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Parenting & Sport Lockdown Blog Edition 5 (April)

Parenting & Sport at Home: Edition 5 
I'm starting to get fed up that there is no sport on the TV!!


Hi everyone and welcome to Edition 5 of the Parenting & Sport at Home Blog. I Hope everyone is well and keeping their spirits up by finding things to occupy the time. I am managing to keep to the basic routines and am hoping that it won't be many more weeks that we have to stay this way - but the reality is we still don't know. 

One thing that has become very frustrating for me is the TV on offer. Aside from box sets and a few movies I haven't really found much to interest me. From a sports perspective, I really feel that Sky Sports haven't covered themselves in glory during the lockdown. I have enjoyed the Ryder Cup re-runs, and a few old premier league games as well, but I am now watching matches or events from the 1990's and its getting a bit tiresome and boring to be honest. I understand that their hands are tied but where are the other channels when it comes to chipping in for some backdated sports programming? I'd love to see some old tennis matches on like Navratilova vs Graff at Wimbledon, or perhaps a couple of World Cup matches - actually why not replay an entire World Cup and we can watch it all unfurl in front of us. I could teach Freddie who Zico or Socrates was if they show 1970's Brazil - now that would be a good watch!!

All of this craving for sport makes me realise how much I miss live sport but also how important it is for our lives in general. Of course, if you work in sport then it goes without saying, but the fact is that this virus is going to rob us of future memories, events that are easy to remember where we were when they happened. I can still remember where I was in 1985 when Becker beat Kevin Curran in the Men's Singles final (neighbours BBQ for the record)! These events defined a lot of my teenage sporting years and beyond, and it is so sad to think we won't have that chance this summer to see sporting drama unfold once again. We will be robbed of Wimbledon, the Open, the Euros and the Olympics this year - how can we get over missing that lot? Oh dear. 

Whatever frustrations you are going through in week 5 of lockdown, I hope its nothing more serious than my moaning about the lack of sport on TV. Stay safe this week and hopefully you manage to keep the kids entertained. There are a few ideas in this week's edition of Parenting & Sport, plus Ive now got a weekly tennis lesson planned on Facebook Live after last week seemed to go quite well.

Hope you see you (virtually) there!

Steve
 
Parenting & Sport - Dealing with Injuries at Home 

This week I got to the end of my 4 week training block to run 5K in my best possible time. Those of you that checked out some original social media posts or read through the Parenting & Sport blog over the last couple of weeks, will know how powerful and important I think goal setting is for our sporty kids (and parents of course!)

My experience was really positive although it ended in disaster! My virtual race on Saturday which was the highlight date in my goal setting diary, ended up with a pulled muscle and a very slow stumble to the finish line. Never mind, I know that I have really improved in 4 weeks of training and feel much better for having trained this way. I will have a good crack at it again when my calf muscle will allow it. 

My injury made me think that this would be a good inclusion into the Parenting & Sport blog with a few comments about this common problem coming up for all of us at some point or another. Dealing with injuries for young athletes is one of the hardest things to do and knowing what to do when it occurs as a parent, is also very much a learning curve for us all. 

1. Diagnosing the issue - I am not a doctor or physio but one thing that always occurs to me when people get injured (adults or juniors) is that they don't know really what they've done or how to deal with it properly. The idea that it will go away quite quickly or they can manage it is always the most common reaction to our injuries. Its only when it gets really serious that we start to take notice, but often its the small injuries that evolve into bigger issues that hurt us most. My advice here for young athletes is to get them used to telling you what their body feels like if they have a knock, strain or slight pain somewhere. It's good to know the differences. 

If injuries persist of if something re-occurs, then its a good idea to book an appointment with a physio or someone similar to check it out. Firstly, that brings home the idea that its good practice to speak to an expert. Second, it means the recovery time could be quicker anyway. I think its a really good idea to get young players used to seeking advice from professionals and understanding how their body works and what it needs. These habits will help in the future for sure. 

2. Check basic things like posture regularly - a lot of injuries are caused by how we manage our bodies in our daily lives rather than anything to do with the exercise we have just attempted. Many complaints and injuries in our adult lives are caused by overlooking simple things such as posture and flexibility when we are teenagers or young adults. Its almost as if we accept the niggles as part of the banter in the changing rooms rather than adopt better practices to overcome them. We can change this mentality in our children though. By educating them in their teenage years as to what their body needs in order to PREVENT injury, we can help them avoid many problems further down the line. One simple way to do this is to ask your physio (when you are having your child checked up) to check your child's posture. Some simple exercises to work on this on a weekly basis (as well as some daily stretching or yoga) will also pay huge dividends and avoid things like tight muscles as our child's bodies grow through their teenage years. 

3. Learn Basic Re-Hab Techniques - Getting some treatment at home early on in with an injury is a really good idea. Most parents know that ice and elevation is a great way to treat muscular injuries when they happen but I am amazed that it only happens once and then is forgotten about. It needs to be a daily occurrence 3-4 times a day if possible. If your kids are old (and brave) enough, they can have a try at sitting in a few inches of cold water (or iced water if they are brave/old enough) - the temperature will be really good at creating blood flow to help repair injured muscles. Just remember to keep the amount of time icing or applying cold temperatures to small amounts of time. Massage is also a really great thing to introduce to young players who are starting to worry about or incur injuries. Its quite easy to massage your own legs and calves for example for 10 minutes - again to get the blood flowing to help repair damage or to loosen tightness after harder sessions. Parents can help with this too - I've known tennis parents become taxi, coach, and masseur on tour in many cases!

4. Rest - Given our current circumstances, everyone might be seeing the benefits of rest right now! The truth is that everyone (adults included) want a bit more time doing their favourite things such as playing football, tennis or golf. Often we know we should rest up and leave it for a few days or weeks but the sports junky mode kicks in and we go back for more. Rest is one of the most important things that we need to do - especially in the afore mentioned teenage growing years. Kids have a lot of school work pressures on top of their sports commitments so its not just the body that needs a rest. Its so important to switch off and give the mind some time away from a certain environment especially as it becomes more competitive and serious. 

5. Change of Focus - One positive thing that I think the lockdown has given us, is the chance to step away from our chosen sports and reflect on what else we need to work on. This is a great time to get used to working on postural or flexibility work at home while we can. Normally, we never seem to have enough time for this and even if we do, it is always over shadowed by the more exciting hitting skills or games we play. As a result we tend to spend more time stressing our body out rather than giving it a chance to relax or fall back into place - if we even know what the right place is! 

I hope you can all get a chance to have a go at some postural work, relaxation exercises or massage techniques during this time we have been given at home. It does take a bit of daily commitment to get used to it, but once you get past the early stages of trying it does get a little easier. Just don't give up on it and you will see the benefits when you eventually do get to step on court or the pitch in the near future. 
 
Live Love Sport Online on Facebook Live 
After last week's initial launch classes, I have decided to run the Facebook Live classes every Thursday at 4pm for the remainder of the lock down and maybe beyond. Hopefully some of you managed to join in even if you didn't get a chance to say hi or comment. 

If you missed the class or couldn't do it indoors then don't worry, you can always try the class at a more convenient time as its uploaded in my Facebook Videos pages. 

This week's class is INDOORS anyway so it might be a little easier for younger players to have a go. We will be discussing the ball toss and how to practice it whilst you are stuck at home. Its the perfect thing to practice as its not too dangerous and very rarely gets the attention it needs. Hopefully you can make it! Its supposed to be raining Thursday as well so it might make it easier to join in!

Plus, Joe Wicks takes the weekend off so I thought I would sub in for this Saturday if you need something to keep you and the kids active. I'm running a class this SATURDAY 2nd MAY at 10am and thinking of making it a HIIT Tennis Class or Cardio Tennis session!!! 

Anyone up some fun and a good workout?...Click here to set your reminder.
 
Send me your videos guys!
If you are watching the FB Live sessions or are working hard on your skills at home, I would love to see them. I'll also see if I can a make a montage of everything that you guys have been up to so send me videos to steve@livelovesport.com  I'll make sure there is a prize for the best video or challenge that I see. 
 
Running out of ideas? Plan something to look forward to or take on a challenge while you are stuck at home.

Captain Tom has taken the lead and now we are all following in his amazing footsteps with challenges to help raise money for the NHS or in the case of the 2.6 challenge - a whole host of charities that need our support after many charities missed funding due to the cancellation of the London Marathon. 

For tennis lovers, the 26 rally challenge is a really good one to try. Ive seen people doing it with saucepans, cheese boards and anything else lying around - as well as tennis rackets of course. Check the LTA's link for other ideas of how to get involved in this great initiative.

Plan something to look forward to as well...

I don't think anyone really knows how we are going to be able to operate when things finally do get back to normal but I think its a great idea to have some plans in place anyway I guess. It seems to help to make some time pass and have something in the diary for later in the year. Fishing trips, holidays, competitions to enter are all under review in our house - what about yours? 

Personally, I am most excited about a project that combines raising money for charity and my love for going horse racing at the same time. In January I met up with horse racing trainer Richard Phillips and the head of Prostate Cancer UK to agree to train and run a horse in 2020 to help raise awareness and funds for the charity this year. As a result, the "Race Against Prostate Cancer" syndicate was founded centred around owning and racing a horse called Roundhead throughout the 2020 season. 

The idea of owning and racing a horse was really appealing for me and has definitely been my something to look forward to - I can't wait to see him on the gallops up close and then are some of Britain's best race tracks whenever we are allowed to go racing again. But its also a mission to help a great charity and one which both my father and father in law have been affected by. 
 
The gorgeous Roundhead enjoying the Spring grass at Richard Phillips stables in the Cotswolds. Would you like to be an owner too?

If you are interested in joining the Race Against Prostate Cancer syndicate then we have some places still up for grabs. It could be a great thing to look forward to for the whole family - click here for more details 
 
And finally...My Live Love Sport Classic Moment of the Week

I was jogging around Bushy park not long ago and saw this guy running at a pretty good speed. He looked a bit like Mo Farah so I thought I would take a short cut to see if I could catch him up. He went around the outside of the park and I went directly across the center at a pretty good speed - and I still shouldn't catch him up!

Ive been running a lot in Bushy Park during lockdown and it always makes me think of catching Mo up when I need a push! I hope you enjoy watching this video of him in his prime - it easy to see why I couldn't catch him up! It brings back so many good memories of a glorious summer 8 years ago when live sport had us all on the edge of our seats. 
 
 
 
Please comment on any aspect of the Parenting & Sport blog by emailing steve@livelovesport.com or why not recommend a friend to sign up to the LLS community and receive the blog for themselves. If you have any questions or things that you would like information on, please email these in too and I will include Q&As in future editions.

Thanks for reading and stay safe!
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