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Introducing Kaden Edwards! This inspirational youth athlete swims for Wales and recently collected his first medal at the British Swimming Summer Championships. We caught up with parent Richard and Kaden to dig into the tactics, techniques and mindset. Hopefully, he will inspire many others to pursue their dreams of rising to the top.
youth swimmer
First we spoke to parent Richard:
YSN: What are the challenges faced in supporting your teenager? 
Richard: There are many challenges supporting Kaden such as financial, work commitments, logistics and of course nutrition. 
YSNHow do you cater for their nutrition? 
Richard: We try to make sure Kaden has 3 main meals a day minimum with snacks in-between meals. He also then has PRO-TEEN® and a snack post training. 
YSNHow many hours a week do you devote to supporting your teenagers sporting career? 
Richard: I have never added this up but I would say around 24 hours per week minimum. 
YSNWhat is your proudest sporting moment?  
Richard: Watching Kaden compete in this year’s National Arena Swimming League Final 14 weeks after breaking his arm. 
broken arm
YSNWhen did you first hear of Youth Sport Nutrition? 
Richard: I researched protein for competitive teenagers in 2017 and found YSN PRO-TEEN®
YSNWhat are your objective thoughts on Youth Sport Nutrition designing PRO-TEEN®?  
Richard: I think it is fantastic that a company has produced a nutritional protein based product with a great balance with vitamins and minerals that is designed for teenagers. 
YSNHow has PRO-TEEN® and / or YSN helped your situation? 
Richard: It has helped with post training nutrition, without this Kaden would be waiting around 45 mins for us to commute home. 
Youth sport nutrition sponsored athlete
We then caught up with to Kaden, as he made a pit stop at our partners Gateshead College, whilst on his way to the summer champs in Scotland. 
YSNHow did you get into your first sport, and how old were you? 
Kaden: I was selected by a coach from City Of Cardiff Swimming Club when I was in the Cardiff Council learn to swim program. 
YSNDid you have any key idols or role models that you looked up to and wanted to replicate, and if so, why? 
Kaden: I have never really had any idols or people I have looked up to in sport apart from my coaches. 
YSNLet downs and injury are a common feature of being a professional athlete, can you tell us how you motivate yourself and what keeps you going through major incidents or tough circumstances? 
Kaden: Having just had a big injury I can say that I tried to keep a positive mindset, commit to the program and push myself to do the best I can every time I get in the pool for training or racing.  
kaden edwards
YSNAs a very successful youth athlete, how often do you train, and how has this changed depending on your sport?  
Kaden: I currently train in the pool for 8 sessions (15 hours) and 2 land based sessions (2 hours). I have both preschool sessions and post school sessions.
YSNWhat does it feel like to win competitions? Describe the emotion and senses involved during and afterwards.  
Kaden: I would say it’s a feeling of pride and a bunch of different emotions depending on the competition. 
kaden edwards
YSNWhat are your future aspirations? 
Kaden: I would like try and qualify for the 2021 Youth Commonwealth Games and then try and make a Great Britain junior team before trying to make a senior team. 
YSNWhat is your favourite quote or inspirational quote? Or perhaps you like your own made up quote? What is it?  
Kaden: I have a few ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ ‘dream what you want to be, wake up and fight for it’ ‘if you don’t prepare you could lose everything, if you prepare for the worst and nothing happens, you’ve lost nothing’. 
YSN:  Who is your favourite athlete or sportsperson and why? 
Kaden: Recently after my injury I have followed Niall Wilson (GB Gymnast) as he has also recovered from big injuries (neck surgery). 
YSNWhat does your ‘internal chatter’ look/sound like in the run up to your event time? What strategies do you use to calm nerves and remain focused? 
Kaden: I would say my initial chatter is just telling myself I have prepared for this and I can do it! I also like to sing a song in my head before and sometimes during races. 
kaden edwards
YSNWhat advice would you offer to Parents of youth athletes regarding their training, the pressure to perform (academic and sporting) and catering for nutrition? How can parent’s best support their training objectives? 
Kaden: I would say ‘be a parent and not a coach’, there are too many parents getting involved in sport and not letting their children make mistakes to learn from. Also I believe that sport helps with academic pressure as it is a release. 
YSNAny tips for balancing training, academic studies, competitions/games and a social life? 
Kaden: It’s hard to get a perfect balance but things I have done are make revision timetable, use breaks in school to do homework etc and stay positive. For socialising I would say try to fit it in when and where you can. 
YSNWhen did you first hear of Youth Sport Nutrition? 
Kaden: My dad asked me if I wanted to try this as an alternative to a normal milkshake post training. 
YSNHow do you cater for your sports nutrition? How has this changed since working with YSN? What sort of meal plans/nutritional strategies did you utilise?
Kaden: I have added PRO-TEEN® into my nutritional plan post training and also have 3 meals a day with snacks. 
kaden edwards
Thanks Ricahrd and Kaden #TeamYSN

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