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Parents Corner - December Newsletter 

Welcome to our December Newsletter. 
We have scanned the net to find topics we believe will help parents raising young athletes. No parent is perfect, however, here are some topics that might help you on you way to perfection.

Breakfast Ideas to Try
How are Children different from Adults?

Enjoy your reading and don’t forget if you have a topic you would like covered e-mail it to jason@readyrugby.com.au

Breakfast Ideas to Try

The morning meal doesn't have to be all about traditional breakfast items. You can mix it up to include different foods, even the leftovers from last night's dinner, and still provide the nutrients and energy kids need for the day.

Try to serve a balanced breakfast that includes some carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. Carbohydrates are a good source of immediate energy for the body. Energy from protein tends to kick in after the carbs are used up. Fiber helps provide a feeling of fullness and, therefore, discourages overeating. And when combined with adequate liquid consumption, fiber helps move food through the digestive system, preventing constipation and lowering cholesterol.

Good sources of these nutrients include:

* carbohydrates: whole-grain cereals, brown rice, whole-grain breads and muffins, fruits, vegetables
    * protein: low-fat or nonfat dairy products, lean meats, eggs, nuts (including nut butters), seeds, and cooked dried beans
    * fiber: whole-grain breads, waffles, and cereals; brown rice, bran, and other grains; fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts

Here are some ideas for healthy breakfasts to try:

  * whole-grain cereal topped with fruit and a cup of yogurt
    * whole-grain waffles topped with peanut butter, fruit, or ricotta cheese
    * whole-wheat pita stuffed with sliced hard-cooked eggs
    * hot cereal topped with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, or cloves
    * peanut butter on a bagel with fresh fruit (banana or apple wedges) and low-fat milk
    * breakfast smoothie (milk, fruit, and teaspoon of bran, whirled in a blender)
    * vegetable omelet with a bran muffin and orange juice
    * bran muffin and yogurt with berries
    * hummus on whole-wheat toast and milk
    * lean turkey on a toasted English muffin and vegetable juice
    * heated leftover rice with chopped apples, nuts, and cinnamon, plus fruit juice
    * cream cheese and fresh fruit, such as sliced strawberries, on a bread or a bagel
    * shredded cheese on a whole-wheat tortilla, folded in half and microwaved for 20 seconds and topped with salsa

And don't forget how important your good example is. Let your child see you making time to enjoy breakfast every day. Even if you just wash down some whole-wheat toast and a banana with a glass of juice or milk, you're showing how important it is to face the day only after refueling your brain and body with a healthy morning meal.

To read more go to www.kidshealth.org


How are Children different from Adults?

Children are physically developing from early childhood to late adolescence. This means they have different capabilities for exercise and exercise affects them in different ways. For this reason training programs for Children should not be just scaled down versions of adult training programs. There are many ways in which Children differ from Adults:

* Technical

- Children have limited co-ordination, agility and balance (See ABC/Have-a-Ball for ways to develop these skills)

* Tactical

- Children have poor positional awareness (we have all seen Children playing where all players follow the ball ‚ beehive football‚)

* Team Play

  - Children play for themselves
  - Children have limited communication skills

 * Physical

 - Limited strength
 - Endurance ‚ children have lots of energy but need frequent breaks
 - Speed ‚ their speed tends to be reactive. There is a window of opportunity to develop speed amongst Children
 - Poor response to heat and cold  

* Psychological

- Children can lack confidence
- Children can be emotionally immature ‚ moody/lose self control
- Children can be very choosy about friends and who they play with
- Children tend to lose concentration quickly or be easily led by others
- Children's decision making ability is poor and slow

- Children may not know how to react to the different personalities they might face in a group
- Children will try to emulate what they see from sports stars

All Children are Individuals ‚ the rate at which they develop in each of these areas will be different

Emphasis should be put on the child's own progress, and not on comparing their achievements with those of others. This means that where possible individual instruction and challenges should be provided and a broad range of activities should be planned and presented.

Activities should develop to be of an increasingly complex nature and be challenging but 'doable'. Where possible children of approximately the same skill levels should be grouped together for coaching. Also take care to note which children work well together, as disruptive children can make organising a coaching session very difficult.

To read more go to Games Development