Diane Scavuzzo: Do you believe that rest is important? Why? What do you mean by rest?
VJ Stanley: Rest is crucial to an athlete’s development. Here is how important rest is: the United States Olympic Committee has changed the configuration of their dorm rooms. They have changed the curtains to a much darker color, they have changed the music that is played and they have changed the mattresses to pillow tops mattresses. Their findings show data that say when their athletes sleep more than eight hours their bodies release a natural form of HGH and that they have data to support increased performance. They actually have their athletes comparing sleep data and corresponding performance.
One of the new terms floating around is active rest. We simply say, go play something else – not your chosen sport – for fun. Get together with friends and play pickup games. PLAY FOR FUN!
I ask you, don’t you perform better at work, and don’t you get along better with your co-workers after a good night’s rest?
Diane Scavuzzo: Do you believe that kids should only play one sport? Do youth soccer players have to be that dedicated to playing youth soccer?
VJ Stanley: I do not believe that children should play one sport. Data have shown that children that play one sport year round are more likely to have injuries, burn out and not continue to play their sport at the Division I level.
Balance is so important to the human body and brain that they have an Olympic event named after it: the Balance Beam. We call it Balanced Excellence at Frozen Shorts and stress it in our book and presentations.
An expression “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” applies to sports as well as life. More and more college coaches are looking to recruit athletes that play more than one sport because they are easier to coach. These athletes do not have a false sense of their ability and understand being a great teammate is as important as talent.
DATA TIME For the race that doesnt exist
Seventy percent of all children playing youth sports at the age of 10, which is the #1 age for participation in the country, quit by the time they are 13. People like to say they have other interests, but the data say there are three main reasons:
1. They are not having fun
2. Too much pressure from coaches and parents to win
3. Lack of playing time.
Now, you couple this data with the facts that only about 1% of all children that go to a four-year school play at the Division I level and that the average Division I scholarship, excluding Football and Basketball, is $8,700 a year, and you have a cauldron brewing where irrational thought and behavior will eventually boil over to justify the commitment to winning. The data do not support the time, money, and end-of-the-rainbow wishful thinking results.