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Kids & Family

(NAPS)—Increasingly, young athletes who want to take their game to the next level have to find additional training opportunities to supplement their school or town program.

While the process of evaluating or designing an off-season training program can be challenging for a parent, it doesn't have to be that way. To help, here are some tips:

Athletes

A private coach can create a customized, sport-specific training program for your athlete during the off-season.

• Start by signing your child up for a camp or clinic. Camps provide athletes with an introduction to group training and can be a great way for kids to get used to playing against local or out-of-town competition. In a typical camp, kids will practice with their peers and get exposed to different coaching styles. While the length of camps vary, they usually only last a few days.

It is important to remember, however, that camps can get pricey and athletes need rest. Avoid scheduling a summer full of back-to-back camps to prevent athlete burnout.

• Stay active and healthy throughout the off-season. Parents can help their athletes by making exercise—and the right diet—key parts of an off-season routine. Even parents without a sports background can contribute to their child's success. Timing athletes, counting reps, completing drills and taking children on bike rides, trail runs or to a local swimming pool are easy ways to provide support.

• Seek the help of a private coach or trainer. A private coach can create a customized, sport-specific training program for your athlete during the off-season. In addition, many private coaches can provide guidance in skill development, but they can also help your athlete when it comes to film study, competition strategy, flexibility and agility work, and weight-training regimens.

While locating the right coach for a student athlete can be challenging, there is a resource that can help. A site called CoachUp.com connects athletes with private sports coaches across the country for one-on-one and small-group coaching sessions.

One-on-one coaching is a wise investment for any parent. In fact, the cost of private coaching has become comparable to that of camps and can even cost less.

Beyond sports-specific skill coaching, a private coach can also serve as a personal mentor and be a resource for athletes with injury concerns or expose them to a new sport they lack experience in.

To learn more about finding a coach for your student athlete and constructing an off-season program, visit www.CoachUp.com.

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