Skip to content

3 Mistakes High School Athletes Make In Season

High school athletes typically have some of the most demanding schedules than your non sport teenager.

On top of school, exams, studying, and social life, athletes are subject to hours long practices, games, tournaments, not to mention club team practice if they are playing travel.

Circumstances like this create a mental and physical demand that can often time far exceed the recovery necessary to perform optimally.

The body breaks down. Injuries happen. The pressures from coaches and peers create an emotional strain that can outright wear a teenager down if they are not mentally and physically resilient to sustain the stress.

And this is especially true for in season athletes.

Practices, games, stress, and school take its toll on the body. And while we can never eliminate the total demands placed on high school athletes, there are surefire ways to help mitigate the over stressors that happens as a result of playing.

Here are 3 things that high school athletes tend to do that contribute to an accelerated breakdown:


1.) Hydrate and rehydrate.

One of the most basic things to do has proven to be one of the most difficult habits for amateur athletes to practice: drinking enough water.

What happens is the athlete will drink plenty of water right before, during, and right after practice, but fail to drink the appropriate amount throughout the day, setting themselves up for decreased output.

The result of being just ONE percent dehydrated is poorer mental focus, slower muscle contraction rates, and increased recovery time needed between sessions and or drills.

Solution: Get a water bottle and set a timer to go off every hour that reminds you to drink water.

Simple. Game changer.

2.) Quit Working Out During the Season.

Aside from football, where the weight room and training is so etched into the culture that it has become a staple in every football program, sports in the periphery typically don’t have the dedicated faculty in place to correctly manage “strength and conditioning”.

The result? A heavy emphasis on training during the month-long preseason, but an immediate drop-off once the season begins.

In terms of helping to keep athletes’ field strong and explosive during the season, being intentional about training the muscles to be able to do that is crucial.

When they aren’t training at least 1-2 times per week, the contraction strength and rates decrease, and what this means is a slowly degenerating availability of “ready muscle” to use in games and practices.

Lack of in season training also affects recovery rates as well as increases chances of injury.

Solution: Set aside time even if for just 15 minutes to workout. It does not have to be crazy but keep your body strong so that you can perform the entire season.


3.) Get Enough Sleep

The majority of high school athletes’ biggest challenge is getting to the bed on time. To their credit, but also future detriment, their youth is a little more resilient than it would be doing the same thing at a slightly older age. However, there is still a negative effect on performance.

The reality of it is that athletes in high school have to become better time managers if they are to play consistently at high levels. Procrastination, getting lost too much being social, or on the phone everyday past midnight will directly detract from playing the best you can play.

Sleep is the natural performance enhancing drug for the body. It is here mental, physical, and hormonal recovery happen.

When you cut this part short, then you are not even giving yourself the opportunity to reap the benefits of the positive processes that your body executes during sleep.

The result: NOT the best performance you will have (doesn’t mean you won’t tear it up though, just imagine better)

Solution: Try to get in bed as early as possible and avoid screen time. And also, while the length of sleep is important, the timing is just as crucial. So the earlier the better.


While each of these have been historically difficult for high school athletes, they are actually pretty simple at the same time. It boils down to awareness, time management, and consistent execution.

Remember HOW you do what you do on the field is reflective of the WHAT that you do off of it.