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Back to School Sports: helping your student-athlete succeed

Student athletes always feel the pressure to 'perform'. That pressure can be magnified during the pandemic. Parents, here's how you can help.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — These tips can come in handy, even as some students continue to play sports with the added stress of the pandemic.


In August 2019, we met up with Michael Stevenson, the Program Director of Huntsville Hospital Sports Center and a certified athletic trainer. He told us everything parents need to know to help their student-athletes get ready for an upcoming athletic season.

Stevenson says, “Our athletic trainers are there to communicate with the coaches and parents and make sure [students] are healthy and that they’re not doing something unsafe.” 

He says that although parents want to push their kids to do their best, it’s important to notify coaches or athletic staff if anything could be wrong with their child. “The number one thing is communication. If you see something at home that we don’t see, send a text or phone call. Let someone know. It might not be an issue that requires them to be pulled out of practice or games. It’s just something we can keep an eye on,” Stevenson says.

He reminds us that health issues come in a wide variety and that it’s important to take them all seriously. Stevenson says, “Anything from an orthopedic injury to even a preexisting condition like having asthma or taking anxiety medication. They need to talk to their coaching staff, athletic trainers, and school nurses.”

Updated physicals are also required each year by each school’s athletic programs.

Stevenson says the most important thing for student athletes to remember is to “just have a good time. Have fun! Athletics is supposed to be fun. Make sure you’re enjoying it.”

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