live to their kids. It has worked SO well! In the original 12-week plan for our online training, we had the calendar set up like this:
As you can see, on Week 5 and Week 11 we decided to dedicate one session to learning some of the good habits of sleep, nutrition, and recovery.
This was our first habits session, and the kids loved answering these questions and learning about how to become better hockey players. We divided the session's questions into the categories A) Sleep, B) Nutrition, C) Physical Activity.
1. Which colour of light stimulates the most awake-fullness?
2. Which colour of light stimulates the most sleepiness?
3. How much sleep does a 7-12 year old need?
4. Which statement is true about sleep for athletes?
Muscles grow at night
Sleep breaks down muscle tissue at night
Resting makes you slower
5. What is something that you could eat or drink that could make your sleep worse?
Bowl of oatmeal
Additional questions to ask: How many hours of sleep do you typically get? Do you feel rested when you wake up? Could you use more sleep?
6. How many portions of fruits and veggies do kids age 7-12 need? (1 serving = 1 banana or 1 small salad)
7. Why is breakfast essential? Allow them to answer on their own.
Answer: because it has the materials you need to build/grow the "house" and if it is super nutrient rich, it also has the $ to pay the workers. Analogy: Every construction project needs 3 ingredients: Blueprints (genetics), Materials (Fats, Carbs, Protein), $ to pay the workers (Energy to make the most ATP possible, AKA Vitamins and Minerals).
8. How often should you have protein per day for a 7-12 year old? (1 serving = 1 small chicken breast)
9. What is considered a healthy fat?
Fats from pastries: oil/butter
Fats from plants: Sunflower oil
Fats from animals: butter/fat on a steak
10. Does sugar contain any minerals and vitamins?
11. Does fruit juice contain any minerals or vitamins?
12. What is the main benefits of carbohydrates/sugars for hockey?
FAST energy for physical activity
SLOW energy for physical activity
NO benefits for physical activity
13. List an example of a healthy carbohydrate.
Answer: Examples like rice, whole wheat bread, yams, potatoes, whole wheat pasta.
Feel free to share this with your young athletes and engage them between each question, adding context to the questions and answers and facilitating their curious minds! The kids we work with seem to love these sessions because they get to ask other related questions on their minds too. And, search our site for our upload of our second Habits quiz!