Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Pick up the Pace: How to Keep up with Your Teen Athlete

Your teen athlete likely has a schedule that doesn’t allow for mistakes. In addition to getting to practice and hitting their workout goals, they will need help in managing their gear, eating right, and getting enough water. These demands, as well as keeping up with homework and other school responsibilities, will need to be managed and monitored.


To make sure that your teen athlete has the energy they need for hard practices, dance line performances and game nights, consider adding a food pouch to their game bag. Your teen will need whole grain carbs for energy. Granola, nuts, and fruit can be stored safely in duffels or competition dance bags.


Every athlete needs consistent access to water during workouts. If your teen is working out in hot weather, make sure they know the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Consider laminating a list of the warning signs and storing it in their workout bag. Working out in extreme heat must be monitored, particularly in humid conditions as sweating doesn’t effectively cool the body when the humidity is high. Kids don’t often notice they’re over-heated until their body is under a lot of stress, so keep an eye on the temperature and the time your teen is working out so you can monitor their condition.


Workout bags can smell. Sweaty clothes and warm, moist shoes can combine to create a musty stink that can be hard to clean out of a workout bag. To keep their bag smelling fresh, try these tips:

  • Stash dryer sheets inside the bag to deodorize.
  • Send disinfecting wipes with your teen so they can wipe out the bag when it’s emptied.
  • While washing workout gear, let the bag air out.
  • Drop teabags inside sneakers before packing them to absorb odors.


Teens are under a great deal of pressure to perform. Encourage them to include a notebook in their workout bag so they can write down ideas, workout suggestions, or any other ideas that bubble to the surface as they workout. Journaling is a healthy method of self-expression. If your teen is under a lot of pressure to perform well, this outlet can help them manage their stress.

First Aid Kit

Anybody can take a tumble and have to deal with a scrape or bump. Any time your teen athlete has a skin break, it should be cleaned up and bandaged. If the coach doesn’t catch it, make sure to provide your teen with a way to clean up and cover the injury.

Sports are a great way for kids to socialize, build strength and increase their confidence. You can’t always be with them, but you can help them by keeping their gear bag loaded with things they need to stay healthy and hydrated.

Tim Esterdahl

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