Ask The Coach Guidance for those lost in sports

January 29, 2001

Dear Coach: My daughter is a high school freshman and she plays
basketball, soccer and runs cross-country. She's having a good
time but often gets tired because she's so active. Is she
overloaded on sports?
TRIPLE THREAT

Dear Triple: You don't need to intervene yet. Keep an eye out
for indicators that she's burning out. "Reluctance to go to
practice, compromising of schoolwork, a lack of enthusiasm could
all be warning signs," says Deborah Wuest, a health science
professor at Ithaca (N.Y.) College. Also, explain the upside of
cutting back--specializing in one sport often means a higher
level of performance--but make it her call. "A kid with guidance
can look at the demands on her time and make an appropriate
choice," says Wuest.

Dear Coach: I'm a male track coach at an all-girls' high school.
Is it appropriate for me to tell an athlete she needs to lose
weight?
HEAVY THINKER

Dear Heavy: No, not even if you're Richard Simmons. "The idea
that there's a relationship between an athlete's weight and her
performance is not true," says Gloria Balague, a consulting
sports psychologist for the U.S. track and gymnastics teams.
"Adolescent girls are vulnerable to eating disorders. Words like
'lose weight' have a high impact, especially on athletes." Don't
focus on weight alone; stress that performance depends on
physical development through exercise, practice and proper
nutrition. "That'll give her control over a range of factors
affecting her success and not single out her weight," says
Balague.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)