Follow us

Sports Parents

The Woodlands, Texas, April 4, 2023

María Inés Flores
Olympic gymnast

Certified nutritional coach
Certified in peer-to-peer mental health

Letter to the sports parent
NUTRITION & MINDSET: Your Teenager’s Program


          Your student-athlete has started his/her Nutrition and Mindset program- that is awesome! Many young athletes are still hesitant to learn about nutrition or not open to working on their mindset, so the fact that your child was excited to start this journey is really great news.

          Now, let’s give You, the caring parent, important tips so that you can help your athlete leverage the knowledge, tools, and support that I give them. I’ve had the privilege of working with hundreds of families and by all means, they want the best for their kids, so think of these recommendations as your ABC’s to helping your child make the most out of their coaching program and really boost their health, performance, and confidence.

Tip #1. Let your child OWN this
          Let your child be in the driver’s seat. This is not your process, it’s theirs. Your role is to support. Don’t expect “all” of the details or our session. Ask how it went and offer to buy the items on their grocery list, cook, and do the things that you can help with, but allow them to volunteer as much information as they want. They are excited about all the things they are learning and the possibilities of looking and feeling so much stronger and confident; they want to own their process and be responsible for their actions and results… let them!

Tip #2. Have REALISTIC expectations
          Please don’t think that as soon as we have 1 or 2 sessions, your athlete will avoid junk food, drink lots of water, go to bed earlier, and stop stress eating. This is a process! Although most teens start implementing changes right away, some of these changes will seem “small” or they may start to do something and then stop/go back. That’s ok. It’s unrealistic to move forward 100% with no setbacks. You and I might do the same thing because we are human, not robots that can be programmed and then it’s all done. Just chill and trust the process.

Tip #3. Find a sweet spot between TOO FEW & TOO MANY COMMENTS
          A common mistake I see parents make is offer too many comments and recommendations such as “you’re supposed to eat something for breakfast”, “if you keep eating those chips, you’re gonna feel sluggish” or, one of my personal, least favorite ones, “I thought Maria told you to eat (X), why are you still eating (Y)?”

          Granted: when we see our kids make choices that we feel are not aligned with their goals, such as eating a lot of junk food and staying up late texting their friends, knowing what, how much to say and how to say it may be a challenge. I absolutely know this myself as a mom of 4 teenagers (yes, 4!) Try to find a sweet spot along the Parent Involvement Continuum, certainly not at the “Don’t say anything/let them do whatever they want” end but also not at the “I need to comment on everything” extreme, either.

          They are, of course, going to make a lot of mistakes. Most kids I work with own up to them and develop better habits. A helpful thing is for them to be free from feeling constantly observed and judged.

          So, sports parent, although you might have been initially motivated to do this program in order to help them perform better in their sport, please realize that I will accomplish my mission when we achieve way more than that: that your child develops confidence and good habits that will serve him or her a lifetime.

          Once again, congratulations to your child and to you as well, for being a supportive, loving parent!

Warm Regards / Saludos cordiales,

I boost young athletes’ health, performance, and confidence to help them succeed in sports and in life.