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Trends in Youth Sports

The prospect of playing sports at the collegiate level is very exciting for young athletes. Earning a spot on a university’s roster can come with an enormous sense of pride, financial aid or scholarships, and even the opportunity to play professionally one day. When it comes to getting recruited, however, being a great player isn’t always enough. The athletes with the best chance of being chosen for a college sports team have a strategy for the recruitment process. To help you prepare for the school year, Rocky Top Sports World has put together four tips for getting recruited.

Flexibility is one of the most important qualities for young athletes to develop. When we talk about flexibility, we’re referring to two things: the range of motion for a joint and the ability of muscles surrounding a joint to lengthen during movement. Whether you play football, volleyball, basketball, soccer, or another sport, being flexible is essential for success. To help you make the most of your workout, we have put together a guide to five of the best flexibility exercises for young athletes.

When you’re in search of inspiration before a big game or during halftime, nothing is better than reading a motivational quote from one of your favorite athletes or coaches. Hearing the words of someone who has been in your shoes and persevered can be the perfect way to boost your confidence and energize your spirit. To help you prepare for your next tournament, Rocky Top Sports World has put together four of the best motivational quotes for young athletes.

Travel sports are more popular than ever before! In the past two years, the travel sports industry has grown by 20 percent, and this upward trend doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Playing travel sports can be a big time commitment for young athletes and their families, but the benefits of participation can last a lifetime. Rocky Top Sports World has put together a guide to the top five benefits of playing travel sports.

Legendary quarterback Joe Namath once said, “When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things”. As Namath recognized, feeling confident is a prerequisite for enjoying a game and for having success on the field. When you feel anxious or uncertain in your abilities, this mindset can ruin the experience of playing a sport.

For a youth sports team to be successful, all of its players need to trust and support one another. A team with excellent group chemistry becomes a well oiled machine: flawlessly executing plays and anticipating each other’s moves. When young athletes feel like they are part of something larger than themselves, they play at their full potential and encourage their teammates to do the same.

Although it doesn’t always receive the same attention as arms and legs, the core is one of the most important parts of the body. Regardless of what sport they play, every young athlete needs a strong core to succeed. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, the “core” is just another name for your lower torso, which encompasses the abdominals, obliques, and back muscles. To help you make the most of your workout, Rocky Top Sports World has put together a convenient guide to core training.

If you’re a student athlete, we have some good news for you! While juggling your academic and athletic obligations can be challenging, studies have shown that making the extra effort can pay off in a big way. When compared with students who do not play sports, student athletes consistently have higher GPAs, more positive attitudes about school, and more interest in going to college. In short, being an athlete makes you a better student.

It is no secret that playing sports comes with a variety of important physical and mental benefits. Participating in athletics has been linked with everything from healthy weight maintenance to high self esteem. Although it may get less attention, playing sports has also been correlated with another important trait: making better decisions under pressure. Scientists have found that playing sports can focus the brain in a way that often makes athletes better decision makers than non-athletes. Rocky Top Sports World has put together a brief summary of a fascinating study on this topic.

Rocky Top Sports World is pleased to report that youth sports tourism is on the rise! As detailed in The Monitor, travel related to youth athletics has become a $10 billion a year industry. Having grown by 20 percent in the last two years, youth sports tourism is the fastest growing part of the travel industry. As more kids get involved in travel sports and attend tournaments across the nation, families are increasingly trying to coordinate their vacations with their children’s sporting events.

When you think of iconic American sports, baseball, football, and basketball probably come to mind. However, recent youth sports participation data shows that soccer is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. In 2016, there were roughly 3 million kids playing in youth soccer leagues. That’s over a million more kids than baseball and double the amount of kids who play tackle football!

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