Once again I’m prepping to go to football practice. Right now I’m washing my pants- they got some nice grass stains on them from Wednesday, however preparation for practice goes way beyond having clean practice clothes:
- Proper nutrition- What you eat the entire day prior to practice will affect your performance and mental ability to focus. The most important meals are pre-workout (1.5 to 2 hours prior) and post workout within 1 hour after your workout. Overall nutrition that supports your muscles and body’s health will help you recover, stay strong and healthy. Vitamins and Sports supplements work, don’t be afraid to use them.
- Proper hydration- Once again what you drink the 24 hour period prior to practice will affect your performance. Also keep in mind if you don’t have proper electrolytes (Salt, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium) your performance will suffer also. Most practices are short enough in duration for water to be sufficient during practice. However if you have a long practice (over 2 hours) or one in extreme heat, you may want to supplement your water with a sports drink like Gatorade.
- Proper rest- Don’t go into practice tired and run down. Don’t stay up all night and expect to have a good practice the next day. Don’t sacrifice your practice performance by doing other draining workouts prior to practice. Professional Athletes don’t do much else than eat, sleep and train.
- Proper warm up- Be sure to take time prior to practice to warm up your body. A light 10 min jog or routine will help limber up tight joints, prepare muscles to give maximal effort and prevent injury. Stretch muscles when they are “warm”.
- Proper Clothes- Clothes that fit, won’t restrict athletic performance and are climate appropriate are vital to a successful practice. Don’t use “new”, untested, clothes for practice. You never know how they will actually fit. Be sure to have shorts or pants on that aren’t too big, nothing is worse than having your pants fall down during a workout. Shirts can be tricky, too. T-shirts that are too large tend to twist and get in the way. Shirts that are too short or too tight can cause problems who wants their belly or back fat hanging out. For women a good sports bra is a must. If you have large breasts wearing 2 bras may be necessary to prevent bouncing. Be aware of the tightness though, you don’t want to restrict you lung’s ability to expand. Once again- TEST your bra prior to committing to it for a practice.
- Proper Gear- Equipment like braces, tape, padding, watches, heart rate monitors, mace, music player, chap stick, hair bands, mouth guards, shin pads, etc… all should be kept in a practice bag ready for quick easy access.
- Proper Shoes. Your shoes need to be in good shape. Don’t scrimp by wearing old shoes, improper footwear ( i.e. tennis shoes for soccer) or shoes that are too big or too small. Having your feet supported, protected and stable is vital to your performance and injury prevention.
- Proper mindset- Mentally running through your practice prior to practice is vital. Imagine yourself doing the drills, exercises and conditioning elements successfully. Work through proper form in your mind, study the plays and review them prior to practice. At practice ASK Questions. Be respectful of the coaches by listening carefully to input, techniques and instructions. Be mentally engaged by paying attention to other’s performance of the drills, learn from their demonstration.
- Proper attitude- Go into practice EXCITED and expecting to have fun and excel. Be sure to take feedback in a positive light, and don’t expect to be perfect at something without putting in practice. Practice is called PRACTICE for a reason. It exists as a time to gain skill, endurance and ability. Be a team player by helping others succeed. Cheer each others on!!
Prepare yourself for success!!
I am off to be properly prepared!!
Your friend, Michelle