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: What is the biggest challenge in youth soccer today?
VJ Stanley: The biggest problem facing youth soccer and youth sports in general is the amount of children quitting. With obesity increasing four-fold over the last decade or two, and about 30% of all the children born after the year 2000 headed for Type 2 diabetes, I believe that we need to have our children, and more of them, convinced to lead a more active lifestyle.
They need to have fun and enjoy youth sports while they are young so they will continue to want to be active as adults. You want to know what the #1 growing adult sport is in the country? WHIFFLE BALL! Gaining on whiffle ball is kick ball and pickle ball. WHY? Because they are fun!