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Rafael Nadal's Secrets for Success

The No. 1 world tennis champ talks about his childhood, his training, his diet, and the sacrifices he has made for his sport.

Nadal's Tips on Training Young Athletes continued...

Take a break. This is easier said than done. "If a child is really talented and driven, he or she will be really motivated to keep going."But all too often, a young athlete who doesn't choose to take time off ends up forced to take time off by injury. "When kids come in, it's often from overuse injuries like stress fractures, aches and pains, and repetitive motion injuries," says Blakemore.  "Tennis elbow is a perfect example." She also cites distance running and gymnastics as sports that often cause overuse injuries.

Check your head. According to Blakemore, sports psychologists are playing a bigger role with young elite athletes. That's a good thing. Not only can they help athletes improve their performance, but they can also help athletes cope with performance anxiety and aid injured athletes returning to the game. "Psychologically, young athletes can have real trouble getting back to their previous level of performance after an injury," says Blakemore. "It's often hard to go out and believe they can do it."

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Reviewed on May 25, 2011

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